The media might be taking some baby steps to accountability in its handling of Donald Trump.
The New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg reports on the cozy relationship that Trump has enjoyed with the media — including his highly irregular practice of calling in by phone for interviews instead of appearing in studio or via remote camera.
But things might be starting to change:
On Friday, Chuck Todd, the moderator of Meet the Press, told me he had only grudgingly allowed Mr. Trump to call in to his show earlier in the campaign, determining that he would rather have Mr. Trump take questions via phone than not at all.
Now, Mr. Todd said, he will no longer allow Mr. Trump to do prescheduled interviews by phone on the NBC program.
The news media has enjoyed massive ratings from Trump’s candidacy — including those less-than ethical phone interviews — as people across the political spectrum have tuned in to hear what The Donald will say next. But his phone interviews have attracted criticism, on the grounds that he is able to place himself outside of the full physical scrutiny to which the hosts (and typical guests) are subjected.
One of the few major TV hosts who has stood firm against the practice is Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, who told Rutenberg: “I just thought even if we took a ratings hit — and to some degree we did — it was a line worth holding.”
And as an entire network, CBS News is also standing firm against Trump’s desire for phone interviews — they even canceled an interview entirely, when he tried to back out of doing it on camera.