President Donald Trump can’t stop talking about how unfair the media is to him. His dedication to the nation, however, seems to be less of a concern, according to some on a Thursday CNN panel.
During a discussion on Don Lemon’s show, both New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow and CNN media analyst Brian Stelter found Trump’s strange diversion in his speech to Poland curious.
“I thought it was revealing the way he was doing that saying, ‘NBC, I made them a lot of money with ‘The Apprentice,’ they take care of me, but they’re so mean to me,” Stelter said. “It shows the transactional way he thinks of the media, the way he thinks about business and maybe about politics and governing. But let’s make no mistake, we’re seeing this coordinating campaign by Trump and his allies to tear down news outlets they don’t like, news outlets that are trying to hold them accountable. It happens to be CNN today. It happens to be NBC on Trump’s mind today. It will be others as well. It’s been others in the past, others in the future. What Polish citizens and American citizens have in common is a desire for a truly free press.”
Lemon noted that Trump is particularly hard on CNN because he feels that the network hurt him the most. Lemon did not mention, however, that CNN head Jeff Zucker was the one who gave Trump his first start with “The Apprentice,” and for a while Trump believed Zucker was his friend and ally.
“In addition to what you’re saying, it underlines the incredible narcissism of the president,” Blow said. “I mean, everything he says is about ‘how the press has treated me,’ how ‘NBC has treated me,’ ‘what I did for them and they didn’t repay me.’ It is never about — even the investigation, the Russia investigation, it’s never about the health of the country. It’s never about protecting the institutions that make the country great. It’s never about, like, ‘something that is bigger than me.’ It is always about — ‘everything that is as small as me’ with this man.”
Blow said that once Americans and the press begin viewing Trump through this lens that his actions become more clear.
“Not that it makes it right, it just makes it make sense that he cannot see anything greater than himself,” Blow continued. “That kind of drags the presidency down. That drags the country down. That makes us all sit around and talk about these — talk about his feelings and whether or not his fragility is in play and whether or not he is something that someone said that he didn’t agree with and that he now tosses around the idea of fake news as if it is interchangeable with whether or not it is laudatory for me or not. And that’s crazy.”
At the beginning of the segment, Lemon noted that Trump’s comments to the Polish president were particularly curious given what has happened there. The country recently placed restrictions on the press in Poland in which people took to the streets against the crackdown to curtail access, as Stelter noted.