Donald Trump’s decision to blast Jeff Zucker – the president of CNN – for a documentary the network broadcast on Labor Day is just another example of Trump finding ways to alternatively manipulate or alienate the news media. This most recent incident is particularly absurd, given that Trump has often been treated with kid gloves by CNN and seems to be close friends with Zucker. But this current kerfuffle is only the tip of Donald Trump’s disastrous media iceberg.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2016
This clash between Jeff Zucker and Donald Trump occurred as a consequence of a slightly critical documentary about Donald Trump broadcast on Monday by CNN. It was part of a back to back pair of documentaries focusing on – respectively – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
As Trump points out, he refused to be interviewed for the documentary and condemns it as biased nonsense. Oddly, Trump claims that he doesn’t even know anyone who appeared in the documentary, despite the fact that his own daughter is in it. But then again, Trump often seems to have trouble recognizing that Ivanka Trump is his daughter.
— ℅TwinOfTwinWithTwins (@twinsational) September 9, 2016
Donald Trump also seems to have a peculiar relationship with CNN and Jeff Zucker. Trump constantly suggests that he doesn’t even watch CNN, while at the same time discussing minute details of the network’s coverage of him and his campaign. Trump apparently fails to see the contradiction in these two statements.
The incredibly odd thing in Donald Trump’s rant about this CNN documentary is that Jeff Zucker is a close personal friend of Trump’s. As pointed out by The Globe and Mail, Zucker was the person behind Donald Trump’s outrageous reality show The Apprentice. CNN – under Zucker – even chose to hire former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as a talking head.
CNN should also be dropped. Zucker's conflict of interest as bff w/Trump & both paying Lewandowski is disqualifying https://t.co/yass3VPcNd
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) September 9, 2016
Interestingly, Lewandowski is still being paid by Trump as well. While most people might consider this a conflict of interest, apparently Trump and Zucker don’t. Yet, Trump still decided to attack Zucker and CNN over this televised documentary. Donald Trump doesn’t appreciate criticism.
The documentary in question – entitled All Business: the Essential Donald Trump – occasionally sheds light on the frequently shady business dealings that Donald Trump has engaged in over the years. As CNN itself points out, this documentary ranked number one across all cable news outlets on Labor Day.
While it’s not all negative for Trump, given some of the content of the documentary and these ratings, it’s hardly surprising that the oversensitive Trump would be furious with his pal Zucker. Et tu, Zucker?
With Donald Trump, even the slightest infraction or offense is taken quite personally. This sort of pettiness and grudge-holding is typical of the Republican nominee. His refusal to endorse Paul Ryan until the last moment is another example of Trump’s tendency toward vendettas.
The attack on Zucker and CNN also represents another example of Trump’s frequent animosity toward the news media in general. While Trump and his campaign have no problem with reporters who praise Trump to the hilt, they rapidly pounce on those who don’t.
Every time Trump mentions U.S. veterans I remember how he kept their donation money until the press looked into it.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) September 1, 2016
In fact, the first beginnings of a rift between Zucker and Trump occurred last year when CNN reported that Trump had failed to make previously promised contributions to a veteran’s organization. Trump in turn attacked CNN and Zucker for not making similar contributions – although of course they hadn’t promised to make any to begin with.
Trump calls CNN 'an arm of the Clinton campaign,' takes jab at his good friend (company president) Jeff Zucker https://t.co/Ak3mH8Fu2S
— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) September 9, 2016
But in the end, this love spat between Jeff Zucker and Donald Trump will most likely blow over. After all, Zucker actually has a printed copy of a tweet from Trump mounted in a frame in his office. But even if Trump and Zucker make up tomorrow, Trump’s battle with the media will likely go on and on as long as the Trump campaign “bread and circuses” spectacle continues.
(Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)