Donald Trump and the media have an adversarial relationship, to say the least.
During the election, the president-elect went from one scandal to another in varying degrees of severity. Every time an outlet like the New York Times or the Washington Post would seize on something he said, he would hit back with claims the media was rigging the system or reporting in an unbiased manner to cast him in a negative light and opponent in Hillary Clinton in a positive.
The tactic seems to have worked, landing him hundreds of millions of dollars in free publicity and proving — at least in the interim — the old mantra, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
For anyone questioning Donald Trump’s intelligence, it’s important to look at the numbers. Clinton spent at least $212 million more on her campaign through October 20 and lost the Electoral College while eking out a victory in the popular vote.
As previously discussed here at the Inquisitr, if all things were the same on a cost-per-vote basis and Trump had spent the same amount of money as Clinton, he would have earned anywhere from 79 million to 113 million votes to Clinton’s 62 million to 63 million.
Media coverage played a role in that, and going back to the beginning of the Donald Trump campaign, it’s apparent that was his plan all along. Just look for a copy of his book Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, since retitled Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.
— Star Books Online (@Onviesbook) November 20, 2016
Chapter two of the book is titled “Our ‘Unbiased’ Political Media.” Here is an excerpt that lays out Trump’s game plan exactly, in his own words.
“The cost of a full-page ad in the New York Times can be more than $100,000. But when they write a story about one of my deals, it doesn’t cost me a cent, and I get more important publicity. I have a mutually profitable two-way relationship with the media — we give each other what we need. And now I am using that relationship to talk about the future of America.”
Trump also didn’t run from the fact that there might be some pretty eyebrow-raising comments in his past that come home to roost during the election cycle — again, keep in mind that this was during the primaries. One thing he writes during the beginning of the chapter is, “Sometimes I can be self-effacing, injecting a little humor, having some fun, and kidding around.”
“We have a good time,” he remarked. “What I say is what I say, and everyone that knows me really appreciates it.”
He continued, “The American people are smart and figured out pretty quickly what the real motives are for turning up the personal attacks against me. And I get more minutes, more front-page coverage, more requests for interviews than anyone else — and most important for America — the opportunity to speak directly to the people.”
In closing, Donald Trump that he doesn’t mind being attacked by the media because “I use the media the way the media uses me — to attract attention. Once I have that attention, it’s up to me to use it to my advantage.”
By using it to his advantage, Trump means that “if you’re not afraid to be outspoken, the media will write about you or beg you to come on their shows.”
“If you do things a little differently, if you say outrageous things and fight back, they love you. So sometimes I make outrageous comments and give them what they want — viewers and readers — in order to make a point.”
With the outcome of the election decided and Donald Trump now president-elect, it’s a strategy that apparently worked.
So if you’re wondering why Donald Trump would host media personalities only to lambast them, as the New York Post reports he did on Monday, consider it an assumption on his part that he has the political capital to do so.
In short, Donald Trump bet that Americans would trust his intent more than they did the media. Rather than doubling down on all the tactics that placed Trump in the White House, supporters of Trump — and even non-supporters who are on the conservative side like Ben Shapiro (via Mediaite) — are advising the press to ask themselves why that is.
The American people successfully defeated the mainstream media and their biased liberal agenda. pic.twitter.com/VzeUhMPY5D
— We Got Trump (@WeNeedTrump) November 22, 2016
But what do you think, readers? Did Donald Trump play the media? Did all the bad coverage work to his advantage because people distrust their media institutions more than they distrust him? Sound off in the comments section below.