Following Donald Trump’s criticisms of the political press yesterday, various reporters have hurried to tell us that he is making a mistake. See, for example, what happened on CNN:
On Tuesday’s Legal View, CNN’s Mark Preston asserted that Donald Trump’s latest attack on the media was “an absolute mistake because he doesn’t want to necessarily do that.” Preston soon added that “Trump deciding to take on the media at this point because he doesn’t feel like they are treating him well is actually not a very good strategy — to the point the question was asked to him…do you have a thick enough skin to run for president?
It is safe to say that no Republican candidate will take tactical or strategic advice from CNN. In this case, the assertion that Trump’s push-back against the press is a mistake is ludicrous. On the contrary, Trump’s willingness to take on biased reporters is one of the key qualities that have endeared him to Republican voters.
And distaste for the press is not limited to Republicans. Gallup has repeatedly found that the press is one of America’s most despised institutions, ranking almost as low as Congress. Has anyone at CNN ever suggested that attacking Congress is misguided? Further, last year 70% of Americans polled said that they believe the press is biased, and does not even try to report the news fairly.
In the early stages of the primary season, I was often frustrated by over-the-top attacks on Donald Trump by liberal reporters at newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times. This was because I wasn’t a Trump fan, and every time liberal reporters attacked him, his approval ratings went up. This is a lesson that Trump apparently has absorbed better than his opponents in the press, and I don’t think there is any risk that he will stop pushing back now.