WASHINGTON – One of the primary reasons Donald Trump became the Republican front-runner in a crowded field of presidential primary candidates was his penchant for calling out the “dishonest” media.
After making illegal immigration the centerpiece of his campaign, the billionaire presidential candidate was confronted on the campaign trail in August 2015 by Jorge Ramos of the Spanish-language TV network Univision.
As Trump took to the podium, he was repeatedly interrupted and patronized by Ramos with questions attacking his immigration plan.
“Excuse, me. Sit down. You weren’t called!” Trump told Ramos during the back and forth. “Sit down. Sit down. Sit down!”
While Ramos insisted he had the right to ask a question, Trump shot back: “Go back to Univision.”
Trump’s famous faceoff with Ramos was the first of many sharp rebukes of the media, prompting headlines such as “Donald Trump may be the only Republican who can handle the media onslaught.”
After weathering relentless attacks by the establishment media and maintaining his position as the front-runner for the nearly the entire Republican primary race, Trump was branded “Teflon Don.”
Prior to being sworn in, President-elect Trump held a press conference during which he famously accused CNN of being “fake news” after the network published unsubstantiated allegations of ties to Russia.
President Trump continues to make media criticism a staple of his administration, frequently accusing left-leaning media outlets of disseminating “fake news.”
While speaking with CBS’ John Dickerson to mark the 100th day of his presidency, Trump abruptly ended the interview after he became fed up with Dickerson’s line of questioning.
The president cultivated a no-nonsense attitude toward the media long before delving into politics. The former reality TV star and real-estate magnate has been unabashedly challenging and confronting left-leaning media for decades.
Days before the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump’s billion-dollar Atlantic City casino, was set to open in March 1990, Trump walked off during an interview with CNN.
A week prior to the CNN interview, Trump blasted financial analyst Marvin Roffman for prematurely predicting to the Wall Street Journal that his new casino would fail. Trump threatened to sue Roffman’s employer, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, unless he apologized or was fired, CNN reported.
When questioned about the alleged dire financial stability of his Atlantic City casinos by then-CNN reporter Charles Feldman, Trump accused Feldman of projecting a biased and negative image of his success.
“Most analysts believe it’s going to be very successful. There are always going to be analysts who say, ‘Well, maybe not, who knows?’” Trump said. “I think it’s going to be so beautiful a building, and it turned out to be so beautiful a building, that everybody is going to come. The world is coming to see the Taj Mahal.”
Despite Trump calling attention to the positive forecasts of his business venture, Feldman proceeded to highlight the gloomy reports surrounding the casino, prompting Trump to grow impatient.
“You aren’t going to talk about the positive,” he said. “You’ll talk about the negative. You want to talk about the negative.”
Feldman persisted in questioning Trump about the alleged dire fate of his enterprise. Trump suddenly announced the interview was over.
“Do the interview with somebody else. Really. You don’t need this,” he said. “Do it with somebody else. Have a good time. Frankly, you’re a very negative guy, and I think it’s very unfair reporting. Good luck.”
A Morning Consult poll, conducted between April 25 and 26 and released on the eve of Trump’s 100th day in office, finds more voters trust the president than reporters covering his administration.
Thirty-seven percent of voters believe the White House has been more forthright than the media, while just 29 percent have more trust in the media. Thirty-four percent were unsure or had no opinion.
Americans agreed with Trump’s assertion concerning the media deliberately giving him unfavorable coverage. Forty-eight percent of respondents said reporters have been more negative in their coverage of Trump than they have been of previous administrations.
A new Politico survey confirms there’s a strong perception that the media are biased against the president and conservatives.
Politico surveyed 63 members of the White House press corps. Of those, only 5 percent were Republicans, while 16 percent were Democrats, 37 percent independents and 37 percent weren’t registered to vote.
A significant portion of the 37 percent of reporters who identified as “independent” refrained from affiliating with a party because they leaned ideologically more left than the Democratic Party.
Nearly half (45 percent) of the reporters who were surveyed admitted that the media’s coverage is biased against Trump. Two percent said the media are biased in his favor, and 53 percent said they are not at all biased.
Yet, this year’s White House press corps is more balanced than it has been in previous years. Politico revealed, in 2016, there were no Republicans out of 72 press corps members – zero.