Donald Trump went out of his way yesterday to vilify for the nth time his nemesis the press, “the enemy of the people.”
“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Mo.
Maybe some Republicans took his advice, but unfortunately his own wife did not.
On the first couple’s recent trip overseas, Melania Trump’s television aboard Air Force One was tuned to CNN. President Trump was not pleased.
He raged at his staff for violating a rule that the White House entourage should begin each trip tuned to Fox — his preferred network over what he considers the “fake news” CNN — and caused “a bit of a stir” aboard Air Force One, according to an email obtained by The New York Times. The email, an internal exchange between officials in the White House Military Office and the White House Communications Agency last Thursday, also called for the ordering of two additional televisions to support Beam, a TiVo-like streaming device, to make sure the president and first lady could both watch TV in their separate hotel rooms when they travel.
At the end of the email chain, officials confirmed that tuning the TVs to Fox would be standard operating procedure going forward.
Desperate times call for desperate measures as Trump implores his base to believe him, and tells them, “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” This comment, also made at the VFW on Tuesday, was of course characterized as “Orwellian” a term that’s getting overused almost as much as “unprecedented.”
The channel-flipping flap was the latest example of how Mr. Trump, at a pivotal moment in his presidency, is increasingly living in a world of selected information and bending the truth to his own narrative. As his aides work to keep him insulated from the outside world, Mr. Trump is doubling down in his efforts to tell supporters to trust him over the words of critics and news reports.
Trump was quoted as saying in 2015, “When you tell them, they believe it. They just do.” Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s see what happens at the ballot box in November.