It’s really all a game to the president, isn’t it? Some have occasionally suggested that President Trump has some sort of grand plan underlying his behavior and that — somehow — he’s not as out of place as he really seems.
The real issue with the president, however, is simpler than that, and it’s become more clear as his time in office has gone on. There is one person who is the final authority in his world and one person alone — Donald Trump. It’s not as though there abound examples of the president admitting he was wrong about something, and that’s because he believes in what he’s doing above essentially everything else to the point of adhering to “alternative facts” above reality.
In his egocentric world, he believes that he is owed something by the press, even though he routinely seeks to undercut the very freedoms that allow the press to exist. He has been toxic to the point of having suggested that he wanted to revoke the very broadcasting license of a major news outlet at one point.
New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt had the opportunity to interview the president at his Mar-A-Lago resort this week, and during that interview, Trump indicated that, despite all of his toxicity towards the free press, he believes that the press should thank him for giving them something to boost their audiences with. That’s how flippantly he apparently takes the toxicity that he spews and is covered by the press in the course of their day-to-day operations.
Discussing why he believes that he’s going into the 2020 presidential election at an advantage, Trump commented to Schmidt:
‘Another reason we’re going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be, not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.’
It takes a remarkable level of self-obsession to suggest that one is single handedly holding together the American press. The press — obviously — made it just fine for the hundreds of years before Trump came around. The New York Times has been around for over 150 years, although neither the paper’s longevity nor its solid readership have prevented the president from claiming that the publication is “failing” in the past.
Check out Trump’s quote on the matter below.
I’ve long suspected Trump thinks this. Never thought he’d say it aloud though. pic.twitter.com/A249kBDhyu
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) December 29, 2017
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this Friday, the reporter behind Thursday’s interview commented as to the warped nature of the president’s worldview that his Thursday comments about the press needing to thank him reveal.
Schmidt told host Eddie Glaude:
‘I think he’s really bent on trying to get as much good press coverage as possible and truly believes he has been treated unfairly… he thinks he’s responsible for a lot of the success of the press and the fact that there is so much attention that is paid to everything that he does and that the press is relevant in a way that it wasn’t before. He wants the press to know that and he wants the press to essentially sort of thank him and, you know, I think that he thinks that the press has probably worse intentions than it really does.’
Check out Schmidt’s full appearance on Morning Joe below.
Morning Joe is, ironically, one of the news programs that he has feuded with most furiously, falsely claiming at one point that one of its two main hosts had come to him begging to spend New Year’s with him while bleeding from a face lift gone wrong.
Featured Image via SAUL LOEB/ AFP/Getty Images