The members of the networks expected to negotiate presidential press access during their meeting with the President-elect. What they got was a Trump-style temper tantrum where his disrespect for the free press was on full display.
The New York Post reported:
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the encounter.
“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks…,” the source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong. He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was network of liars.
The press should have expected this behavior. Donald Trump is not going to suddenly grow up and act like an adult because he won a presidential election. The guy who whines about media coverage with a near pathological zeal won’t see the value of the free press once he becomes president.
Donald Trump doesn’t believe in checks and balances. He doesn’t subscribe to the belief that the free press exists to hold the powerful accountable. In Trump’s view, the press is there to give him good publicity. Any member of the media that does not give Trump good publicity is an enemy.
The networks set themselves up for this by agreeing to the off the record meeting with Trump. In the last few days, America has gotten a hint about how Donald Trump intends to govern. As President, Trump appears to not tolerate dissent or disagreement, and the free press will never be respected.
Survival, not greatness, may be the goal for the next four years of Donald Trump.