Trump v CNN
President Trump's antipathy for the news media was on full display at his 75-minute solo press conference on Thursday, and as he usually does, Trump singled out one news organization for special abuse: CNN. But Trump is doing more than throwing the phrase "fake news" at the network that pays Jeffrey Lord to defend him on the air; he has also sent his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to complain to executives at CNN and its parent company, Time Warner, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night, citing "a White House official and other people familiar with the matter."
In a recent White House meeting with Time Warner executive vice president Gary Ginsberg, for example, Kushner reportedly argued that CNN was unfairly critical of Trump. Kushner "has taken issue with specific CNN contributors including Van Jones, a Democrat who served in the Obama administration, and Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist, who have each criticized Mr. Trump in harsh terms," The Wall Street Journal reports. Navarro did not seem particularly concerned:
As it turns out, Time Warner is awaiting federal approval for an $85.4 billion sale to AT&T — though "people familiar with the matter" told WSJ that Kushner and Ginsberg, longtime friends, did not discuss the merger in the White House meeting. Trump opposed the merger in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, specifically citing CNN, which isn't normal, according to University of Maryland journalism historian Mark Feldstein. "Lord knows that every president has been angered by their news coverage, going back to George Washington," he said. "But to engage in that kind of bare-knuckled tactics is extraordinary."
The unidentified White House official suggested that CNN be more like Fox News, saying "it's obvious" that CNN's "ratings have suffered as a result" of it's "dishonest coverage of the president," while Fox News' "ratings have never been better," thanks to their "mostly fair" Trump coverage. According to Nielsen, CNN's daytime ratings are up 51 percent this year in the key 25-to-54 demographic, while Fox News' ratings are up 55 percent among the same groups. You can read more at The Wall Street Journal.