Sun, Mar 26, 2017 | updated 01:11 AM IST

Eight days after U.S. elections, still no love between Trump and media

Updated: Nov 17, 2016 07:56 IST

By Smita Prakash

Washington D C [United States], Nov.17 (ANI): The media is fuming. President-elect Donald Trump and his family gave his shadow media a slip and went for a family dinner on Tuesday night at New York's famed 21 Club restaurant. On Wednesday, he launched a Twitter storm against the media, saying his transition process was on schedule and the media speculation that the Trump team was in a tizzy trying to fill cabinet posts was just that: baseless speculation.

President-elect Donald Trump hates the media. There is no sugar coating that pill. His campaign was a one-man army marauding the Left leaning American media. He tweeted against the media incessantly for over a year. And, that hasn't stopped even after winning the election. In his defence, the media hasn't stopped its constant criticism of Team Trump either. The media practically gushed over President-elect Barack Obama in 2008 calling the transition process a smooth operation led by No-Drama-Obama compared to the Outsider-who-knows-nothing about Washington D C delaying the complex process.

But Trump calls the shots. He is most unforgiving of the media. The media in turn are quoting tradition and norm to him. More than a dozen news organisations, including the National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists have submitted a joint letter to Trump today asking him "to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of his presidency."

This followed Tuesday night's incident when Trump broke with protocol and went out for dinner at a steakhouse in New York after his transition team had told journalists he would not be out in the public for the rest of the day.

But Trump and family snuck out to the 21 Club in midtown Manhattan, prompting celebrity journalist Megyn Kelly of the Fox Network to say that no president or president-elect has liked a press pool following them, but once elected, they slowly adapt to it and hopefully Trump would too.

TV networks are citing the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that deals with Freedom of the Press. Journalists who were in President Reagan's press pool said it was because they were present that they could film the assassination attempt on him on March 30, 1981.

Similarly the small press pool recorded the precise moment when President George Bush was informed of the 9/11 strikes when he was at a kindergarten school on September 11, 2001.

But so far there is no evidence that Trump will go with tradition and norm. He travelled without the media during his election campaign, he ridiculed them in his speeches, repeatedly calling them liars and losers, and he blacklisted some reporters and whined constantly on Twitter about the media being biased. But then he mastered the usage of the micro blogging site to get free airtime, on social media and perforce had traditional media giving him coverage even if it was only to pillory him. He took all the scorn that came his way in his own thin skinned manner. He ranted. And that got him more followers on Twitter and more appreciation from his traditional voter base.

If you see the demonstrations that are taking place in universities coast to coast against the Trump presidency, you would think that young voters did not vote Trump. But you would be wrong to presume that. Clinton like most of the media, ignored the 'white people angst' that was in evidence at voting booths. As per the Atlantic, only 55 percent of young voters chose Clinton, down from the 60 percent that backed Obama in 2012, while 37 percent chose president-elect Donald Trump. The media missed this 37 percent of Americans.

The Republicans point out that the public's trust with the media is damaged irretrievably and Trump has merely articulated that via social media.

On Monday, CBS first reported that Trump is "potentially seeking top secret security clearances for his children." Trump shot back on Twitter that it was a typically false report.

He went on in the next two days roasting New York Times and calling it the "failing New York Times."

He is not holding back as president-elect, but Washington watchers say that once he appoints a White House media assistant, he will probably be less thin-skinned to media criticism. The way the media is covering the president-elect makes it quite clear that there is no honeymoon period for the Disrupter-in-Chief. This is going to be one prickly relationship that Washington D C has not seen for a long-long time. Not since the time of President Richard Nixon at least. (ANI)

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