President Donald Trump latest Twitter attack on the news media targets the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and Don Lemon, whom Trump called the “dumbest man on television.”
The message was precipitated by a New York Times piece that said the president watches up to eight hours of television a day.
“Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day – Wrong!” said Trump. “Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the “dumbest man on television!” Bad Reporting.”
Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day – Wrong! Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the “dumbest man on television!” Bad Reporting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2017
The New York Times piece included information from 60 interviews with people close to the president, including members of Congress.
The Times said Trump usually turns to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and “messaging ideas,” CNN for news and “Morning Joe” to get riled up.
“[Trump] sometimes ‘hate-watches’ CNN to get worked up, especially Don Lemon,” reported the Times’ Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker.
In a note at the bottom of the piece, the paper mentioned that Thrush contributed reporting to the story before he was suspended while the company reviews allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The tweet is par for the course for a president who has long been obsessed with his media coverage. Like many other Trump pronouncements, it does not come with the highest standard for accuracy.
Far from failing, the New York Times netted $386 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2017, constituting a six percent increase from the previous quarter. Trump also regularly appeared on Lemon’s show before he was president.
In a statement, CNN blasted the tweet and likened the president to a cyberbully.
“In a world where bullies torment kids on social media to devastating effect on a regular basis with insults and name calling, it is sad to see our president engaging in the very same behavior himself. Leaders should lead by example,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap.