Donald Trump vaulted onto Twitter in the wee hours this morning, as is his wont, to announce that he’s cancelled a meeting with the New York Times because they’re “not nice.” The New York Times meeting was going to be “mostly on the record,” the paper says, unlike his meeting yesterday with a group of TV executives and personalities, about which conflicting reports have emerged.
Trump, who gets up very early or stays up very late doing something or other, tweeted at 6:16 a.m. that the meeting was off:
But he promised he would schedule a new one if the paper of record would just be nice and cover him like the big-dicked hero everyone knows he is.
Then he announced he’s having other meetings today, you know, president stuff:
The Times says they planned for a “mostly on the record” meeting with Trump and a group of reporters and editors, which is likely what set him off. Trump’s meeting yesterday with some of the biggest names in TV news was theoretically off the record but reported on by the ultra-conservative New York Post in glowing terms; an unnamed tangerine source said it was a yuge “bloodbath” and he yelled at everybody and made them look totally stupid and lame.
A defining characteristic of fascism is state-controlled media. But there’s wide latitude in what that means: News outlets can be directly run by the government, or government censorship can make a free press impossible. Or, as Trump would evidently prefer, media institutions can be stacked entirely with sympathetic media spokespeople and executives, who don’t do mean things like insist on seeing his tax returns or speculate about the mysterious origins of his hair.
If Donald Trump wants to live in the United States, he’s going to have to assimilate to our way of doing things.
Update, 9:42 a.m.:
A McClatchy reporter says that the often silent Hope Hicks has emerged to say Trump will go to a meeting at the Times offices today. Guess we’ll see!
CNN’s Brian Stelter says he’s been told the same thing.
Suggestion for the Times: put that meeting on Periscope.
Update, 10:00 a.m.:
The Times says they’ll have an off-record meeting between Trump and their publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., followed by an on-record meeting with reporters and columnists.
Having off-the-record meetings of any kind with wannabe dictators is a bad idea and nobody should be doing it.
Update, 10:55 a.m.:
Now Trump is tweeting cheerily about the new meeting as though his unhinged 6 a.m. tweets were penned by someone else altogether.