Tone Deaf: NYT Columnist Thinks The Media Covering Trump Aggressively Hurts Him

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 3:20 PM
Tone Deaf: NYT Columnist Thinks The Media Covering Trump Aggressively Hurts Him

Okay—Thomas Friedman is one of the top columnists at The New York Times. He’s the author of The World Is Flat, he’s a fixture on the Sunday Morning Talk shows, and he’s part of the national political dialogue. We talk about the insular media. We talk about the detachment liberals have with other Americans who don’t live in cities, have college educations, six-figure salaried jobs, and the time to ponder about useless crap like global warming, plastic straws, or whether ordering your coffee “black” is racist at Starbucks. Yes, Hillary’s America is different—and it’s also the mecca for some of the whiniest, most insufferable peoplein the country.  

So, what did Mr. Friedman pen recently regarding Trump’s ongoing war with the press and his administration overall? Well, it’s that the media should cover everything he does—and as aggressively as possiblebecause it hurts him. Really? It hurts him. This is a man who thrives hitting against the liberal media—and his base loves it too. We finally have a guy who delivers upper cuts to the liberal institutions that have devolved into a total meltdown of progressive emotional toxic waste. Every thingthis man does is wrong. Every thing is criticized. And every time the media goes DEFcon one on Trump, he wins more supporters. Even the most skeptical of Republicans are being pushed into his camp because of the liberal media’s inability to shut the hell up: The bias, the hypocrisy, and the appalling episodes of amnesia. They got a kick out of “Romensia” in 2012, but you’d think history never began until 2016. Friedman wants every aspect of the Trump White House covered to the hilt…because that worked out so well in 2016. Does he forget that the media gave Trump $2 billion in free media in 2016? The end result: President Donald J. Trump. 

Some healthy soul searching is taking place in newsrooms across the country these days over whether the mainstream media should be covering President Trump’s every tweet and rally. My answer: Absolutely! It’s the right thing for us to do professionally, and, as last night’s election results indicated, it’s the right thing to do politically if you want to see a check on Donald Trump’s power.

It appears that it’s the toxic lying, bullying and unpresidential behaviors that Trump exhibits most in his rallies and tweets — which we in the media so incessantly cover — that is turning off the very moderate, best-educated Republicans and suburban women that Trump will need to hold the G.O.P. majority in the House, let alone get re-elected.

So bring on the coverage.


Yes, I want every American to know that two Trump supporters were spotted at the president’s last rally, in Ohio, wearing T-shirts that read, “I’d rather be Russian than a Democrat.” That’s an interesting data point. That’s whom you’re voting with when you vote for Trump.

I want every American to hear of Trump’s tweet that CNN’s anchor Don Lemon, who is African-American, was “the dumbest man on television” and that Lemon made LeBron James “look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” Lemon was interviewing James about a school he had just opened in Ohio for underprivileged children.

I want every Republican running for office to hear every syllable of Trump’s bullying arrogance, when he warned at his Ohio rally that he destroys any G.O.P. politician who dares to defy him, saying, “I only destroy their career because they said bad things about me and you fight back and they go down the tubes — and that’s O.K.”

I want all of this heard and spread from sea to shining sea. Because though these words do rally Trump’s base, they also rally Democrats and evidently embarrass Republican moderates and alienate independents.

Yeah, except that Trump has brought in more converts since his 2016 win. Pew Research noted that these voters weren’t too thrilled with Trump, but has “warmed” up to him—big league. Gee—I wonder what it could be? Oh right, you’d just have to watch one hour of MSNBC, CNN, or any liberal news medium to understand why:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, an overwhelming majority of those who said they had voted for him had “warm” feelings for him.


Many voters who ultimately supported Trump in the general election did not always feel so warmly toward him. In April 2016, shortly before Trump secured the Republican nomination for president, a substantial share of those who would go on to vote for him in November expressed mixed, or even cold, feelings toward him: While most (65%) either viewed him warmly or very warmly, about a third (35%) felt either cold or neutral toward him. About one-in-five (19%) of those who ended up voting for Trump had very cold feelings for him at that time (rating him lower than 25 on the 0-100 scale).


About a third of Trump’s November 2016 voters (35%) had cold or neutral feelings toward him earlier that year. By September 2016, a 57% majority of these voters had warmed to him, including 24% who felt very warmly. And shortly after the election, three-quarters of these once cold or neutral voters (74%) felt warmly toward him, including 43% who rated him very warmly.

Among the 65% majority of Trump voters who felt warmly toward him in April 2016, there was much less change in opinions about him. Of this group, 90% or more maintained warm feelings toward him in September and November 2016.


Converts make up the next largest share of Trump voters (23%). These voters were cold or neutral toward Trump prior to his receiving the Republican nomination. In April 2016, nearly half of Converts (44%) favored Ted Cruz for the GOP presidential nomination. But in September 2016, during the general election campaign, 73% of this group had warm feelings for Trump, including 31% who gave Trump a very warm rating. By March 2018, 71% gave him a very warm rating.

Oh, and we can’t leave without this passage [emphasis mine]:

It turns out that there are thinking Republicansfor whom character, decency and truth-telling still matter in a president. It turns out that there are thinking Republicans who have watched Trump’s twitter rants, his disturbed performance at Helsinki and the unrestrained bile that he emits at his rallies — and the blind, ecstatic response of his core base — and found them unnerving and unworthy of their support. That is what the polls and polling stations last night are telling us.

Yeah, liberalism remains the politics of condescension. There’s that old story about Adlai Stevenson, a two-time Democratic presidential loser, and his reported discussion with an aide. The aide allegedly offered encouraging words about Mr. Stevenson’s chances because he had the thinking people on his side to which the Democratic nominee replied, “ah, but I need a majority.” And let’s be honest, these “thinking Republicans” are probably the Never Trumpers, who have become the leading nominees for the biggest pains in the a**es in American politics. They’re few in number. They’re often ignored, as they should. And earth to Friedman: they’re not liberals. They're conservatives who just don’t like Trump. 

So, go ahead and double down on calling us idiots. It didn’t work the first time. It probably won’t work the second time—the definition of insanity. 

These people won’t buck for Trump. I’m a convert—and there is nothing, nothing that’s going to make me vote against the president in the next election. Too much is at stake, and a GOP primary challenge is just sheer folly. Moral victories don’t mean jack. Also, and we all know this, Trump is better than any Democrat. Any Republican is better than any Democrat, especially since they’re going through a left wing transformation. I’m eager to see the media outrage machine work themselves into a frenzy—all to end with Trump’s re-election in 2020.