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John Dickerson: Trump is creating a new relationship with the press — and delegitimizing them

January 12th, 2017
John Dickerson: Trump is creating a new relationship with the press — and delegitimizing them
Politics
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It was hard to tell in President-elect’s news conference whether he was more disgusted with his intelligence community or with the media. CBS News political director and “Face The Nation” anchor John Dickerson weighs in.


Mr. Trump is creating a new relationship with the press. All presidents try to control the message by controlling the press — but Mr. Trump is trying to do it through intimidation to soften up the stories against him. 

Mr. Trump is also seeking to delegitmize them — he’s not complaining about a specific story, he is saying there is a battle between him and the press in an attempt to take the value away from the press.

In his press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Trump refused to answer questions from a CNN reporter and then said “Don’t be rude. Don’t be rude. Don’t. Be. Rude. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”

Mr. Trump repeated the claim about “fake news,” saying he has been “hearing a lot about fake news” when “people go and they say all sorts of things, but let me tell you, some of the media outlets I deal with are fake news. I could name them but I won’t bother.”

Mr. Trump is trying to define all news as fake news. 

When most presidents fail in their attempt to control the news, it’s because they need the press to get the message out. But Mr. Trump doesn’t need the press the way former presidents did because he has Twitter — and a following who is more apt to believe him over the press. 

But given his low approval ratings coming into office, he needs the press to reach a larger audience. And that is usually where attacking the press as a strategy breaks down. 

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