A new book claims that President Donald Trump made his staff print out screenshots of cable news chyrons for his review. Chyrons are the lower third of cable news shows – graphics at the bottom of the screen showing what topic is being discussed, the names of guests and other information.
The book, Team of Vipers, was written by a former communications employee Cliff Sims and was previewed by Axios, which published excerpts. The book claims that Trump is very interested in cable news graphics. He has previously had staffers print them for him, as he reportedly used to with tweets about himself.
“When the President would deliver a speech somewhere outside of D.C., the research team would take screenshots of all the chyrons that aired while he was speaking. Then, adding those images to headlines and tweets from influential reporters and pundits, they would race to print out a packet before Trump made it back to the White House,” an excerpt from the book reads.
According to the author, Trump believes that cable news viewers watch with their TVs on mute, making the chyrons very important for understanding what the networks are discussing. There is some truth in this. Cable news shown in airports and waiting rooms, for example, is often muted.
Trump seems to be a connoisseur of cable news graphics, praising some and criticizing others.
Another excerpt reads: “‘The graphics on Fox are the absolute worst — are you looking at this?’ he said at one point. ‘CNN and MSNBC are both so much better. I hate to say it — honestly, I really hate to say it — but MSNBC has the best graphics. Fox is the best — they have the best talent. I mean, look at the rest of these people. They can’t believe what’s happening right now. But Fox’s graphics are terrible. They’ve got to do something about it.”
Sims also claims Trump ‘consumed TV like the late Roger Ebert must have watched movies.’