In a wide-ranging and lengthy interview with the New York Times, President Donald Trump predictably complained about the media coverage. But in this instance, he straight up told the NYT that he believes he is “entitled” to sympathetic coverage from them because he came from Queens and the Times is his hometown newspaper.
With Trump looking to shift the news cycle following his capitulation on the government shutdown and the special counsel’s arrest of longtime adviser Roger Stone, he invited Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and reporters Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker to the White House (he originally wanted to do an off-the-record dinner with Sulzberger). While much of the conversation centered on his dismissal of border wall negotiations and his thoughts on various aspects of the Mueller probe, he also spent quite a bit of time playing media critic.
As the president is wont to do, he insisted that he receives far too much unfair coverage by the mainstream press and continued to boast about how great his administration has been since he took office two years ago. Saying that “The New York Times treats me terribly,” the president added “I don’t think I’ve had a good story in The New York Times.”
Sulzberger attempted to point out that 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also slammed the Times over its coverage of her during the campaign, telling Trump that their job is “to cover people and institutions of power toughly and aggressively” while further noting that they do that “fairly.” This led Trump to once again relive the election and remark on how amazing it was that he won.
We then got this extremely Trumpian observation:
But, I ran, I won, and I’m really doing a good job. I mean, I guess I’m controversial, but I’m doing a great job. The man from China, the vice — the second man in China, essentially, they call him the vice premier, like the vice president, but he’s the second man, strong second man. He made the nicest statements today. He said, “You’re doing things that nobody could ever do.” And he actually said it in front of the press, it was nice. I mean I’d love you, just look at it, you don’t have to put it down if you don’t want but I’m sort of entitled to one good story in The New York Times. I started off, I ran against very smart people and a lot of them.
But he wasn’t done trying to convince the Times to give him a puff piece. Later on, he sold himself as a New Yorker who rose from the bottom to become president as justification that he should get obsequiously covered by the paper.
From the transcript:
TRUMP: I came from Jamaica, Queens, Jamaica Estates and I became president of the United States. I’m sort of entitled to a great story from my — just one — from my newspaper. I mean, you know, anyway I agree with you 100 percent and I’m honored to have spent the time with you and I’d like you to call me and I’m going to work on that so hard you have no idea. Cause I think you’re right.
Well, there you go. A man who regularly calls the Times the “Failing New York Times” and feels no responsibility for authoritarian regimes adopting his “fake news” attacks on the media believes the paper absolutely owes him a fawning rags-to-riches narrative.