Wednesday, October 21, 2020

EARLY VOTING IS NOW UNDERWAY IN ALL STATES THAT ALLOW IT, except for New York and parts of Florida (begins Oct. 24), Maryland (Oct. 26), Washington D.C. (Oct. 27), and Oklahoma (Oct. 29).

What did Donald Trump do today?

He reminded people why he attacks the news media.

Trump tried to draw attention again today to his previously taped interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes. It was reported yesterday that Trump found Stahl's questioning too difficult, and stormed out of the interview before it was over. 

Today, he had surrogates repeat his "threat" to post the interview before the show airs on CBS this Sunday. He also posted cryptic still photos from the interview, as well as a post where he claims Stahl had "no idea" about his supposed accomplishments on health care. (If so, she wouldn't be alone in that.) 

Taken at face value, Trump's behavior here is pretty normal, for him. Attacking media figures who don't fawn over him is standard practice, and much more so when the person in question is a woman—like, for example, Thursday's debate moderator Kristen Welker, last week's town hall host Savannah Guthrie, CBS correspondent Weijia Jiang, CNN reporter April Ryan, PBS's Yamiche Alcindor, Kaitlan Collins of CNN, Fox News host Megyn Kelly, MSNBC morning anchor Mika Brzezinski, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, CNN reporter Abby Phillip, NBC reporter Katy Tur, and CBS's Paula Reid.

This isn't the first time Trump has tried to pick a fight with Stahl, either. But in 2016, when she hosted the first post-election interview with Trump, she asked him why he attacked the press. As she described the encounter:

Before the interview, I met with him in Trump Tower, and he really is the same off-camera that he is on-camera. Exactly the same. And at one point he started to attack the press, and it's just me and my boss and him, and he has a huge office, and he's attacking the press. And there were no cameras, there was nothing going on. And I said, "You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You're doing it over and over, and it's boring and it's time to end that. You know, you've won the nomination, and why do you keep hammering at this?" 

And he said, "You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you."


Why does this matter?

  • Someone who can't handle being asked difficult questions can't handle the presidency.
  • Solving problems should be a higher priority for a president than avoiding blame for them.