Donald Trump and Network PR
A recent CNN headline screamed, “Donald Trump is Fox News’ Top PR guy” … the article then went about the task of trying to argue that President Trump is the news network’s best public relations voice, because, though he remains antagonistic to the rest of the media, he seems to love Fox.
The writer had a point, really. In a recent one-on-one with ABC’s David Muir, the journalist asked Trump about his recent meeting at CIA headquarters. Some had criticized the speech, but Trump was ready to brush it off. When Muir pressed him on it, Trump actually told the ABC anchor to go watch Fox to see how the event was covered.
But Trump wasn’t done. He continued to pile on, insisting the other networks, including ABC, covered the meeting “very inaccurately,” but that Fox did a great job. Trump’s comments included the following: “That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches…”
So, is Mr. Trump really pushing Fox, or is he pushing himself as the arbiter of what is good news work? The answer seems to be the latter. During the campaign, when Megyn Kelly clashed with Trump, he went after her and the network. When other journalists, pundits, and talking heads praised Trump, they were “the best,” and everyone else was “fake news.”
Others suggest Trump really is motivated to share and comment on what he sees on Fox. After a recent episode of the O’Reilly Factor, Trump tweeted out a “solution” to the problem discussed on the show, namely, violence in Chicago.
So, is the President of the United States becoming a filter and a megaphone for what he sees on TV? No, not becoming. He has been for years. Many expected this behavior to stop once Trump was in the White House, but there has been no slowdown. Podium speechifying President Trump sounds more reasonable, calm and calculated. Tweeting Trump is just as brash, open and blunt.
If that’s Trump promoting Trump, it’s having an interesting effect. His base still loves the filterless Tweeter, while those who reticently but hopefully voted for him wish he would just quit it.
Tough to say which will happen. It’s early in his Presidency. He’s getting a lot going, and he’s talking about a lot of things, but he’s also still in the honeymoon phase. Moving into the White House is an adjustment period, even for a billionaire.