Why does President Trump continue his ferocious attacks on media as “fake news” and “really bad people” who “don’t love our country”? Surely, he understands that relentless assaults won’t win him more favorable, or even more balanced coverage.
Trump defenders say the President rips the press because they deserve it; critics say his constant barrage exposes the president as “unhinged” and self-destructive. Both sides are wrong, actually: Trump’s media bashing reflects a comprehensive strategy. He knows that liberal bias tainted the press long before he arrived on the scene, and that bias deeply damaged media credibility. With each new slam by Trump, journalists get more hostile, the bias gets more obvious, and the public trusts them even less.
President Trump has opted to undermine media credibility rather than trying to earn better treatment for himself and his agenda. That choice may not benefit the country or its institutions but, as a political tactic, it just might work.