Information is power. The Trump Administration has a bad relationship with the press. In his early morning Twitter rants, President Trump has taken aim at CNN and the New York Times, among other mainstream news outlets, criticizing them for generating and spreading “fake news.”
The Trump White House has a particularly sour relationship with CNN. CNN hotly contested Trump’s claim that the crowd at his inauguration was the largest in U.S. history. The Trump Administration counter-attacked by freezing out the news network.
When President Trump doesn’t agree with the polls or feels he is being unfairly and unjustly represented in the media, he takes to Twitter, where he quickly contradicts or whitewashes the facts, his Twitter account acting as a sort of “Lugenpresse” apparatus. In fact, President Trump has gone so far as to say that “any negative polls are fake news.”
While the Trump Administration’s relationship with the media might be a zero-sum game, it needs to at least appear democratic to the American people. Trump recently lifted the CNN boycott. The White House told the news outlet that Kellyanne Conway could appear on State of the Union. CNN didn’t take the bait; it rejected Trump’s offer. Conway has become President Trump’s ultimate spin-doctor, a purveyor of alternative facts and false narratives. She recently referenced the Bowling Green Massacre, a fictional event, as justification for Trump’s seven country travel ban.
Interviewing Kellyanne Conway would have certainly generated a memorable sound bite or two, something akin to alternative facts or some other Orwellian news speak, but CNN took the higher ground, opting not to boost ratings by giving airtime to a woman notorious for her lies and double-talk.