Donald Trump’s Feud With CNN Threatens to Set Dangerous Precedent


Donald Trump’s Feud With CNN Threatens to Set Dangerous Precedent
  1. Donald Trump’s Feud With CNN Threatens to Set Dangerous Precedent
    variety.com
    CNN loves to tell viewers that it has “Breaking News.” Now, a feud emerging between the Time Warner-owned cable news network and President-elect Donald Trump over CNN’s reporting could signal even more upheaval ahead for the Fourth Estate in covering the Trump’s presidency. CNN found itself in an unusual position Wednesday during a chaotic press conference... Read more » …
    Lifestyle

CNN loves to tell viewers that it has “Breaking News.” Now, a feud emerging between the Time Warner-owned cable news network and President-elect Donald Trump over CNN’s reporting could signal even more upheaval ahead for the Fourth Estate in covering the Trump’s presidency.

CNN found itself in an unusual position Wednesday during a chaotic press conference held by the president-elect. The network that strives to appeal to the broadest swath of viewers, liberal and conservative, was branded as an outlier by the next inhabitant of the nation’s highest office.

“Your organization is terrible,” Trump said to Jim Acosta, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, who tried to get the president-elect to answer a question during a press conference broadcast across many TV and digital outlets. “You are fake news!”

The accusations may have come as a surprise to CNN executives. CNN is as prevalent a news brand as USA Today – more so, in an era of continued revenue downturns and employee cutbacks in the newspaper industry. Thanks to recent investments, CNN now has a perch in the digital and social frontiers, as well as on the TV screen. Yet CNN’s relationship with the Trump administration isn’t just a matter for the journalists who toil on shows like “New Day” or “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

“Soon-to-be President Trump has made it clear he feels the media is biased. It remains to be seen if the only penalty for incurring his ire is to deny a question,” said David Caputo, a professor of political science at Pace University in New York. “Looking forward, President Trump and the media will likely have a contentious relationship. How contentious remains to be seen.”

At issue is a report issued Tuesday by CNN, noting that a two-page synopsis of memos containing allegations against Trump had been included in classified materials presented last week to both the incoming president and President Barack Obama. CNN was first to report the memos, but took pains not to reveal their contents, many of which are salacious and unsubstantiated.

The matter was complicated by BuzzFeed, a digital-news upstart which CNN has sparred with in recent months. CNN has taken shots at BuzzFeed’s business performance on Twitter and recently lured away an influential team of political reporters. Soon after CNN made its report on air and online, BuzzFeed printed the contents of the memos, even though its own team had not substantiated them.

That distinction appeared to elude the incoming Trump administration, and CNN pressed it forward in a statement released Wednesday.

“We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week,” CNN said. “We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”

CNN declined to make executives available to elaborate beyond its press statement. On CNN’s air, however, anchor Jake Tapper spelled out why the president-elect’s response was worrisome. “When Mr. Trump went after our own Jim Acosta, saying he’s fake news and he isn’t going to call on him, what I suspect we are seeing here is an attempt to discredit legitimate, responsible attempts to report on this incoming administration with irresponsible journalism. That hurts us all.”

A breakdown in the network’s relationship with Trump could be cause for concern for many parties. A refusal to take questions from a particular media outlet suggests the Trump admin…

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