The Queens boy

Journalists and journalistic outlets must never again agree to meet with Trump off the record.

Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post says what the tv people did wrong yesterday and the Times people did right today.

The disaster yesterday:

Brandon Friedman, a Virginia-based public relations executive, offered his theory on Twitter: “They walked into an ambush, agreed not to talk about it, then Trump went straight to the Post with his version.”

Then it was just a hop, skip and jump to a big headline on the Drudge Report, with its huge worldwide traffic: “Trump Slams Media Elite, Face to Face.” As Business Insider politics editor Oliver Darcy aptly put it, that is “how a lot of America will see this.”

The result for the president-elect: He once again was able to use the media as his favorite foil. Having a whipping boy is more important than ever now that the election is over and there is no Democratic opponent to malign at every turn.

And yet at the same time he wants to be besties with the New York Times. It’s as if his mind goes blank every few minutes and he reboots and starts all over from scratch.

On Tuesday, shockingly, a new melodrama arose: Trump’s planned meeting at the New York Times was canceled, then restored.

The Times played it right. Despite a tweet attack from the president-elect, editors refused to go the off-the-record route with Trump, which was his preference, for obvious reasons — because he wanted again to control the story.

With the exception of a brief off-the-record conversation between Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and the president-elect, the meeting was fair game for news stories — as it should be.

Off-the-record was a mistake for the TV people, and it would have been a mistake for the Times. The paper successfully called Trump’s bluff. As much as he professes to despise the Times, he remains in some ways the Queens boy who lusted after Manhattan success and acceptance.

Doesn’t he though. That’s why I call him Donnie from Queens.


Always on the record with Donnie from Queens. Never trust him.

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