Psychologizing Donald Trump has become one of the mainstream media’s favorite pastimes — that and attempting to construct house-of-straw arguments meant to expose the president’s failings, past or present, but which often end up as egg on their own faces. For an example of the second, witness the hubris that MSNBC and its rising star, Rachel Maddow, are experiencing after hyping an exclusive on Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns, then delivering a prime-time “nothingburger.”
The first of these pursuits — the probings into Trump’s psyche — was on display Sunday, courtesy of the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, who dismissed the notion Trump is at war with the media, insisting instead he’s the most dependent person on the media anyone has ever met.
“Trump isn’t at war with the media,” he said at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. “He is a creature of the media. He looks to the media for meaning in his own life. … He’s more dependent on the media than anyone you’ve ever met. He hates us because he needs us so much.”
Trump’s obsession with the daily coverage of his presidency is no secret, often revealed by the timing and subject of his apparently haphazard tweets. He reportedly reads The New York Times in print every day — a paper he has famously dubbed “failing” — and has gotten drawn into bitter fights over trivial matters of coverage, such as the size of his inauguration crowd.
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet made similar remarks about Trump’s relationship to the media at the conference Sunday morning, reports Politico. “I think he wants our favor, but when he can’t have it, he gets hugely angry,” he said, adding: “I also think he’s a New York guy, and The New York Times means a lot to him.”
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.