President Donald Trump has done himself no favors by making enemies with every major news outlet other than those of a conservative persuasion. Trump has asserted, without evidence, that the media is biased against him and he and his administration have waged an entirely foolish battle which they cannot win. The latest foray against a major network came to a head which led to Trump’s embarrassment.
Vice President Mike Pence is slated to appear on ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS. He, however, refused to appear on CNN. This was expected as Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, announced the Trump administration would only be granting media appearances to networks which they believed would help to further their agenda. It was therefore quite curious why after making that statement, and after Pence refused to agree to an interview, that Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway was offered as a replacement guest.
Rather than take the bait CNN promptly declined to allow Conway on the air, setting up an epic showdown. Much of Trump’s power comes from his ability to bully his way to victory, and CNN opted to call his bluff rather than to give in to Trump’s demands.
The scenario brings up questions about how Trump will handle members of the media who have become tired of his hostile behavior. If Trump is unable to threaten individuals to get what he wants then he is surely losing one of the best tools in his arsenal.