President-elect Donald Trump met Monday with television news executives and some well-known TV journalists at Trump Tower and repeatedly told them the campaign reporting about him was “unfair” and “dishonest.”
The president-elect specifically called out reporting by CNN and NBC that he deemed unfair, according to four people who attended the meeting, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting was off the record, reports Washington Post.
The group included some of the top news media figures that Trump had aimed barbs at during the campaign, including “Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd; ABC News anchors George Stephanopoulos and David Muir; CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett; ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz; “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt; and a CBS News contingent that included Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose, John Dickerson and Gayle King.
Among the network news executives present were CNN Worldwide Chairman Jeff Zucker, NBC News President Deborah Turness, MSNBC President Phil Griffin, ABC News President James Goldston, and the four top executives from Fox News, Bill Shine, Jack Abernethy, Jay Wallace and Suzanne Scott.
Trump was joined by his newly appointed chief White House strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top adviser.
The meeting didn’t include representatives of newspaper, radio or online-news organisations, although Trump has scheduled two meetings with the publisher and journalists from the New York Times on Tuesday, including one on-the-record session.
Instead of striking a harmonious tone to build rapport following the election, Trump was combative, participants said. In a calm and deliberate voice, he told the group sitting around a conference table that they had failed to provide their viewers with fair and accurate coverage, and told them they failed to understand him or his appeal to millions of Americans.
Trump showed no love for the media during the long campaign, calling reporters the “lowest form of humanity.” And on Monday he repeatedly used the words “unfair” and “dishonest” to describe the coverage, participants said. - IH