- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 1, 2017

President Trump’s war with the mainstream news media continued with gusto on Saturday. Mr. Trump began the long Fourth of July weekend by firing off a trio of tweets directed at major broadcasters.

“Word is that @Greta Van Susteren was let go by her out of control bosses at @NBC & @Comcast because she refused to go along w/ ‘Trump hate!’,” the president tweeted well before noon.

“I am extremely pleased to see that @CNN has finally been exposed as #FakeNews and garbage journalism. It’s about time!” followed about an hour later.

“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!” was Mr. Trump’s finale, referring to a battle which began Thursday between Mr. Trump and the two MSNBC hosts, who were at one point, considered more allies than enemies of the president.

The short missives are very popular with the president’s fans, who have retweeted these messages up to 20,000 times, and liked them with the familiar Twitter heart symbol up to 33,000 times.

That is not the case with the networks; many hosts have come forward to complain that such public displays are unseemly. Republican lawmakers joined in the fray, either through formal statements or media interviews..

In the last 72 hours, Sens. John McCain of Arizona, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina all complained that Mr. Trump was “not a positive role model” or “not presidential.”

The White House battle with the news media has been building for months, if prominent research is any indicator. In March, a telling and meticulous Harvard University analysis found that 80 percent of both print and broadcast coverage about Mr. Trump was negative during his first 100 days in office.

Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president,” the Harvard poll noted.

A Media Research Center report placed the negative coverage about Mr. Trump at 88 percent.

One news organization went the opposite route, however.

Salon.com declared itself to be “Trump-free” on Tuesday, publishing new stories about Mr. Trump whatsoever. The publication was candid about why so many news outlets dwell on the president, his style and his White House.

“The entire American media has been caught in an endless feedback loop, and we are not immune. But public fascination with his words, deeds and actions has barely ebbed since Election Day or Inauguration Day, if it has ebbed at all. His name and face remain surefire clickbait, for our site and virtually everyone else’s,” the editors noted in a public message — which did not indicate if “trump-free Tuesday” took a toll on their own traffic.

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