Donald Trump may be trying to destroy the “failing” New York Times, but it seems that his rhetoric has just made the publication more popular than ever, sending subscriptions “though the roof” according to an editor.
These days, any publication that prints something Trump doesn’t like is anything ranging from “fake news” to “FAKE NEWS” to “VERY FAKE NEWS” (Trump has never provided a guide to how he defines each of the terms) — and the New York Times is one of his favorite targets for criticism what with all the truth-telling and whatnot.
Over the weekend, Trump said the New York Times — which has won more than 100 Pulitzer Prizes — is “failing.” But the newspaper’s executive editor Dean Baquet says it’s actually quite the opposite — and Trump is helping immensely.
“Trump is the best thing to happen to the Times’ subscription strategy,” Baquet says. “Every time he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly. Our digital subscriptions are through the roof, our print subscriptions are up.” But he warns that it is important to realize the motivation behind Trump’s statements, no matter how much The Donald is driving subscriptions:
“If you look at the pattern of the president’s tweets, they’re actually designed to minimize the institutions who are charged with holding him accountable, and I think that’s dangerous.”
Baquet also hit back at Trump’s recent demonization of anonymous sources:
“In an administration that has expressed so much distaste for the press and so much distaste for our role, are you surprised that some of the people who want to criticise the administration want to do it without their names attached? I’m not.”
“He’s been an anonymous source throughout his career, especially when it helped him and when it burnished his reputation,” he added, referencing Trump’s habit of providing information — true or not — under fake names.
On Monday, Sean Spicer clarified that all press isn’t, as Trump says, “the enemy of the American people.” Only the New York Times and Politico and all the other organizations Trump calls “fake news” — in other words, those who criticize him — are the “enemy.”
It is clear what Trump is doing. It is clear that he needs to be stopped. Let’s make that happen.
Featured image via Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla