From The Hill
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is steeling himself for a protracted battle against an increasingly hostile press, adding the media to the list of establishment institutions he intends to crush on his way to the White House.
Trump’s stunning move to make Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon his campaign’s CEO was a decision to shake up his faltering campaign, but was also a clear response to the complaints about the coverage of his candidacy.
Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has championed Trump’s rise while adopting a provocative and combative tone towards the press, the GOP’s congressional leadership and others who have criticized or questioned the nominee.
Bringing Bannon into the Trump tent will almost certainly lead to a new chapter in the fight between Trump and the media, which is already engaged in a fierce debate over how to cover the GOP nominee.
“The press has declared Armageddon on Trump and Trump is responding with Armageddon and all-out warfare,” said Armstrong Williams, a conservative media investor and radio personality who is close friends with Bannon.
Trump benefitted greatly from the media’s wall-to-wall coverage of his campaign during the GOP primaries, with one study finding he’d received $2 billion in free exposure as he ran roughshod over the deepest field of Republicans to ever run for president.
The rise of Trump also boosted the fortunes of media companies, which have enjoyed elevated ratings and web clicks.
More recently, however, the relationship between Trump and the media has soured as his poll numbers have plummeted and television anchors and reporters alike have taken an increasingly skeptical tone in their coverage.
The GOP nominee says he is running against a “crooked media” that he believes is hell-bent on sinking his campaign.
Some of Trump’s conservative allies say the GOP nominee is to blame for the media frenzy and negative coverage that has enveloped him, but even critics of Trump have acknowledged a shift in coverage.
But independent media watchers say that an emboldened press has found new and unorthodox ways to cover Trump that are at odds with past norms or how Hillary Clinton is covered.
And liberal writers Ezra Klein at Vox and Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone took to their pages this week to argue that many journalists have dropped any veneer of impartiality in covering Trump.
“Slowly, surely, the media has turned on Trump,” Klein, Vox News’s editor-in-chief, wrote on Tuesday. “He still gets wall-to-wall coverage, but that coverage is overwhelmingly negative. Increasingly, the press doesn’t even pretend to treat Trump like a normal candidate.”
Klein pointed to CNN fact-checking Trump on-screen and in real-time – something they have yet to do for Clinton.
Read Full Story At The Hill