Election 2016

President-Elect Trump Makes It Abundantly Clear He's No Fan of a Free Press

The fifth estate is in for one hell of a ride.

Photo Credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Donald Trump summoned the heads and on-air stars of the major television networks and CNN to his Trump Tower fortress Monday for a verbal beating, one we can only assume will be the first of many for this press-hating president-elect. Acording to the New York Times, Trump spent the meeting berating the press, "[describing] the television networks as dishonest in their reporting and shortsighted in missing the signs of his upset victory. He criticized some in the room by name, including CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker."

And that was the restrained version. David Remnick in the New Yorker doesn't mince words:

"In the presence of television executives and anchors, Trump whined about everything from NBC News reporter Katy Tur’s coverage of him to a photograph the news network has used that shows him with a double chin. Why didn’t they use 'nicer' pictures? For more than twenty minutes, Trump railed about 'outrageous' and 'dishonest' coverage. When he was asked about the sort of 'fake news' that now clogs social media, Trump replied that it was the networks that were guilty of spreading fake news. The 'worst,' he said, were CNN ('liars!') and NBC. This is where we are. The President-elect does not care who knows how unforgiving or vain or distracted he is. This is who he is, and this is who will be running the executive branch of the United States government for four years."

Shell-shocked participants told Remnick that the meeting was "totally inappropriate" and "f*cking outrageous." Even the potential news nugget that came out of the event was spoiled by Trump's narcissistic spin-doctoring. He told attendees, "that Mitt Romney, who had been an unvarnished critic during the campaign, now 'desperately wants' to be Secretary of State under Trump. The two men met at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, over the weekend."

Still reeling after Monday's meeting, New York Times executives awoke Tuesday morning to news that Trump had canceled their scheduled meeting, because, ''They continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!"

The Times found out about the cancellation via Twitter. Yes, the upcoming leader of the free world still believes Twitter is the only way to communicate, and feels he does not have to abide by the well-established rules of presidential coverage. Hours later, according to the Washington Post, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks "just casually mentioned that 'we are going to the New York Times' meeting — as if nothing had happened." As of 11am Tuesday morning, the meeting is back on

Our free press is in for a hell of a fight. 

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

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