The lads across the pond published a piece from Fire and Fury that's all about Trump and the media, both "real" (Fox News) and "fake" (everyone else).
From Ivanka and Jared's petty nickname for Kellyanne Conway, to Steve Bannon's philosophy of antagonizing the media, here are the highlights.
1. Trump didn't understand that getting conservatives to love him also means getting liberals to hate him, because that's how politics works.
As right-wing media had fiercely coalesced around Trump – readily excusing all the ways he might contradict the traditional conservative ethos – mainstream media had become as fiercely resistant. The country was divided as much by media as by politics. Media was the avatar of politics.
...the president did not see the media’s lack of regard for him as part of a political divide on which he stood on a particular side. Instead, he perceived it as a deep personal attack on him: for entirely unfair reasons, ad hominem reasons, the media just did not like him. Ridiculed him. Cruelly. Why?
2. Trump's so misogynistic he prefers working with women because he doesn't think they have their own agency or agendas.
While Trump was in most ways a conventional misogynist, in the workplace he was much closer to women than to men. The former he confided in, the latter he held at arm’s length. He liked and needed his office wives and he trusted them with his most important personal issues. Women, according to Trump, were simply more loyal and trustworthy than men. Men might be more forceful and competent, but they were also more likely to have their own agendas. Women, by their nature – or Trump’s version of their nature – were more likely to focus their purpose on a man. A man like Trump.
3. Jared and Ivanka gave Kellyanne to Cruella de Vil-inspired nickname.
None were more put off than Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, who, appalled at the shamelessness of her television appearances, extended this into a larger critique of Conway’s vulgarity. When referring to her, they were particularly partial to using the shorthand “nails”, a reference to her Cruella de Vil-length manicure treatments.
Note: Ivanka clearly got Donald's nickname-generating gene.
4. Javanka leaked to the press about sidelining miss "Nails."
By mid-February, she was already the subject of leaks – many coming from Kushner and Ivanka – about how she had been sidelined. She vociferously defended herself, producing a list of television appearances still on her schedule, albeit lesser ones.
5. Trump and Kellyanne have bonded over being wounded by the media.
But she had indeed been sidelined, reduced to second-rate media, to being a designated emissary to right-wing groups and left out of any meaningful decision-making. This she blamed on the media, a scourge that further united her in self-pity with Trump. In fact, her relationship with the president deepened as they bonded over their media wounds.
6. Hope Hicks' media job is to not be in the media.
Hope Hicks, then aged 26, was the campaign’s first hire. She knew the president vastly better than Conway did and she understood that her most important media function was not to be in the media.
7. The Hicks family sees the Trumps as holding Hope hostage.
As the campaign progressed, moving from novelty project to political factor to juggernaut, Hicks’ family increasingly, and incredulously, viewed her as if having been taken captive. (Following the Trump victory and her move into the White House, her friends and intimates talked with great concern about what kind of therapies and recuperation she would need after her tenure was finally over.)
8. Trump likes Hicks as a person but thinks she's doing a terrible job.
The president had charged her with the ultimate job: a good write-up in the New York Times. That, in the president’s estimation, had yet failed to happen, “but Hope tries and tries”, the president said.
On more than one occasion, after a day – one of the countless days – of particularly bad notices, the president greeted her, affectionately, with “You must be the world’s worst PR person.”
9. Tucker Carlson was offered the role of press secretary after other Fox News figures declined.
That's all in the header.
10. Sean Spicer was hesitant to take the gig.
Spicer...kept anxiously posing the question to colleagues in the Washington swamp: “If I do this, will I ever be able to work again?”
There were conflicting answers.
11. Trump slammed Spicey for not being as good as him.
He regularly berated Spicer for his ham-handed performances, often giving his full attention to them. His response to Spicer’s briefings was part of his continuing belief that nobody could work the media like he could, that somehow he had been stuck with a communications team that was absent charisma, magnetism and proper media connections.
12. Trump is obsessed with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
Beyond acknowledging that Trump was a boy from Queens yet in awe of the Times, nobody in the West Wing could explain why he and Hicks would so often turn to Haberman for what would so reliably be a mocking and hurtful portrayal. There was some feeling that Trump was returning to scenes of past success: the Times might be against him, but Haberman had worked at the New York Post for many years. “She’s very professional,” Conway said, speaking in defence of the president and trying to justify Haberman’s extraordinary access. But however intent he remained on getting good ink in the Times, the president saw Haberman as “mean and horrible”. And yet, on a near-weekly basis, he and Hicks plotted when next to have the Times come in.
13. Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner each ran their own rival press operations to leak sh*t against each other.
Kushner had his personal press operation and Bannon had his. The leaking culture had become so open and overt – most of the time everybody could identify everybody else’s leaks – that it was now formally staffed.
14. Trump wanted to do the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but his staff didn't think that he could handle it.
Almost nobody except the president himself thought he could pull off the Correspondents’ Dinner. His staff were terrified that he would die up there in front of a seething and contemptuous audience. Though he could dish it out, often very harshly, no one thought he could take it. Still, the president seemed eager to appear at the event, if casual about it too – with Hicks, ordinarily encouraging his every impulse, trying not to.
15. Trump antagonizing the media is straight-up Bannonism.
Bannon pressed the symbolic point: the president should not be seen currying the favour of his enemies or trying to entertain them. The media was a much better whipping boy than it was a partner in crime. The Bannon principle, the steel stake in the ground, remained: don’t bend, don’t accommodate, don’t meet halfway. And in the end, rather than implying that Trump did not have the talent and wit to move this crowd, that was a much better way to persuade the president that he should not appear at the dinner.