(See: Just Above Sunset: Off the Deep End)
What is it with Trump’s hatred of the press? I have a theory:
Back before he ran for president, back when he was a local character in New York City, Trump used to manipulate his own news coverage — calling them up while pretending to be his own spokesperson to praise his “boss” behind his back, spilling the beans on “Mr. Trump’s” sex life, or arguing that he’s actually much richer than everyone thinks (which, of course, he wasn’t) — he was talking mostly with tabloid page-six editors and gossip columnists, all of them desperate for salacious material, the kind of “journalist” who wouldn't dig so deeply into his story in a way that might kill it, since their very livelihood depended on keeping the “billionaire playboy Trump” myth alive — not so much Woodwards and Bernsteins; more like the paparazzi bikers who chased Princess Di into that tunnel.
But once he got into dealing with national political reporters, he found himself out of his league — a different class of journalist who doesn’t really care about the comings-and-goings of the local New York village idiot, but one more likely to dig into a candidate’s background to see how much of it is total bullshit. National media have little incentive to play along with his silliness, and he doesn’t like that.
But even though he’s now playing with journalists who aren’t so likely to play into his fantasies, he still knows enough about how media works to be pretty much able to manipulate what will be the big news of any given day. Reporters and editors and producers already know the rules; they have little choice about what to report on if Trump decides, for example, to insult a famous dead American war hero or the husband of one of his closest advisers. It’s not that there aren’t more important American issues to delve into, such as why it is that so many unarmed black people seem to get killed by cops, but it’s hard to even start discussing that stuff when the president of the nation is so busy trying to trash the reputation of the late John McCain.
The fact is, however, that other presidents had to have known how to play that game, too — it doesn’t take a genius to know how to do this. But the difference is none of them chose to do it, since none of them (with the possible exception of President Richard Nixon, and probably also President Andrew Johnson) suffered from a particular type of Personality Disorder — although it may be worth noting, according to the Mayo Clinic, that "Many people with one personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of at least one additional personality disorder”, and that "It's not necessary to exhibit all the signs and symptoms listed for a disorder to be diagnosed."