The morning after Chief of Staff John Kelly came to the White House press briefing to insist it’s not his job to contain the president’s tweeting, Donald Trump demonstrated.
POTUS wanted to make sure his 40.5M followers saw Bill O’Reilly’s tweet that “A free press is vital to protecting all Americans. A corrupt press damages the Republic.”
Trump, who has vowed to revoke NBC’s TV station licenses, after NBC News reported he told military leaders over the summer he wanted a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal also re-tweeted O’Reilly’s tweet on that. While acknowledging POTUS can’t
actually revoke NBC TV stations’ licenses himself, “he is doing major damage to the @NBC brand.”
Others might argue NBC News is doing a fine job damaging its brand, without Trump’s help, as more details emerge about the division’s decision not to break Ronan Farrow’s blockbuster report on Harvey Weinstein. Farrow’s piece, detailing the multitude of women who claim the Hollywood producer sexual harassed and/or assaulted them, broke instead in New Yorker, after languishing at NBC where Farrow had been under contract.
Fox News Channel, Thursday night, reminded viewers that NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim has a parallel career as a Hollywood screenwriter.
Here maybe is a good place to note O’Reilly used to be the brightest star in the Fox News Channel primetime firmament, until The New York Times wrote a pretty comprehensive report on O’Reilly and his employer’s history of settling harassment claims over the years.
And, of course, any discussion of NBC News’ history of brand-damage self-infliction would not be complete without at least mentioning Trump’s “Grab Them By The P**sy” Access Hollywood tape. NBC News also let that huge scoop break elsewhere, though the tape had been in its possession for days, Access Hollywood being a property of NBCUniversal. Some sources said at the time the foot-dragging might be connected to Billy Bush, the Access Hollywood host also heard on the tape, who had recently been named to NBC News’ Today show by Oppenheim.
Locker Room Talk Trump this morning tweeted, of NBC, “Sadly, they and others are Fake News, and the public is just beginning to figure it out!”