CNN’s Brian Stelter detailed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s new strategy of restricting his press accessibility almost exclusively to the friendly outlet of Fox News.
Trump has a long history of favorable coverage from Fox News. He received nearly double the airtime from Fox News than any other network in July, and he received the vast majority of Fox’s coverage during the GOP primary.
CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter highlighted Trump’s new strategy of “saying ‘yes’ to Fox News almost every day but saying ‘no’ to most other major networks” in a September 19 article. Stelter explained that this decision to avoid mainstream news outlets and limit general press accessibility “limits the candidate’s exposure to hard-hitting questions.” Stelter also noted Trump’s highly favorable coverage from Trump sycophant, Fox host Sean Hannity, who acts as “the best symbol of how the candidate gets out his message on his own terms”:
Donald Trump's reputation for being always available to reporters is way out of date.
Trump is saying "yes" to Fox News almost every day but saying "no" to most other major networks and news organizations -- a highly unusual strategy for a presidential nominee.
He called into "Fox & Friends" on Monday morning, he is booked on "The O'Reilly Factor" Monday night, and he has another town hall with Sean Hannity coming up on Wednesday.
Rousing the base instead of reaching out to undecided voters may ultimately pay off for Trump. If nothing else, it limits the candidate's exposure to hard-hitting questions -- while fueling frustration among journalists.
"Trump used to be very, very accessible to the press. At the beginning of his campaign, he was extremely accessible," CNN politics reporter Jeremy Diamond said on Sunday's "Reliable Sources." "You could catch him for quick interviews on the way in and out of rallies. And that has really changed."
Diamond said "he is less accessible I think, in many regards, than Hillary Clinton at this point."
This conservative-focused media strategy is also gaining attention among Trump's critics. "He pretty much exclusively appears on Fox News now," Judd Legum, editor of the liberal news site ThinkProgress, tweeted on Monday.
Trump's relationship with Hannity is perhaps the best symbol of how the candidate gets out his message on his own terms. Trump has taped numerous town halls with the conservative commentator.