Of all Donald Trump’s many bilious behaviors, one of the more tiresomely predictable refrains is the accusation that any news outlet which dares to criticize him is “failing,” in an attempt to somehow equate its business success -- or rather, lack thereof -- with its credibility.
That's his typical Twitter response, frequently in all caps.
The list of publications attacked in this fashion includes, but is not limited to, the Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire, the National Review, the New York Daily News, and now BuzzFeed, which got the Trump Treatment for publishing an intelligence dossier of unverified allegations about his supposed connections to Russia.
In short, Trump contends that publishers are losing their audiences because the public recognizes their content is politically biased and no longer trustworthy.
The only problem with this narrative is that it's not true — not that this matters to Trump supporters.
For those who care about actual numbers, media analytics firm Jumpshot took a look at the Web traffic to 12 news sites deemed “failing” by Trump over the last year, including those listed above, as well as Vanity Fair, CNN, The New York Times,USA Today, NBC, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and Glenn Beck.
According to Jumpshot, Web traffic to all 12 sites across mobile and desktop increased in 2016, with average growth of 23% compared to the previous year. No surprise -- the biggest increase came in November 2016.
Politico led the way with a 145% year-over-year increase in Web traffic, followed by National Review, up 30%; Vanity Fair, up 26%; The New York Times, up 25%; The Wall Street Journal, up 23%; CNN, up 21%; the Union Leader, up 20%; Fox News, up 20%; Glenn Beck, up 15%; USA Today, up 12%; and the New York Daily News, up 10%.Even better, Trump’s tweets actually result in more traffic to the sites, at least some cases. That suggests readers are still interested in hearing what they have to say about The Donald.
Politico once again was in the forefront with a 37% increase in Web traffic after Trump labeled it “failing,” while The New York Times enjoyed a 33% bump upon induction to the failing club. Perhaps they can arrange to be called “failing” once a week from now on.