President Trump has now moved on to attacking other cable networks, such as sports network ESPN.
Trump was responding to ESPN’s anchor Jemele Hill, who called him a “white supremacist” on her personal Twitter account.
Four days after Hill’s tweet, Trump tweeted on Friday: “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!”
At press time, Trump did not follow up with any business specifics.
For the better part of a year or so, President Trump and candidate Trump has moaned about CNN, MSNBC and other networks, tossing in off-the-cuff comments about lower ratings and declining subscriber bases with regard to specific news content.
The facts: all cable TV networks are enjoying continued viewership growth. MSNBC is having a banner year.
Trump is looking for apologies from lots of people. But before asking others to apologize, shouldn’t he look inward?
Should there be a public apology on TV for his many controversial comments, including the uproar over Charlottesville? That would make for some positive TV news. TV remorse can yield strong political and TV brand engagement.
A White House spokeswoman called Hill's remarks a “fireable offense.” Trump didn’t say so; he just responded with a review of ESPN’s business state of affairs — and asked for an apology.
Hill issued a statement saying the comments were her “personal beliefs,” and she has “regret” they “painted ESPN in an unfair light.” ESPN reprimanded Hill for her original remarks.
Is that the reason ESPN has been losing subscribers? Or is Trump just shooting from the hip?
He has a right to comment — in either case. We also defend the right of freedom of speech, when it comes to criticism and characterizations of politicians and those in elected office — on Twitter, TV or elsewhere.
But Trump as media analyst? Beyond CNN, MSNBC or ESPN, does he have opinions about Comedy Central, CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, FX and Hallmark Channel?
Trump should give a TV review every day. Just a short tweet, some cutting remark and then a disparate comment about how that network is failing, sharing his deep media knowledge.