BBC Journalist Huffs: Trump Fans ‘Don’t Have Much Respect’ for the Press

BBC journalist Katty Kay doesn’t appreciate the low regard Trump fans have for the press. Kay appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Thursday, and lamented that the President-elect “certainly feels the freedom to go around [reporters].”

She complained, “His supporters would probably agree with that strategy because they don't have much respect for the media anyway.”

Host Joe Scarborough began:

JOE SCARBORUGH: Katty Kay, let's talk about the media and the media tweets and just Donald Trump's approach to the media. A lot of people, I think, that are being hyperbolic saying that he's going to be like Putin and drag them off to jail…. That's never going to happen but I do think he is at war with the media on another front, he feels they were wrong about him during the primary. They were! He feels they were wrong about his chances during the general election. They were! And he knows he's got, what, 15, 20, 25 million people and knows he can get a message out and bypass everybody. I do think that, for instance, CNN is his target right now. Morning Joe was his target this past summer. The New York Times is a target right now. I think he feels the freedom that other people have not felt in the past to go over, around them and to bash them head-on.

However, Kay appeared to criticize Trump’s approach to responding to the liberal press, as being beneath the office of President:

KATTY KAY: It does raise a bigger question, I think, his tweets about the media particularly when he takes on one single reporter or one single news outlet. You raised The Crown earlier and we had in one episode the question about reverence for the office…is there something in Donald Trump's tweeting and in the way he tweets when he’s being petulant about one reporter or other risks undermining the reverence we hold for the office of the presidency. I mea,n it’s one thing to communicate in an modern and up front way that his supporters like and that seems to have no — that tells it like is, which is what people like. It's another to perhaps tarnish the reputation of the office. Maybe that's being old fashioned of me.

Guest Al Sharpton offered his opinion as to why Trump has such deep disdain for elites:

AL SHARPTON: I think it also speaks to something deeper than that a New Yorker can understand. Donald Trump and his father were out-of-borough guys who felt they were fighting the Manhattan elite that controlled real estate and everything else. And even though he and I would debate and fight, we always saw it the same way; out-of-borough guys that were underestimated, he was a Queens guy, he had money but he was a Queens guy. He was not accepted at the power spots. He didn't have breakfast at the Regency and I think that his taking on a lot of the CNNs and The New York Times was – you guys always underestimated us…

However, Sharpton then went to offer his advice on how the media should fight Trump:

SHARPTON: I also think that therein lies the strategic way to fight him because he wants to show that he can be bigger than he's expected to be, and he wants to be great. I think that's why if you combat him, he's going to combat back. If he is being appealed to that he can show that he can be everything everyone thought he couldn't be, he might rise to a different occasion which is why I'm going to challenge him in a strategic way because I think that's really at core, he's proving something even where he is now.

Scarborough expanded on that by repeating his warning to liberal elites in the media and politics, not to underestimate Trump, especially now that he surprisingly won the election. Also, saying that there is historical precedent to what has happened, citing previous Presidents: Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower and Theodor Roosevelt in a discussion with a guest presidential historian.

Here is the excerpt from the December 1st discussion on Morning Joe:

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

12/01/2016

7:11:03 – 7:14:51 AM

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Katty Kay, let's talk about the media and the media tweets and just Donald Trump's approach to the media. A lot of people, I think, that are being hyperbolic saying that he's going to be like Putin and drag them off to jail. I don't — that's never going to happen but I do think he is at war with the media on another front, he feels they were wrong about him during the primary – they were! He feels they were wrong about his chances during the general election – they were! and he knows he's got, what, 15, 20, 25 million people and knows he can get a message out and bypass everybody. I do think that, for instance, CNN is his target right now, Morning Joe was his target this past summer. The New York Times is a target right now. I think he feels the freedom that other people have not felt in the past to go over, around them and to bash them head-on.

KATTY KAY: Yeah, I think he certainly feels the freedom to go around them and his supporters would probably agree with that strategy because they don't have much respect for the media anyway. It does raise a bigger question, I think, his tweets about the media particularly when he takes on one single reporter or one single news outlet. You raised The Crown earlier and we had in one episode the question about reverence for the office…is there something in Donald Trump's tweeting and in the way he tweets when he’s being petulant about one reporter or other risks undermining the reverence we hold for the office of the presidency. I mean it’s one thing to communicate in an modern and up front way that his supporters like and that seems to have no — that tells it like is, which is what people like. It's another to perhaps tarnish the reputation of the office. Maybe that's being old fashioned of me.

AL SHARPTON: I think it also speaks to something deeper than that a New Yorker can understand. Donald Trump and his father were out-of-borough guys who felt they were fighting the Manhattan elite that controlled real estate and everything else. And even though he and I would debate and fight, we always saw it the same way; out-of-borough guys that were underestimated, he was a Queens guy, he had money but he was a Queens guy. He was not accepted at the power spots. He didn't have breakfast at the Regency and I think that his taking on a lot of the CNNs and The New York Times was – you guys always underestimated us but I also think that therein lies the strategic way to fight him because he wants to show that he can be bigger than he's expected to be, and he wants to be great. I think that's why if you combat him, he's going to combat back. If he is being appealed to that he can show that he can be everything everyone thought he couldn't be, he might rise to a different occasion which is why I'm going to challenge him in a strategic way because I think that's really at core, he's proving something even where he is now.

SCARBOROUGH: Exactly. As I've said from the beginning of this campaign, like Ronald Reagan, the greatest thing anybody can do for Donald Trump to help his political career forward is to underestimate him. Doris, let's talk about the dignity of the office of the presidency and context has been sorely missing this political season. Historical context has been missing. People act as if Donald Trump wrote an asteroid to Earth and jumped off it and was the first person of his kind to ever run for president.

Kristian Kafozoff
Kristian Kafozoff is an intern in the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division.

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