The failing @nytimes just announced that complaints about them are at a 15 year high. I can fully understand that - but why announce?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
(Fact-check: The Times’ public editor Liz Spayd reports that complaints were up 5x, while overall letters to the editor, some negative and some not, were at their highest level since 9/11).
But Republican consultant Juleanna Glover, who has worked with top GOP politicians including George W. Bush, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, says these tweets are merely a mask.
“He’s been bashing the media incessantly throughout the campaign, but it is the New York Times, the New York Post, the papers that he’s woken up and read every single day of his life that are going to be the most powerful in this next new world,” Glover said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “I think that’s potentially a great tool and a transparent tool in working with this president.”
On the new podcast, Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen agreed that old media really matters to the incoming president, despite his seeming affinity for Twitter. She pointed to his willingness to do an on-the-record interview at the Times headquarters, as opposed to an earlier off-the-record chat with TV personalities at Trump Tower.
“As we’ve learned this week, Donald Trump probably cares more about the New York Times and what its readers [think] about him than almost anybody,” Rosen said. “Let’s not forget about that. That’s a significant way to influence the situation.”
And it’s not just what the opinion pages say. The consultants said tech mergers and acquisitions may continue with little restraint in 2017, but Glover noted that the way those deals are presented in the Times and the Washington Post will undoubtedly reach the Oval Office.
“The storytelling around what big mergers are going to mean for consumers and voters, and where those are positioned, where they might end up costing Middle America more of their hard-earned dollars, that’s where I think you’re going to see some real trepidation as to whether these big mergers are going to go through,” Glover said.
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.