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Trump yelled at CNN, but investors don’t seem worried about the AT&T-Time Warner deal

The president-elect referred to CNN as “fake news.”

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Press Conference In New York Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Donald Trump is angry at CNN because of the reporting the news channel did on documents alleging ties between the Russian government and the president-elect.

That led to a dramatic exchange between Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta at Trump’s press conference today, where Acosta tried to get Trump to answer a question, and Trump accused CNN of being — not publishing — “fake news.”

Many of my colleagues in the press are dismayed by Trump’s attacks on CNN, but I don’t think it’s the worst thing to have the president of the United States upset with your coverage. Ask Fox News, which did just fine during the Obama administration.

And in any case, CNN is capable of defending itself. Here’s the company’s response to Trump, who they note intentionally conflated their coverage of the document’s with BuzzFeed’s coverage:

Now let’s ask Wall Street what it thinks: Is it worried that Trump’s feud with CNN will hurt CNN owner Time Warner’s plan to sell to AT&T for $85 billion? Yes. And also no.

Here’s the yes part: On Jan. 5, Bloomberg reported that Trump, who promised to block the deal during his campaign, was still opposed to the deal. That countered conventional wisdom that Trump’s statements were stump-inspired hyperbole, and knocked a few dollars off of Time Warner shares, which have remained down until today.

And today, you could see Time Warner shares drop briefly after Trump yelled at Acosta. And if you wanted to, you could attribute that slump to Trump’s comments — note the droop at 12:15 eastern, following the press conference:

But now investors seem to be over it, and Time Warner shares are up slightly for the day. I’d speculate about whether that non-reaction is wise or not, but we’re less than two weeks away from a Trump administration and my crystal ball is inoperable.

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