Trump Can't Live Without Media He Loves to Hate

by Alexandra Spychalsky

To say that the Trump family has a complicated relationship with the media would be an understatement. Along with buying gold-plated home furnishings and brainstorming Paul Ryan jabs, hating the media seems to be among Donald Trump's favorite pastimes. His tweets as of late have been an endless barrage against the "crooked" media. But he continues to make headlines on the very same networks and newspapers he lambasts, and his family has not stopped using the media as a platform to promote themselves. Trumps relationship with the media boils down to the old saying, "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em."

In Trump's eyes, the media has long been to blame for essentially any and all of his problems, though at the same time he knows the constant media coverage is probably what got him to the final stage of this election. Trump has forcefully assailed the media, charging it with trying to tank his campaign through a coordinated attack across publisher lines. Over the last few days, his often incomprehensible tweets have focused on "calling out" the media for its "hit jobs" on him, and attempts to rig the election in favor of Hillary Clinton:

At the second presidential debate, he criticized moderator and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for treating him unfairly, as compared to his competitor:

One week later, Trump's wife Melania gave a sit-down interview to Cooper (who Trump claimed was biased against him) on none other than CNN, a network he has claimed is out to get him. And what is she using her media appearance to do? Why, to continue to blame the media for her family's troubles, of course.

Melania sat down with Cooper for her first interview since the Republican National Convention. She spoke about being "bullied" by the media and and how they don't want to see her husband succeed. She blamed the media for the sexual assault allegations coming out against her husband, rather than on the person who is actually being accused of committing the acts.

But for a family so at odds with the media, they are quick to forget that one of their own ranks is a newspaper owner. Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, owns the New York Observer, and this week it was reported that he has explored the possibility of starting a Trump-branded television network after the election. The idea that one would center a media outlet around a man who has been nothing but critical not of only the media, but of the right to a free press, is a little too on the nose, even for this election.

Trump knows the media isn't out to get him, but his supporters are fans of the "anti-elite" trope that he must pander to. Or is it that he knows that going out against the media just gets him more headlines and air-time? It's a symbiotic relationship, despite Trump's best efforts to ignore the upside.