1. "The failing @nytimes talks about anonymous sources and meetings that never happened. Their reporting is fiction. The media protects Hillary!"
2. "The failing @nytimes, which never spoke to me, keeps saying that I am saying to advisers that I will change. False, I am who I am — never said"
3. "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%"
4. "My rallies are not covered properly by the media. They never discuss the real message and never show crowd size or enthusiasm."
5. "Crooked Hillary Clinton is being protected by the media. She is not a talented person or politician. The dishonest media refuses to expose!"
6. "I am not only fighting Crooked Hillary, I am fighting the dishonest and corrupt media and her government protection process. People get it!"
7. "It is not 'freedom of the press' when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!"
This is a good issue, and he's right that the media are unfair to him and trying to help Hillary. #1 contains an assertion about "meetings" — reported by the NYT here — that never happened. I don't know who's right about that. The NYT says that right after Trump fired Corey Lewandowski as his campaign manager, there was "an intervention":
Joined by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, a cluster of Mr. Trump’s confidants pleaded with him to make that day — June 20 — a turning point. He would have to stick to a teleprompter and end his freestyle digressions and insults, like his repeated attacks on a Hispanic federal judge.... Mr. Trump bowed to his team’s entreaties, according to four people with detailed knowledge of the meeting, who described it on the condition of anonymity. It was time, he agreed, to get on track.The Times goes on to say that Trump failed to change, his advisers now think "he may be beyond coaching," and that he's become "sullen and erratic" in private, mouthing off about the media. So that seems to have set this series of tweets in motion, with the first one calling the NYT story "fiction."
The second tweet also refutes that NYT story, specifically the assertion that "he agreed" to change his ways. Who knows what the truth is? Maybe his family and advisers talk to him all the time about ways to improve and he listens and is his own man, deciding ultimately what to do. If so, there's no big "intervention"-style meeting or momentous agreement to change, but there is perhaps enough material that the Times reporters think they can entertain and reassure their readers in the colorful fashion seen in the article.
The first 4 tweets went up in rapid succession, 9 hours ago. The first 2 were prompted by that NYT piece. ##3 and 4 branched out to media in general. ##5, 6, and 7 came in a burst 4 hours later. Why return to this subject? What's new seems to be a need to forefront "Crooked Hillary" — in ##5 and 6. And #7 tops off a day of attacking the press by anticipating the defense of freedom of the press.
#7 is troublesome. Freedom of the press does largely mean the press is "allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false." At some point, there is libel law, but a public figure like Trump has to show more than just that the statement is completely false. And I am reminded of how Trump has said that he wants to "open up" libel law — something I wrote a very long post about last March. He was confronted by a Washington Post editor, Fred Hiatt:
HIATT: But just – given the Supreme Court rulings on libel — Sullivan v. New York Times — how would you change the law?Asked what does that mean, he said: "I’d have to get my lawyers in to tell you, but I would loosen them up. I would loosen them up." It didn't get any clearer, I'll just say now. The old post is so detailed, and I don't have the strength to go through it again. I only want to say that Trump is weak on freedom of speech. He's a presidential candidate! He's going to be batted around in the press, and it's going to be unfair and unbalanced and full of problems and mistakes. It will only get worse if he becomes President. There's some value to critiquing the press, but at some point it's too much. He comes across as thin-skinned and distracted. Or maybe just too tweety.
TRUMP: I would just loosen them up.
So I'm wary about #7 and it got me thinking about a problem I had with him last March, but Trump succeeded in making media bias the issue of the day. I don't think it will help him get any better press, but maybe the press will pay a little more attention to Hillary's many problems and maybe some people will be a little more skeptical of press reports — even though plenty of people will feel more inclined to think of Trump as narcissistic and petty.