On February 16, President Donald Trump gave a press conference in which he dodged questions and repeatedly mocked the media. During and after the press conference, right-wing media figures praised his performance, calling him “brilliant,” “in control” and “awesome to watch.”
In A “Stunning” Press Conference, Trump “Launched An Extraordinary Denunciation” Of The Media
CNN: In Today’s Press Conference, Trump “Launched An Extraordinary Denunciation” Of The Media And “Displayed A Sense Of Anger And Grievance” Rarely Seen By Presidents. CNN reported that President Donald Trump “launched an extraordinary denunciation” of the media and his critics in his unscheduled February 16 press conference, stating that he “displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public.” From the February 16 report:
President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary denunciation Thursday of his critics, complaining he inherited a “mess” and slamming stories that his campaign was constantly in contact with Russia as “fake news.”
Trump held court during a news conference that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, carving out a stunning moment in modern American political history. He displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public -- let alone one who has been in office for just four weeks. [CNN.com, 2/16/17]
Conservative Media Praise Trump's Unhinged Press Conference As “Awesome” And “Bold And Fresh”
Fox’s Eric Bolling: Donald Trump Was In His Element, And It Was Awesome To Watch.”
ERIC BOLLING (CO-HOST): The president stayed at the podium for more than an hour and took literally dozens of questions from the full spectrum of media. Broadcast, cable, print, bloggers. The room, at times, looked like a WWE arena with the mainstream media having fits about being called out for their unfair reporting of the Trump administration. This is vintage Trump, though. It was campaign Trump. Donald Trump was in his element and it was awesome to watch. K.G., it was almost like, you know that whack-a-mole game? One stands up, boom, he gets smacked down, the next one stands up, boom, he gets smacked down. They were asking for this. [Fox News, The Five, 2/16/17]
Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle: “He Answered All The Questions” And “I Thought It Was Good.”
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): It was like Edward Scissorhands, like he had ten arms and was whacking all over the place. Anyway, it was very funny. When I was watching it, I was thinking to myself, wow, this is wildly entertaining. Then I thought to myself, wait a second, this is supposed to be a news conference and answering the questions, but I think he had also come through a tough week and with everything that happened with Flynn, and he was like, enough already and laid down the law.
But what was interesting to me is there was a little bit of a convivial atmosphere and when he said “I'm changing the name, very fake news,” even Jim Acosta, we didn’t show the rest of that clip, laughed, and the rest of the place laughed. It loosened it up a little bit, and there was kind of an understanding like, OK, this is how it's going to be. But guess what? He answered all the questions. He was up there for over an hour and great. I thought it was good. It reminded me a little bit of the free accessibility when he was out on the campaign, and everybody was there and able to ask what they liked. So I don’t know, I enjoyed it. [Fox News,The Five, 2/16/17]
Fox’s Dana Perino: Trump “Has Made Journalism Great Again.”
GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): Juan, he is the -- he is the Fox News president! Everything that he says, we've said.
JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): Yeah, yeah, yeah -- that's right.
GUTFELD: It's amazing, it's like I go “I think I heard that --”
DANA PERINO (CO-HOST): But here's the thing about the opposition party, if it's the media, he is -- a rising tide lifts all boats. Subscriptions are up across the board for all mediums, from internet web sites that require a subscription, hard copy newspapers, Fox News --
GUTFELD: The New York Times is not failing.
BOLLING: The failing New York Times --
PERINO: Everybody is doing better, so he has made journalism great again. [Fox News, The Five, 2/16/17]
MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren: I Give Trump “An ‘A’ For Availability … Regardless Of What The Answers Were.”
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (HOST): A lot of questions and answers today were quite heated. The president blasted the media on occasion, but I have to give the president a mark of “A” for availability. At least he came out and talked to them, regardless of what the answers were. Do you agree with me or not? [MSNBC, For The Record, 2/16/17]
Fox’s Chris Wallace: “He Wasn’t Unhinged” And “Overall, I Thought He Was In Control.”
BILL O’REILLY (HOST): Before we get to overall impression, Goldberg and I differ. He thinks the president was a bit unhinged. I do not. You say?
CHRIS WALLACE: Well, look, there were some moments in there that made me uncomfortable, when Donald Trump said it would be good politics to blow that Russian spy ship out of the water. I’m not sure that was a great moment for diplomacy. But, no, he wasn't unhinged. I think that this was a determined effort by this president, who is by far the best spokesman in his administration, for his administration, to seize the narrative. There’s a growing talk here in Washington that there’s chaos. You’ve got John McCain talking about there’s disarray of the White House. There have been some real problems, it’s not all just a narrative. And this was a president saying, “I’m in charge, I know what I'm doing. I’m not going to bend to Washington. Washington’s going to have to get used to me.
O’REILLY: Yeah, he was defiant, but in a low key way. I didn’t seen any hysteria, and for your submarine analogy, he made that by saying, “look, some people would like to see me blow it out of the water, this Russian submarine 30 miles off the U.S. coast in international waters. But I'm not going to do that because they want peace,” and then, he went into a peace thing. I don't know why that would have made you uncomfortable. That kind of reassured me he wasn't Dr. Strangelove.
WALLACE: I remember when Ronald Reagan talked about we’re going to bomb the Soviet Union in five minutes as he was doing a radio check --
O’REILLY: That was a joke.
WALLACE: I just don’t think the president should even talk about that.
O’REILLY: You’re old school.
WALLACE: But, no, the fact was that overall, I thought that he was in control. It’s his style, it’s not Barack Obama's, and I’m sure there are a lot of your viewers out there saying, “thank god,” and he seized control of the narrative and he said, “chaos? Heck no. It’s running like a smoothly-tuned machine.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 2/16/17]
Fox’s Ed Henry: “We Saw A Human Side Of The President” When He “Opened Up” About Allegations Of Antisemitism.
ED HENRY (HOST): James, another point I was fascinated by, we saw almost a human side of the president when he was asked, yet again, about allegations of antisemitism either on his part or on the part of people close to him, and he kind of opened up.
JAMES ROSEN: He did. On the one hand, people who know Donald Trump for many years will tell you that he’s thin-skinned, that he overreacts to even the slightest criticism. On the other hand this is a man who has endured criticism of an American president like no other probably, including these charges of antisemitism, and he opened up on that score in his news conference today. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 2/16/17]
Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro: “LOL Trump Is Hammering The Press!”
1. LOL Trump is hammering the press!
2. OMG Trump has a hammer!
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 16, 2017
Fox’s Bill O’Reilly: “Bold And Fresh Press Conference By The President Today.”
Bold & fresh press conference by President Trump today. His main themes: press dishonesty and national security leaks. Watch The Factor-BO'R
— Bill O'Reilly (@oreillyfactor) February 17, 2017
Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell: “The Only People Upset About Trump's Treatment Of The Partisan Press, Are The Partisan Press. Americans Are Cheering.”
The only people upset about Trump's treatment of the partisan press, are the partisan press. Americans are cheering. https://t.co/q4bmlUVQZT
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) February 16, 2017
Conservative Radio Host Steve Deace: People Think Trump Can De-legitimize The Media. Hogwash. Trump Is A Byproduct Of Media De-legitimizing Itself.”
Thank you for this RB. People think Trump can de-legitimize the media. Hogwash. Trump is a byproduct of media de-legitimizing itself. https://t.co/UYUSJu7HfI
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) February 16, 2017
The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: “Best Presser Ever.”
BEST PRESSER EVER=> Trump Lectures Press Says CNN Is “Full of Such Anger and Hate” (VIDEO) https://t.co/H4Cl4MNS1J
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) February 16, 2017
The Resurgent's Josh Hammer: “Trump’s Conscientious Positioning Of The Media As Public Enemy No. 1 Is Nothing If Not Politically Brilliant. And The Media Deserve It.”
Trump’s conscientious positioning of the media as public enemy no. 1 is nothing if not politically brilliant. And the media deserve it.
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) February 16, 2017
Ann Coulter: “Trump Is Already Head Of State. After That Press Conference, In My Eyes, He's Now Head Of Church.”
Trump is already head of state. After that press conference, in my eyes, he's now head of church.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 16, 2017