President Donald Trump mercilessly roasted the mainstream media and declared they deserved “a very, very big, fat failing grade” for their first 100 days covering his administration during a rally Saturday evening in Pennsylvania.
The torching of media elite came the same night the president snubbed the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 to not attend. Reagan, at the time, was recovering from an assassination attempt.
“Their priorities are not my priorities, and they’re not your priorities, believe me. Their agenda is not your agenda.”
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,” Trump told the raucous crowd of an estimated 11,000. “They are gathered together for the White House correspondents’ dinner – without the president.”
“They’re trapped at the dinner, which will be very, very boring,” the president added.
The president proceeded to rip the media point by point , singling out specific outlets for what, he termed, their incredibly dishonest reporting. They’re “incompetent, dishonest people,” Trump said.
“If the media’s job is to be honest and to tell the truth, then I think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very big, fat failing grade,” Trump added.
The worst of the bunch, Trump said, were outlets like CNN and MSNBC, which spout "fake news" on a daily basis. The comment sparked a long and loud series of "CNN sucks" chants from the crowd.
Trump then issued a particularly damning assessment of the "totally failing New York Times."
Trump mocked the newspaper for business and real estate failures, which he suggested undermine the paper's credibility.
The president predicted The Times soon would only exist on the internet because the paper is becoming increasingly smaller, saying the paper would soon look "like a comic book." He noted that The Times made the decision to sell its original beautiful building — "a cathedral to journalism" — for around $130 million before the company it sold the building to auctioned it off for $500 million.
"And now they live in a very ugly office building in a crummy location," Trump said.
He then noted that The Times lost approximately $1.3 billion after buying The Boston Globe before it "gave it away."
"And then they write nasty editorials and op-eds telling me how I should be handling world events and our country," Trump jeered. "But that's what we have. They're incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because they covered it — us, me, but all of us — they covered us so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad."
"Remember their predictions? They lost a lot of people because of the way they covered," Trump said.
He also emphasized a few recent studies showcasing that the American people agree the media are out of touch.
"According to a Morning Consult poll, more than half of Americans say the media is out of touch with everyday Americans," Trump said. "According to Media Research Center, 89 percent of the media's coverage of our administration has been negative and purposely negative."
But when it comes to accurately and fairly reporting on the actions he has taken in his first 100 days in office, Trump said the media "won't print them" and "won't report them because the Washington media are part of the problem."
"Their priorities are not my priorities, and they're not your priorities, believe me. Their agenda is not your agenda," Trump said.
The president insisted there is no place he'd rather be celebrating his first 100 days than in Pennsylvania — a state that proved so crucial for him on Election Day.
"And I could not be possibly more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?" Trump said. "But next year, maybe we'll make it more exciting for them in Washington and we'll show up. But we have a good chance of showing up here again next year, too."
Last Modified: April 29, 2017, 10:56 pm