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Donald Trump Escalates His Fight With The Media


Donald Trump is escalating his fight with the media. Last night, the Republican presidential candidate continued punching Fox News and also Univision, the largest Spanish-language network. During a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Trump swatted aside Univision's Jorge Ramos.


DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. Sit down. You weren't called. Sit down.

JORGE RAMOS: No, no, no.

TRUMP: Sit down.

RAMOS: No, I'm not...

TRUMP: Sit down.

RAMOS: I need...

TRUMP: Go ahead.

RAMOS: I have the right to...

TRUMP: No, you don't. You haven't been called.

RAMOS: I have the right to ask a question.

TRUMP: Go back to Univision.

INSKEEP: Trump's security threw out Jorge Ramos, but later let him back in. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik is here to talk about this, at least until we throw him out. David, good morning.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: (Laughter) Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: So what's the back story between Trump and Univision?

FOLKENFLIK: Well, there's this incredible tension. I mean, they were business partners in the Miss Universe Pageant for Spanish-language viewers. And yet, when Trump came out with some really strong statements against illegal immigration, the notion that people should, you know, 11 million should be deported back to Mexico, to Central America, Univision cut ties, and he sued the network for $500 million. But he's also been very resentful at what he thinks is just hostility from the network toward him because of his strong anti-illegal immigration stance, the idea that not only should illegal immigrants be deported, but their children, who may have been born in this country and therefore, under the current constitution, have the right to full citizenship.

INSKEEP: So you've got this substantive debate here on this issue, and Jorge Ramos goes to this press conference and tries, at least, to confront Donald Trump. Isn't he just about the biggest name on that network?

FOLKENFLIK: Well, think of him as a combination of Peter Jennings, Anderson Cooper, CNN, with a little bit of an edge to him, and maybe something like Mother Jones, or a crusading journalist. You know, Jorge Ramos comes out of a slightly different tradition. He's a crusader on the issue, at the moment, of amnesty or of finding a legal pathway to citizenship for people who are in this country illegally. He is himself was born in Mexico. He speaks to the largest audience of Latinos in the country, really, of any major media outlet. And he's a bit of a crusader on this issue. So he came at that question loaded to really press Trump on that, and Trump wasn't having it. Trump just basically said, you know, go back to Univision, which, really, has echoes for a guy who's calling to throw people back across the border.

INSKEEP: Now, Trump, if I'm not mistaken, is also making remarks about Megyn Kelly, the Fox News anchor. He had an argument with her some weeks ago that seemed to be, in some way, patched up, but Trump has continued talking. Let's listen to some.


TRUMP: It's a very small element in my life, Megyn Kelly. I don't care about Megyn Kelly, but no, I would not apologize. She should probably apologize to me, but I just don't care.

INSKEEP: I just don't care, he says, but he continues talking about it when asked, of course. And that does raise a question about whether Trump's relationship with Fox News, more broadly, can be saved here.

FOLKENFLIK: Well, Trump's continued resentment of Megyn Kelly's questions and the question of other moderators at that Fox-led debate some weeks ago - the Republican leading presidential candidates. His continuing resentment towards that finally led, Monday night, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who's been kind of muted towards Trump, to go after him and say he owes Megyn Kelly an apology, to speak to Fox's bona fides, but really, to express his anger and ire that Trump repeatedly has questioned his judgment and his leadership of the Fox News Channel, which, you know, expects deference from conservatives and from Republicans, particularly during a presidential season.

INSKEEP: You know, some weeks ago, Nate Silver, the political analyst, called Donald Trump the world's greatest troll. Is he?

FOLKENFLIK: Well, look, I mean, I think he's genuinely resentful. At the same time, he's not just scoring points by beating up the media. He's getting the media to cover him. Not just us, but people last night covering his press conference, you know, pillared a post. He's absorbing the oxygen. He's blotting out the landscape. And so the media is buying into his act even as he's attacking the media.

INSKEEP: Hey, thanks very much. That's NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.
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