Though the willingness among TV reporters to fact-check Trump and his team is not new, the heightened spotlight of the White House and the awareness that millions of Trump critics are waiting in the Twittersphere, egging them on, seems to have increased the frequency of such encounters.
But such moments also appear to be encouraged by Trump himself, and may play into his favorite narrative about the “fake news media” as his “enemy,” as he tweeted on Friday afternoon. On Thursday, Trump reveled in the spectacle, purposely calling on many anchors whom represent news channels he’s often bashed, like CNN.
Ultimately, it is a mutually beneficial relationship, said Dylan Ratigan, former MSNBC anchor and founder of Helical Holdings, an American resource technology company.
“Anytime Donald Trump can generate a sense of conflict or hostility toward the mainstream media it’s great for his supporters, for his base, and any time a member of the mainstream media can portray themselves as being hard on Donald Trump is great for their supporters, for their base,” Ratigan said. “There’s a mutual benefit to both participants because Trump voters want to see him confront the media and the audiences of the television networks want to see the hosts confront Donald Trump, so it’s like getting to see your favorite fight happen.”