Having a healthy ego is a requirement for anyone who aspires to be President of the United States. But there has never been a president with the kind of psychotically twisted self-image as Donald Trump. He has explicitly declared himself as the best in the world at whatever subject he happens to be babbling about at the time. Whether it’s taxes or war or energy or finance or women, Trump is adamant that he knows more than anybody else (see the video below). It’s rather impressive that he can be so self-aggrandizing and so wrong at the same time.
So naturally Trump is obsessed with rankings and ratings and other measures of ability that he can exploit to make himself feel like he isn’t the miserable failure that he knows he is deep inside. And since he regards Fox News as an extension of himself, the cable TV ratings are a big part of Trump’s notion of self-worth. That’s why when he saw some ratings data (from the Daily Caller, the ultra-rightist website run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) that noted the poor performance of CNN, he leaped at the chance to sarcastically congratulate the network as if these results were specifically heralding him.
Of course, anyone who follows the cable news business already knows that CNN has been lagging behind both Fox News and MSNBC. So it’s hard to figure out why Trump got so excited. But more interesting is the fact that Trump’s joy seems to ignore an important part of reality: Trump’s approval is even worse than CNN’s ratings. In fact, as disclosed in a recent poll, the American people trust CNN more than they do Trump or Fox News:
“Attacks on the ‘fake news’ media have been a staple of President Donald Trump’s messaging as both a presidential candidate and commander in chief, but new polling from Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter suggests that when it comes to credibility, that rhetoric really only resonates with Republicans.”
This poll shows that a majority of 53 percent regard CNN as “credible.” The same goes for another target of Trump’s, the New York Times. And all three broadcast networks came in higher than 60 percent. Fox News was below all of them at 52 percent. And that’s with 70 percent of Republicans believing it’s credible (a number that affirms the cult nature of their relationship with both Fox and Trump). Numerous other polls have been conducted on the question of trust, and in every single case the American people said that they trust the media more than they do Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump’s own ratings have achieved a dubious distinction as being lower than any president in history. So Trump is right about being the best – at least at being hated. Even the disreputable, right-wing, pro_Trump pollster, Rasmussen, has Trump down five points (to 47%) since the release of the redacted Mueller report less than a week ago. The more reliable Reuters poll shows that Trump has declined to a dismal 37 percent.
So to shore up his faltering standing with the public, Trump has spent Monday morning frantically posting clips of Fox News slobbering all over him. No less than five such clips were tweeted featuring crackpots like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin. It’s the only way he can manage to salve his wounded and fragile ego. He is a man consumed by fear. And every tweet wherein he lambastes special counsel Robert Mueller, and the “witch hunt,” and the “Angry Democrats,” and the media, just reinforces his guilt and his desperation to suppress it.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.