Lesley Stahl, the longtime 60 Minutes journalist, was the first one to score an interview with Donald Trump after he won the election. She just revealed that when they were not recording, just talking, he admitted that his constant criticism of the media was done to make people doubt any negative stories about him.
Their wide-ranging on-camera interview did not delve into Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the press, but Stahl said on Monday night that in a candid, off-camera meeting earlier that year, she pressed him to explain his barrage of insults aimed at journalists, and he gave her a clear explanation:
“I said, ‘You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You’re doing it over and over. It’s boring and it’s time to end that,'” Stahl said on stage alongside “PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff.“He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ He said that,” Stahl told the audience, adding, “So, put that in your head for a minute.”
My reaction: Duh. Is there anyone who is not utterly deluded by tribal loyalty that didn’t know that? It isn’t just Trump, this has been a key political strategy for the right wing for decades. And it works. It works brilliantly. It inoculates their followers against anything negative. No conservative has ever done anything wrong because the press just lies about them. That’s really how most of them think now. They’ve been conditioned to think that way by decades of anti-media propaganda.
It’s so effective that you know damn well that Trump’s mindless followers will dismiss this story too. They’ll just breeze right by it, assume she’s making it up, or, of they do admit it’s true, they’ll think it’s totally justified. It has to go down as one of the most effective propaganda efforts in history, in any country.