NY Times Columnist Begs Trump to Denounce Him

Nicholas Kristof wrote a column on how the media is addicted to Trump

May 7, 2018

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on Monday begged President Donald Trump to denounce him.

Kristof appeared on MSNBC to discuss his Saturday Times op-ed, titled "Our Addiction to Trump."

"In your piece, you jokingly asked Trump to go after you like he has [the Times'] Maggie Haberman, [CNN's] Don Lemon, my colleague Charles Todd. Why?" MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle asked.

"I just feel left out. What am I going to tell my kids? That here he is denouncing all these other people and you know," Kristof said.

"Makes you feel like chopped liver," Ruhle interjected.

"Yeah. It's like being left off the enemies list back in the Nixon years," Kristof said.

Kristof's op-ed discussed the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the media.

"News organizations, especially cable television channels, feed off Trump — like oxpeckers on a rhino’s back — for he is part of our business model in 2018," Kristof wrote. "It’s not optimal to have as president an authoritarian who denounces journalists as enemies of the people, but he has given us a sense of mission and a 'Trump bump.' Every time he denounces us we get more subscriptions."

In his article, Kristof suggested a possible tweet Trump could tweet about him.

(If you’re reading this, President Trump, I’d appreciate a good, thunderous excoriation. You’ve gone after Maggie Haberman, Don Lemon and Chuck Todd, but you’ve publicly denounced me only once — and so incoherently that I couldn’t print out a quote to impress my kids. Next time you’re on Twitter, how about firing off something concise like: "Crackpot Krisitofff is the WORST lying reporter at the FAILING NYTimes EVER!!!")

Kristof told Ruhle that the media's addiction to Trump was great for business but not great for the profession of journalism.

"I think that we in the media really should be more willing to look in the mirror and learn lessons. In 2016 we too often ... kept the camera on him because he answered the crisis in our business model," Kristof said. "As long as cameras were on him and that car wreck, then viewers followed. And that was great for audiences. It wasn't great for our profession. It wasn't great for the country. And I do think we have to push all of us–people on air, writers, executive producers–to also bring in more of these other issues around the country."