Donald Trump has begun to limit his cable television appearances to media considered “friendly,” such as Fox News, and is moving away from giving interviews to channels considered hostile, such as CNN and MSNBC.
Fox New’s Howard Kurtz, media analyst and host of “Mediabuzz,” cited sources saying the move is part of a strategy by the Trump campaign to stop the risk of “fanning minor controversies.”
The move comes despite the success Trump has had in the primaries in part by his frequent media appearances.
Trump has denounced CNN in the past, calling the news network the “Clinton News Network,” saying that the channel is dishonest and that he “doesn’t watch it anymore.”
.@CNN is all negative when it comes to me. I don’t watch it anymore.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2016
The last time Trump appeared on CNN was on June 13, a week before his former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski joined CNN as a political commentator.
The presumptive nominee has also been critical of MSNBC, pointing to specific moderators and hosts whom he considers dishonest and unfair. Most recently, his criticism has been aimed at Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press,” whom Trump calls “sleepy eyes.”
Sleepy eyes Chuck Todd, a man with so little touch for politics, is at it again.He could not have watched my standing ovation speech in N.C.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2016
Trump has also had feuds with Joe Scarborough, host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. The two—Trump and Scarborough—used to be on friendly terms, and Trump was a regular caller on the show.
However, their friendship soured during the primary season when Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski were critical of the presumptive Republican nominee’s rhetoric. It led to a publicized “tweet war” where Trump said the show was “rapidly fading.”
The last interview given on MSNBC was on May 20 when Trump phoned into “Morning Joe.” He later criticized Scarborough saying in an interview with Kurtz that the former GOP congressman “went totally rogue” and “went essentially to the Democrats’ side.”
Donald Trump has had similar hostilities with Fox News and anchor Megyn Kelly, which led to Trump skipping one of the Republican debates during the primaries. Trump has since smoothed over those hostilities, and gave an exclusive interview to Kelly in Trump Tower in May.