Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Donald Trump and nine other presidents who had complicated relationships with the media

Although Donald Trump enjoys a singularly combative relationship with the media, he is not the first US president to view the fourth estate with hostility.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) was the first president to deliberately cultivate journalists, says Mark Feldstein, journalism professor at the University of Maryland.
"The newsmen would gather around him and he would tell them stuff, some off the record, some on the record," Feldstein says.
"He made great copy — he was young, charismatic and he had young children — and all those things were new and exciting and happening at a time when newspapers were really taking off as a profit making mass media."
President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945), a distant cousin of Theodore, was the next US leader to enchant reporters.
"He had big problems with newspaper publishers, who were conservative Republicans opposed to his liberal democratic reforms," Feldstein says.
"But the reporters themselves adored Roosevelt and so did the photographers, who covered up Roosevelt's paralysis from polio and did not show pictures of FDR in his wheelchair."


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