When in doubt, attack. When punched, counter-punch harder. These two ideas have been mainstays in Trump’s repertoire of responses throughout his business life, during campaign season, after the election, and now as President. In most circumstances, it works. Against the New York Times, it will not.
The sad part is that this is one of the few times when I wish that it would work. The Times has been a liberal mouthpiece for years. Some would say decades, but I’ve been watching them long enough to know that there was a time not too long ago, even in the midst of the George W. Bush administration, when the publication was left-leaning but still had a sense of journalistic integrity. That integrity has been completely wiped away in favor of full-blown agenda-promotion and it deserves to be taken down a notch.
Trump’s attacks on the newspaper, with the most recent coming this morning, will have absolutely zero impact overall on the newspaper. It’s too late to try to expose them because they’re already well known as a tool to push a progressive narrative. Those who still read it aren’t going to abandon it because of Trump’s attacks. Moreover, those who were reading it all along and who oppose Trump will start to look to it more as a go-to publication. After all, if Trump’s giving it this much attention, surely they must be doing something right (or rather, left).
As for the indifferent majority, they aren’t swayed by Trump’s Tweets nor are they cognizant of the Times shift to become a propaganda distributor. They read it because they know it.
Trump’s attacks aren’t going to be futile, at least not from a public perspective. The Times will continue to decline based solely on the nature of news and the internet. They’ve had to shift their revenue model multiple times. By attacking them, Trump will take credit the next time they get bad news about revenue or distribution, both of which are certain to happen. Even though he has no influence over them, he’ll take credit as they continue to fall.