Donald Trump, who phoned in all his scheduled TV appearances yesterday because he reportedly disliked the way he looked, did another round of phone interviews this morning—and why wouldn’t he? All the major networks but CBS are fine with it.
Trump has so far been able to set the terms of his appearances because everything he does is front-page news. Last night, all the networks broadcast, without break, the entirety of his 45-minute speech, which served in large part to plug his mostly-defunct brands. And Trump did take questions, but the reporters in the audience did not have microphones and most of their inquiries were inaudible. This morning Trump continued the streak with phone interviews that aired on CNN, ABC, MSNBC and FOX News.
Which is all fine, in theory. But where Trump sets the terms of his appearances, misunderstandings occur. When Trump is the only person with a microphone, he can mock a reporter for asking a question about his explicit language. When viewers can’t see Trump’s face during an interview, he can claim he didn’t hear the question about the KKK. When there’s no camera in the room, Trump can consult with whoever he wants before responding—a not-unlikely outcome since he allegedly does it even when debate rules explicitly disallow it.
Then again, nothing the media does is going to make any difference anyway when it comes to Trump.