Maggie Haberman: Media of ‘1970s, 1980s, 1990s’ to Blame for Trump

Political News

New York Times White House correspondent and rumor mill spigot Maggie Haberman joined the cast of ABC’s The View on Monday to peddle her book Confidence Man, the latest anti-Trump book to be hawked by a member of the supposedly objective press. During this interview, she was pressed on the media’s role in elevating former President Trump and helping him get into office and why the former President was obsessed with her.

The media responsibility question was posed by co-host Whoopi Goldberg at the very end of their two-segment sit-down. After calling Trump’s time in New York City a glorified “sideshow,” she asked Haberman: “How much do you think the media has to take responsibility for making him the person he is now?”

Instead of admitting that the media of 2015/2016 was doing Hillary Clinton’s bidding by elevating Trump above the rest of the GOP field because he’s who she wanted to go up against, thinking him the weakest option, Haberman blamed journalists from decades ago:

Where I do think there is a significant criticism of the media is the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s when he was doing all this mythmaking about himself and building this artifice brick by brick and each brick was a new story, and he was washed, you know, anew of all his various problems with each story. And that I think is something the industry needs to deal with.

She gave contemporary journalists a pass, simply lamenting that “I think it took a while for us to realize that not every outrage needed to be chased. Not every tweet needed to be chased.”

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Earlier in the interview, faux “conservative” Alyssa Farah Griffin bragged that she could “speak from personal experience” and “worked together” with Haberman while she was inside the Trump White House.

“We worked together when I was at the White House and there was no reporter who got under Donald Trump’s skin the way you did, but he was also fixated on and seemed to almost want your approval,” Farah Griffin gushed. “Why do you think he’s so fixated on you, and it goes to the same question, afraid of you?”

According to Haberman, Trump wasn’t obsessed with her so much as he was clamoring for approval from The New York Times and other New York City elites:

I think it’s about The New York Times which he is uniquely obsessed with. And this has gone back for decades. His sense of being from the outer boroughs in New York City, the elites who he felt, like, looked down on him even though he wanted their approval. And I think that’s a lot of what it’s about, and I’m just the reporter he most identifies with the paper. That’s all.

And in a strange series of comments, before Sunny Hostin got around to actually asking her question (of course, it was about racism), she seemed to take a shot at Haberman. “And it’s interesting because you did get a lot of flak for almost being a flunky for him because you seem to have this unusual access that no one understood. Um. That’s not my question, but it’s just a comment,” she blurted out.

She also took great amusement with something Haberman wrote in the book about Trump missing his wife Melania. “You said Melania’s absence from Washington had a striking impact on Trump, chronically afraid of being alone,” she said with a smile.

This fluffy interview was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Hershey and Procter & Gamble. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

The View
October 3, 2022
11:34:09 a.m. Eastern

(…)

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN: And Maggie, I can speak from personal experience. We worked together when I was at the White House and there was no reporter who got under Donald Trump’s skin the way you did, but he was also fixated on and seemed to almost want your approval. There were countless times you’ll remember I would have to grab you and say, “he wants to do an interview now.” And in fact, a couple of times if the terms weren’t right, you would say, “no.” Why do you think he’s so fixated on you, and it goes to the same question of afraid of you?

MAGGIE HABERMAN: Alyssa, I think it’s about The New York Times which he is uniquely obsessed with.

[Various cast members remark in agreement]

HABERMAN: And this has gone back for decades. His sense of being from the outer boroughs in New York City, the elites who he felt like looked down on him even though he wanted their approval. And I think that’s a lot of what it’s about, and I’m just the reporter he most identifies with the paper. That’s all.

(…)

11:36:18 a.m. Eastern

SUNNY HOSTIN: And it’s interesting because you did get a lot of flak for almost being a flunky for him because you seem to have this unusual access that no one understood. Um. That’s not my question, but it’s just a comment. And also something in your book was striking to me. You said Melania’s absence from Washington had a striking impact on Trump, chronically afraid of being alone. So, he’s – he’s –That’s not my question either, but

[Laughter]

— I thought your book was very interesting.

(…)

11:47:43 a.m. Eastern

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: This is a big ol’ book. And now, you were following you know who when he was mostly a local sideshow here in New York. But always –

[Laughter]

Well, he was! He always was. He would call people doing different accents and pretend to be different people. I mean, it was a whole thing to get attention.

How much do you think the media has to take responsibility for making him the person he is now?

HABERMAN: I try to address this in the book, and one of the things that I think we really didn’t realize – at least when we were covering him in 2016 – Number one, I think it took a while for us to realize that not every outrage needed to be chased. Not every tweet needed to be chased. When we were fact-checking him in 2011 on the birther lie which, you know, that is the rule of the media, but in the current environment, it was just spreading it further.

GOLDBERG: Yeah.

HABERMAN: And so, I think we were not really aware of how that was working.

Where I do think there is a significant criticism of the media is the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s when he was doing all this mythmaking about himself and building this artifice brick by brick and each brick was a new story, and he was washed, you know, anew of all his various problems with each story. And that I think is something the industry needs to deal with.

(…)

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