Donald Trump is being accused of having a “size fixation.”
The Republican presidential front-runner engaged in another media-directed Twitter war Friday, but not at Fox News — his favorite target. This time, Trump lined his sights on the left-leaning Politico.
He began with a few tentative volleys on Thursday.
.@politico, which is not read or respected by many, may be the most dishonest of the media outlets— and that is saying something.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2015
The failing @politico news outlet, which I hear is losing lots of money, is really dishonest! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2015
Hearing nothing back, on Friday he got to specifics with this tweet:
Dishonest @politico just called to say that none of the polls including Fox, NBC, CNN, Zogby, & Morning Consult matter. Serious haters.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2015
That got a response. Politico shot back:
.@realDonaldTrump: Your account of the phone call with a @politico reporter is false. Real story coming soon. https://t.co/usTycoK850 — POLITICO (@politico) September 25, 2015
And less than a half-hour later, Politico followed up with this:
.@realDonaldTrump Here’s the real story: http://t.co/FbKtrr7yXM
— POLITICO (@politico) September 25, 2015
Politico’s own description of events was included in the piece the outlet referred to above, headlined, “Donald Trump’s Size fixation.” It reads:
Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski cited recent Morning Consult and Zogby polls on an internal conference call on Monday. The campaign’s daily conference calls usually include the campaign’s political director Michael Glassner and its state directors.
After being asked about the Monday call in an email, Lewandowski called Politico at 2:39 p.m. on Friday to confirm that he had cited both polls on the conference call. He said that they were “one of many stories that were available” and cited in the campaign’s daily rundown of press clippings.
Informed that the Zogby poll is not considered highly reliable by many experts, Lewandowski responded, “I think John Zogby is a well-respected pollster.”
Data guru Nate Silver has referred to Zogby as “the worst pollster in the world.”
Lewandowski then cited several live-caller polls that show Trump winning nationally and in New Hampshire. Politico did not comment on the reliability of the other polls cited by Lewandowski.
“Mr. Trump is a clear and definitive frontrunner by a wide, wide margin,” he said.
After that call with Lewandowski, Trump tweeted an inaccurate accounting of the conversation, falsely stating first that POLITICO called the campaign and second that POLITICO commented on the reliability of polls other than Zogby and Morning Consult.
While other campaigns often seek to attract large crowds in an effort to build buzz and are acutely attuned to the portrayal of a crowd’s size, they rarely permit candidates themselves to evince such public concern with crowd size.
Trump got into a similar dispute with CNN earlier in the week when it reported that the real estate developer spoke to a half-empty ballroom in South Carolina.
Here’s Anderson Cooper’s report of that brouhaha.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly suggested this week that Trump should lay off Twitter.
“The worst thing that ever happened to Donald Trump’s life was he learned how to tweet,” O’Reilly said. “That was the worst thing.”
He may have a point, but then what would we do for fun?
H/T: The Right Scoop
Fox News’ O’Reilly warns Trump to stay away from Twitter; Trump fans go on the attack
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