President Trump may have a long-time feud with the New York Times, but is he handing the paper a lifeline?
The president responded to news of a leadership change at the New York Times with a morning tweet on Tuesday, in which he expressed hope that new publisher A.G. Sulzberger will hold the newspaper to a “higher standard.”
“The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger,” President Trump tweeted. “Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, ‘to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.'”
The president encouraged the Times to hire “impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent ‘sources,’ and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL.”
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. handed reigns of the paper over to his son, 37-year-old Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, who was previously serving as deputy publisher. The senior Sulzberger will remain chairman of The New York Times Company.
The Sulzberger family has been in control of the world-famous news outlet since Adolph S. Ochs Sulzberger purchased it in 1896.
In a note from the publisher, A.G. Sulzberger seemingly took aim at President Trump and the conservative media.
“Our founders understood that the free exchange of ideas and the ability to hold power to account were prerequisites for a successful democracy,” Sulzberger wrote. “But a dangerous confluence of forces is threatening the press’s central role in helping people understand and engage with the world around them.”
“Misinformation is rising and trust in the media is declining as technology platforms elevate clickbait, rumor and propaganda over real journalism, and politicians jockey for advantage by inflaming suspicion of the press. Growing polarization is jeopardizing even the foundational assumption of common truths, the stuff that binds a society together.”
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the Times for its allegedly misleading coverage of him.
The New York Times’ circulation declined from 1,145,800 copies to 571,500 between 2006 and 2016, a drop that has led to major personnel downsizing.
If Sulzberger could read the writing on the wall, he’d accept the president’s peace offering.