BuzzFeed political reporter McKay Coppins appeared on CNN Sunday in a taped interview alongside Politico‘s Maggie Haberman to discuss the relationship between Donald Trump and the media. Sources tell The Mirror that Trump was not invited to the early taping of the program to tell his side of the story. Just over a week ago, the billionaire real estate mogul and aspiring politician exploded over a lengthy profile in BuzzFeed that depicted him as a showboater and a narcissist. He even accepted the resignation of (or fired) his employee Sam Nunberg, who arranged the profile.
On Sunday Trump took to Twitter to beat down Coppins’ TV appearance in which Coppins trashed him and told CNN what a political phony he is. In a counter story by Matthew Boyle in Breitbart News, a conservative site Trump feeds like a baby with a click of his phone, Trump fought dirty: He insisted that Coppins behaved inappropriately toward females at his resport. He said Coppins, a Mormon with a 1-year-old daughter, voiced his wish for his wife to look like the women of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith has vehemently denied the assertions in the Breitbart News piece.
Do you think that very dumb reporter(blogger) McKay Coppins has apologized to his wife for his very inappropriate behavior while in Florida?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2014
Nunberg, who also was not invited on the show, complimented Haberman. “The world suffers greatly everyday
@maggiepolitico is not on TV. Articulate, balanced and insightful,” he chirped Sunday on Twitter. He also took a shot at BuzzFeed‘s Benny Johnson by way of the new BuzzFeed quiz, “Which Magic Mike Stripper is Your Future Boyfriend?” Nunberg cracked on Twitter, “Great idea Benny Buzz Buzz Buzzy Benny! You are a genius!” Benny Johnson (who apparently prefers to be called “Ben”) actually did not create the quiz.
CNN’s “The Reliable Source” host Brian Stelter got married this weekend to Jamie Shupak, so the interview with Coppins and Haberman was taped earlier in the week. Stelter clearly took sides in the BuzzFeed-Trump media war — he’s firmly on Team BuzzFeed. “He pretends to run for office. …But when one person calls out his bluff, he goes ballistic,” Stelter said, introducing the segment. “…In my opinion, this network also takes him too seriously.” He pointed out that Trump insulted Coppins’ wife, explaining that Trump called her “a good-looking woman” down in Palm Beach. But once the story came out, Trump said he was being sarcastic and that Coppins, whom he called dishonest and a slob, didn’t understand.
Haberman had distinct views on Trump running for governor of New York. “I would argue this gubernatorial flirtation is a mistake,” she said. “It is hard to take seriously. … I think you are going to see less and less coverage.”
Coppins: “He was a real player in 2012, I do think though there was kind of a shark jump moments at the end of that cycle (laughing) there were many shark jump moments.”
Coppins said the purpose of his profile was, at least in part, to call Trump on his “long con.” He also wanted to know what made Trump so obsessed with wanting the political class to take him seriously. “What he wants is credibility. What he wants is for at least some segment of the population to look at him as a serious person. The problem and kind of the great tragedy of him is he doesn’t know how to do that.”
Haberman: “He is a tremendous manipulator of the media. He always has been, and I don’t say manipulator as a pejorative. He really does know how to work it. … People do want to read about Trump. That doesn’t mean they are going to vote for him. But at the end of the day, people do want to read about him or McKay would not be writing about it and you would not see Twitter blowing up with tweets about how irrelevant the guy is and yet we all can’t stop tweeting about him.”
Coppins: “He think that this somehow gets him credibility. The fact is, everyone pointing and laughing at him doesn’t necessarily make him a more credible political figure.”
Coppins said reporters won’t stop writing about Trump. But he insists Trump is a “sideshow” who should not to be taken seriously in any political sense.
And Haberman’s conclusion? “I don’t think Trump is going to host anyone on his plane again anytime soon [Coppins can be heard laughing]. But no, at the end of the day, Trump and the media have a symbiotic relationship and I think that will continue.”