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The US Presidency and the Press

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A selection of stories from The New Yorker’s archive

The Presidency and the Press

According to Nielsen, the ratings company, more people watch Sean Spicer’s press briefings than watch “General Hospital” or “The Bold and the Beautiful.” This incredible, Trumpian fact—the President himself has boasted about Spicer’s “great ratings”—speaks to the extraordinary relationship that now exists between Donald Trump and the press. This week, we bring you pieces that put that relationship in context. In “Trolling the Press Corps,” Andrew Marantz brings us inside Spicer’s briefing room, where reporters are learning to cover a chaotic, dishonest, and adversarial Presidency. In “Party Time,” Jill Lepore takes us back to the year 1800, when the fledgling newspaper industry helped shape our political parties in ways that still affect us today. In pieces from 2004 and 2010, Ken Auletta reflects on how George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively, worked with reporters. And, in a dispatch written in 1973, Richard Harris chronicles the escalating war between the press and Richard Nixon. The picture that Harris paints is alarmingly familiar. Undoubtedly, some people watch Spicer to be entertained. But there’s another reason his ratings are high: we watch because we’re worried.

—David Remnick

The Presidency and the Press (1973)

Trolling the Press Corps (2017)

Party Time (2017)

Fortress Bush (2004)

Donald Trump and the Enemies of the American People (2017)

Non-Stop News (2010)

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