…Stelter argued that the press is being targeted as part of a “hate movement” spearheaded by the president, who regularly decries the news media as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.”
“He has been wonderful for the industry,” said Koppel, who currently serves as a CBS contributor.
“But that means what?” responded Stelter, a staunch critic of the Trump. “If ratings are up, that means what?”
“It means you can’t do without Donald Trump,” Koppel replied. “You would be lost without Donald Trump.”
“Ted, you know that’s not true,” Stelter said.
“CNN’s ratings would be in the toilet without Donald Trump,” Koppel declared.
“You know that’s not true; you’re playing for laughs,” Stelter said. “You’ve lived through enough presidencies to know there will be more presidents.”
After some back-and-forth over what CNN’s ratings would look like if Trump hadn’t won the presidency, Stelter said he didn’t accept the notion that broadcast networks were benefiting from money generated from the additional eyeballs Trump brings to the table.
“I reject the premise that these networks are making so much money off of Trump and thus, we benefit from it,” Stelter said.
Koppel joked that discussing CNN’s ratings was “a sensitive subject” for Stelter, and pivoted instead to MSNBC.
“Tell me for a moment if you will — let’s get away from CNN; sensitive subject,” he said to laughter from the audience. “Let’s go to MSNBC. Is there a moment of the day when they’re not focusing on Donald Trump, or some intimately related subject?”…