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New York Times' Subscriptions Zoom Each Time Trump Attacks, Says Editor

When 'he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly,' says Dean Baquet.

27/02/2017 6:58 PM AEDT | Updated 28/02/2017 3:16 AM AEDT
KENA BETANCUR via Getty Images
A woman covers her mouth with tape as people take part in a protest outside the New York Times on February 26, 2017 in New York. The White House denied access Frebuary 24. 2017 to an off-camera briefing to several major US media outlets, including CNN and The New York Times. Smaller outlets that have provided favorable coverage however were allowed to attend the briefing by spokesman Sean Spicer. The WHCA said it was 'protesting strongly' against the decision to selectively deny media access. The New York Times said the decision was 'an unmistakable insult to democratic ideals,' CNN called it 'an unacceptable development,' and The Los Angeles Times warned the incident had 'ratcheted up the White House's war on the free press' to a new level. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has actually helped increase subscriptions to the “failing” New York Times with his tweets, Executive Editor Dean Baquet revealed Sunday.

“Trump is the best thing to happen to the Times’ subscription strategy,” Baquet said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “Every time he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly.”

Reporter Brian Stelter noted that Trump has referred to the Times as “failing” 53 times in a drumbeat of tweets. It’s simply not true, said Baquet. “Our digital subscriptions are going through the roof. Even print subscriptions are up. We’re a profitable company. We’re a big, vibrant, important newsroom.”

Baquet characterized Trump’s constant attacks on the press as a strategy to suppress criticism of the administration coming from institutions charged with “holding him accountable.”

“I think it’s troublesome, I think it’s dangerous,” Baquet said. But Trump’s onslaught has helped make the newspaper’s mission “clearer than ever.”

“I think what’s happened in the last couple months, I have to say, has been tremendous for news organizations,” Baquet said. “We’re covering a dramatic revolution in government and how the country is governed.”

Trump lashed out at the Times again on Sunday, responding to an ad the newspaper ran during the Academy Awards about seeking the truth. The ad concluded: “The truth is hard to find. The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important now than ever.”

The president scoffed at the Times for taking out an ad “for the first time.” But that isn’t true. It may have been the newspaper’s first ad during the Oscars, but the Times has run commercials in the past. The president also suggested — yet again — that the newspaper “try reporting accurately.”

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