In one of the most bewildering moments of the presidential primary race, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump showed both hate and love for the media during a rally on Wednesday in Indiana:
So they criticize me for being too tough the first day. The second day they said, ‘Donald Trump’s not as tough as we thought,’ can you believe it?
You can’t win with these people. Look at all those cameras zooming. They are the most dishonest people in the world. The media. They are the worst. They are the worst. They are very dishonest people. They are terrible.
Honestly, and I don’t mean all, but I mean like 75, 80 percent. And they know it, they know.
These are not stupid people, but they’re very dishonest people, in many cases.
Trump then asked the crowd if we like the media, which brought a resounding “no.”
He then asked if we hate the media, and the crowd shouted “yes,” as Trump gestured with his hands in an upward motion:
Okay, no, I don’t hate anybody. I love the media. They’re wonderful.
I guess we wouldn’t be here, maybe, if it wasn’t for the media, so maybe we shouldn’t be complaining.
Trump has had a love/hate relationship with the media since he began his campaign, with a lot of his vitriol being directed at Megyn Kelly and Fox News after she asked some unexpectedly—for him—tough questions at the first GOP debate in August and continued until recently when the two had a face-to-face meeting.
Yet, at the same time, the media have fallen all over themselves to cover Trump and his quest for the GOP nomination, giving him hundreds of millions of dollars in earned media—defined by The New York Times as “news and commentary about his campaign on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on social media”—ensuring that his campaign remains front and center, and causing it to last longer than just about everyone thought it would.