Family Matters

694940094001_4914399671001_11e016f0-ea84-468f-b93a-d3471cfa0174Tonight Greta ran a special hour about the Trump family, featuring interviews with the Trump children and his wife, and a tour of Trump Tower. Not really The Cable Gamer’s cup of tea, but she decided to keep an eye on it once the instant response from the twitterati kicked into gear. Here are a couple of accounts we watched:

Oliver Darcy of The Blaze:

  • This feels so much like a reality show.
  • It’s literally called “Meet the Trumps” on the program guide.
  • @Greta to @MELANIATRUMP: “Which magazines have you been on the cover of?” Follow-up: “Which one would be the top one?”
  • This special feels like something you’d see on state-run television somewhere.

And here’s Tré Goins-Phillips, also of The Blaze:

  • Tonight is the night of Trump, Trump and more Trump on @FoxNews.
  • Of his credentials, @Greta asks @DonaldJTrumpJr, “Did you play catch with [your dad] or go look at properties?”
  • Another hard-hitting question from @Greta: “Do you think [your dad] wants to be president?” she asks @DonaldJTrumpJr.
  • UPDATE: @Greta is now playing a reel of Trump’s kids and wife praising him.
  • The tough questions from @Greta keep rolling in:m “Do you think you’d be a good first lady?” she asks @MELANIATRUMP

The Cable Gamer was frankly taken by surprise with this new-found concern over asking soft questions of a candidate’s wife or children. Do these people suggest that Melania Trump should be peppered with questions about the nuclear triad? Should Greta have cornered Ivanka and demanded she address some arcane issue she has no involvement with?

If Chelsea Clinton had been grilled about her dad’s perjury or her mother’s Benghazi testimony we might understand expecting the same treatment for the Trump family. But let’s be honest—that didn’t happen, because it’s never been the case that profiles of a candidate’s family subject them to a Perry Mason style cross-examination. And even if that had been the case, it wouldn’t have been Greta doing it. Her interviewing philosophy is cut from a different cloth:

My interview style of 22 plus years is polite and blunt. Everyone gets the same interview style from me, I don’t pick sides and I am not showing off. For some, that is seen as “lavish praise.” (see below) When I read that description I got to thinking – what ever happened to good manners and good manners in journalism? You can get information – and I did – without trying to score personal points or play to others in the media who love that…

When Trump’s son joined him at the Town Hall for one short segment, I was polite to his son – as I am with all spouses of all candidates and their families. They are not the candidate. Go back and check that out as I have interviewed many family members over this long 2016 campaign…

Ted Turner in the old days of CNN taught us “the news is the star” — in other words, this is not all about us (in the media.) Ted was and is right. Maybe it is time for all of us to be reflective about how to best get the job done for the voters. I am always looking to improve and get better.

There’s something else Greta said in that post that bears repeating:

Incidentally, to be fair to all the candidates, I have offered – almost mathematically even – every candidate in both parties the exact same opportunities for Town Halls and interviews. No candidate is obliged to accept and I can’t go out and kidnap them, tie them up and force them to do interviews if they do not want to. 🙂

For all the talk about “state-run television” and “Trump and more Trump,” doesn’t this suggest that the other candidates had the same opportunity and simply didn’t take advantage of it? It should, because Greta says that’s exactly what happened with tonight’s special:

We made an offer to do the same special for the Clinton and Sanders families but got no response. I would have given both these candidates equal time and same type of questions. I still am willing to do so.

And just in case people didn’t see that post, Greta tweeted it too. Interestingly, as we are about to hit publish, neither Mr. Darcy nor Mr. Goins-Phillips tweets any mention of Greta’s offer whatsoever. Of course doing so might throw water on any one of several memes (Greta the “Trump shill,” Fox is “Trump and more Trump,” etc.) And for some the rule is: when there’s a conflict between the truth and the meme…tweet the meme.


  1. Tom Bennett

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but my view is most of the criticism on Twitter and elsewhere had little to do with not offering Clinton and Sanders the same coverage. It was mostly (almost exclusively) about the show coming across as an infomercial.

    To be fair, some of the more biased critics simply don’t like it anytime Trump is portrayed in a positive light as we witnessed with the harsh critique of “Megyn Kelly Presents.”


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