Donald Trump managed to keep a (public) lid on his feelings during the Oscars broadcast. He was also occupied by a White House dinner for governors, which was likely by design. During the awards show, this New York Times ad aired and took unmistakable aim at the alternative facts favored by the current administration, whose relationship with the media came to a head last Friday when Trump blocked several outlets, including the NY Times, from a press briefing. The president’s not a fan of critical reporting.
So, it couldn’t have been more timely for the NY Times to air this ad on Oscars night. In this 30-second spot, the screen flashes through a number of competing statements, including “the truth is alternative facts are lies” and “the truth is we need a full investigation of Russian ties,” along with “the truth is leaking classified information is the real scandal.” The statements accelerate into a maddening mess before finally settling upon “the truth is more important now than ever.”
Trump weighed in before air time. Unsurprisingly, he declared that this was a “bad” ad, which he believes is designed to “save its failing reputation.”
However, the simple truth of the matter is that Trump’s attacks on the paper have been largely counterproductive. In fact, the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, recently revealed that Trump’s constant attacks have actually spurred a massive influx of subscriptions, which spike every time Trump insults the publication.
“We’re not failing at all,” Baquet said. “Our digital subscriptions are going through the roof. Even print subscriptions are up. We’re a profitable company.” Not sad!