Donald Trump clearly dreams of a “Westworld”-like transformation of Maureen Dowd into Sean Hannity.
His definition of mistreatment is so expansive, his sensitivity to press coverage so great, don’t be surprised if Dowd winds up higher than Vladimir Putin on a Meanies List higher than the border wall he may never build.
Just check the transcript of his appearance at The New York Times for the latest window onto his cravings, pet peeves and sense of injustices done him — and his view of the op-ed columnist.
Trump arrived at what he apparently deems a Belly of the Beast — or at least one whose affirmation he so deeply craves — for a much chronicled and news-making Tuesday appearance.
Yes, this was the on-again, off-again, on-again appearance that was largely (not totally) on the record — but a thankful far cry from the closed session with dozens of supplicant TV executives and reporters the day before at Trump Tower.
And while there’s virtually nothing that hasn’t been tweeted, retweeted, published or broadcast about the substance of the session, there was a small example of his press fixation, especially when it comes to his hometown paper.
It came in this exchange with Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.:
“TRUMP: And by the way, if you see something or get something where you feel that I’m wrong, and you have some info — I would love to hear it. You can call me, Arthur can call me, I would love to hear. The only one who can’t call me is Maureen [Dowd, opinion columnist]. She treats me too rough.
I don’t know what happened to Maureen! She was so good, Gail [Collins, opinion columnist]. For years she was so good.
SULZBERGER: As we all say about Maureen, it’s not your fault, it’s just your turn.”