Roger Lynch, chief executive officer of publishing giant Condé Nast, is not taking President Trump’s criticism of Vanity Fair lying down.
Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to savage the glossy magazine, run by editor in chief Radhika Jones, over its coverage of him and how he’s dealing with the deadly coronavirus.
“Vanity Fair Magazine, which will soon be out of business, and their third-rate fake reporters, who make up sources which don’t exist, wrote yet another phony and boring hit piece. The facts are just the opposite. Our team is doing a great job with coronavirus!” he tweeted.
Trump appeared to be referring to an article titled “He’s definitely melting down over this: Trump, germaphobe in chief, struggles to control the COVID-19 story,” penned by journalist Gabriel Sherman and published Monday.
The article details how Trump has treated the public health crisis as a media war that he could win with the right messaging and that Republicans close to him now “fear his rosy assessments” of the deadly coronavirus are “fundamentally detached from reality in ways that will make the epidemic worse.” And despite his public bravado, he is privately terrified of contracting the virus, according to the piece.
“As Trump pushes a nothing-to-see-here message in public, sources said he’s privately terrified about getting the virus,” Sherman wrote. “Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week, Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me,” he added further down in the article.
Fighting back, Lynch responded that he is “really proud” of all the work by Vanity Fair’s excellent team. “Speaking truth to power is what we will always do. And just to set the record straight, Vanity Fair had record audience numbers last month,” he wrote on Twitter.
For his part, Sherman tweeted, “because a president doing a ‘great job’ fighting a deadly health pandemic would take time to rage tweet about a journalist instead of focusing on, say, increasing testing.”
And Vanity Fair’s social media staff had quite the tongue-in-cheek way of dealing with Trump’s Twitter criticism. On Vanity Fair’s Instagram account, it posted his comment with the caption “Subscribe to third-rate fake news at the link in bio.”
Among those to respond to the Instagram post were Vogue Mexico editor in chief Karla Martinez, who wrote: “He makes me want to subscribe.” Glamour editor in chief Sam Barry responded, “Dying at the caption.”
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