President Trump can boast one indisputable area of economic growth — the company he has dubbed "the failing New York Times" has doubled digital subscriptions since his election.
Trump has been conducting a on-again, off-again, one-sided feud with the Times since the presidential campaign, repeatedly taking the news organization to task on Twitter whenever it publishes a story that critiques him or his administration. At the same time, he has been known to call Times reporters directly and ramble or vent at length, as recently as this month. With the Washington Post, the Times is one of the primary sources of behind-the-scenes White House reporting and revelations about the ongoing Russia investigation.
It's resulted in a clear Trump bump: Times subscriptions now stand at 3.3 million — doubled since Trump was elected — and the company's total revenue rose 6 percent in the last quarter. In that time period, the Times turned a profit of $33 million, up from $9 million from the year before. This week, the Hollywood Reporter named the Times a winner in its "Hollywood's Biggest Winners and Losers" issue.
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In May, Times president Mark Thompson attributed the subscriber growth to Trump. "We absolutely believe the extraordinarily intense news cycle has been a very significant factor ... and it's the single most important factor in the scale of the bump we've seen in recent quarters," he told analysts during a conference call. Thompson thanked Trump for tweaking the company's "The Truth Is Hard" ad campaign on Twitter. "Even the president of the United States has been kind enough to draw attention to it," he said.
Although it's become a primary destination for the anti-Trump crowd, the Times is also regularly on torched on Twitter for pieces Trump's opponents believe are too soft on the president, his administration or supporters. A recent impromptu interview with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in which reporter Michael Schmidt allowed the president to make a number of false claims largely unchallenged, drew days of ire, as did this week's op-ed by conservative columnist Ross Douthat, who argued that Trump's adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner and avowed nationalist, was a "necessity."