Getty Images
Now playing
03:43
Trump injects himself into Kellyanne Conway's marriage
Now playing
03:05
'Tidal wave of change' at American newsrooms
Now playing
03:22
Amid Covid-19 confusion, remember that 'science requires patience'
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Damaged glass and adhesive measuring tape is pictured on a bus window at the scene of a shooting that left one person dead and seven injured, including a child, in downtown Seattle, Washington on January 22, 2020. - At least one person was killed and seven others, including a child, were wounded on Wednesday after gunfire broke out in downtown Seattle near a popular tourist area, police and hospital officials said. Police said at least one suspect was being sought in connection with the mass shooting that took place near a McDonald's fast food restaurant, just blocks away from the Pike Place Market. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Damaged glass and adhesive measuring tape is pictured on a bus window at the scene of a shooting that left one person dead and seven injured, including a child, in downtown Seattle, Washington on January 22, 2020. - At least one person was killed and seven others, including a child, were wounded on Wednesday after gunfire broke out in downtown Seattle near a popular tourist area, police and hospital officials said. Police said at least one suspect was being sought in connection with the mass shooting that took place near a McDonald's fast food restaurant, just blocks away from the Pike Place Market. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:14
How to cover gun violence as a public health emergency
Now playing
07:04
Journalists assaulted and arrested during Minnesota unrest
Now playing
02:46
Sara Sidner on the importance of journalists covering protests
Now playing
02:35
Newsrooms need to question official narratives
Now playing
01:32
How subscriptions and streaming are changing media
clarissa ward myanmar behind the scenes report rs vpx_00000928.png
clarissa ward myanmar behind the scenes report rs vpx_00000928.png
Now playing
06:45
Clarissa Ward takes you behind the scenes in Myanmar
Now playing
05:40
Fox-to-Trump revolving door is now spinning the other way
Now playing
04:46
CBS story on DeSantis feeds GOP distrust of the media
Now playing
05:22
How Tucker Carlson preys on his audience's fears
Now playing
05:43
How journalists are advancing the Matt Gaetz scandal
Now playing
02:00
Anti-Defamation League CEO calls out Murdochs and Fox investors
Now playing
04:10
Stelter: Trump's war on truth continues in the Biden era
Now playing
02:02
Myanmar citizens arrested after speaking with CNN
(CNN Business) —  

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

At any given time President Trump is in multiple fights. Right now it’s especially cringeworthy: He is insulting John McCain seven months after McCain’s death AND complaining about Robert Mueller AND punching back at George Conway.

These storylines are often covered independently, as if each spat stands alone, best understood on its own. But Conway is saying that that’s the wrong way to understand Trump. All of the feuds and fictions are connected, Conway says, by narcissistic personality disorder.

So when Conway says all Americans “should be thinking seriously *now* about Trump’s mental condition and psychological state,” he’s also suggesting a different way to cover the president.

Fox’s Brit Hume, just to pick on one commentator, said Wednesday that it’s “beyond me” why Trump gets in “petty disputes.” I hear this kind of thing a lot on cable news. “WHY?” Well, Conway is offering an explanation. He tweeted Wednesday: “What really matters — who cares about me — is how many people have now reviewed the diagnostic criteria for Narcisisstic Personality Disorder?”

Narcissistic ‘disorder’ talk in prime time

On Wednesday’s “AC360,” Anderson Cooper spoke with Rolling Stone senior writer Alex Morris, who wrote the story that Conway credited with being “the article that first got me to really understand you.” Dated April 2017, it was titled “Trump’s Mental Health: Is Pathological Narcissism the Key to Trump’s Behavior?”

Morris: “Donald Trump is certainly not the first narcissistic president we’ve ever had, but it’s a matter of degree.”

Cooper: “There’s a difference between being narcissistic and then actually having a disorder.”

Morris: “Right. There’s a difference between the personality trait and an actual disorder. I think what a lot of mental health professionals are coming out and saying is that this has crossed the line. This is a problem.”

The power of Twitter?

Where is Conway sounding his increasingly urgent alarms about what he calls Trump’s “condition?” On Twitter, the same platform where Trump loves to take on his critics. Conway v. Trump has been unfolding almost entirely on Twitter — the conservative lawyer has given very few interviews.

When Trump counter-punched and insulted Conway earlier this week, Conway’s concerns instantly became much more newsworthy. Conway took advantage of the attention by re-sharing several of his past critiques of the president. And he wrote to Trump, “you guaranteed that millions of more people are going to learn about narcissistic personality disorder and malignant narcissism! Great job!”

Meanwhile, Trump’s derogatory comments about McCain led some of the country’s nightly newscasts on Wednesday…

Checking the “Executive Time” clock

Former Obama W.H. aide/CNN analyst Sam Vinograd emails: “There’s no pause button on the rest of the world turning while POTUS has a mean girl moment.” She says “we used to painstakingly review President Obama’s schedule every day and how he spent each minute because presidential time is such a major but finite resource. It was the most important thing we did, because if he misused time that increased the risk of threats going unaddressed, etc. This whole Conway thing is just another very public signal that he doesn’t work…”

The pro-Trump view

Trump’s supporters “don’t want a politician who’s PC,” former RNC chief of staff/CNN commentator Mike Shields said on “AC360.”

“They want someone who kinda tells it like it is and offends people,” Shields said. “His supporters like it that we’re going to come on here and be offended. We’re the people that they want to see offended. That’s the whole purpose — is to offend us.”

Or as Chuck Todd put it on Wednesday’s “MTP Daily:” There is “a part of the Trump base… that just wants to make liberals cry, I guess, or just wants to — what is it — own the libs, that that’s all the Trump candidacy is for these folks…”

THURSDAY PLANNER:

– First full day of March Madness games!

– FCC chair Ajit Pai is speaking at ACA’s annual summit in the A.M….

– Comcast is having a 12:30 p.m. ET media call to “announce the launch of a new service.” Xfinity Services EVP Matt Strauss will be doing the talking…

AOC on the cover of TIME

The interview is by Charlotte Alter… The cover photo is by Collier Schorr… Alter describes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “Wonder Woman of the left, Wicked Witch of the right,” and “the second most talked-about politician in America, after POTUS…”

Counting down to Apple Day…

New iPads! New AirPods! Apple has been making news all week long in the run-up to Monday’s streaming service curtain-raiser in Cupertino.

Reporters are expecting some big news about Apple’s news ambitions on Monday as well… And the NYT’s Mike Isaac has a preview: The WSJ “plans to join a new paid subscription news service run by Apple,” while “other publishers chafe at the terms that the Silicon Valley company is demanding of its partners.” Per Isaac, both the NYT and WaPo “have opted out of joining the subscription service…”

>> The skeptics: BI’s Lucia Moses talked to a half-dozen publishing execs who said “Apple is pitching itself as a savior to the publishing industry — but that its logic is flawed…

>> The mystery: Is the WSJ undercutting its own digital subscriber biz by becoming part of a bundle? I have a feeling this will make a lot more sense next week…

FOR THE RECORD

– Announced on Wednesday: NYT picked up six awards from the Overseas Press Club… WaPo, The AP, Reuters, and VICE News won two awards each… (OPC)

– Yahoo News is launching a new series called “The Ideas Election” on Thursday… The first piece is a deep dive into policy ideas surrounding child care…

– At the one-year mark, the Google News Initiative is giving itself a check-up and “announcing new tools to fact check content…” (9to5Google)

Read more of Wednesday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…

– Worrisome news for Berks County, PA: “Reading Eagle Company, the family-owned business that has published the Reading Eagle newspaper for more than 150 years, is filing for bankruptcy protection.” The paper will continue to publish under Chapter 11… (Reading Eagle)

– “The Penny Hoarder, a multimedia-heavy personal finance publication based in St. Petersburg, laid off 45 employees on Tuesday, slashing roughly half its newsroom and a majority of its visuals team in a company-wide reorganizing effort…” (CL Tampa Bay)

Congrats to the Mirror Award finalists!

Syracuse U’s Mirror Awards honor outstanding media industry reporting… Winners will be announced June 13, but the finalist list came out on Wednesday. Here’s the full list…