The Atlantic

America’s Biggest Newspaper 70 Years Ago Sounded a Lot Like Trump Today

The New York Daily News helped fashion a brand of right-wing populism that the president eventually rode to power.
Source: Matty Zimmerman / AP

When Donald Trump was growing up in the 1950s, roughly half of the families in the New York metropolitan area read the New York Daily News. The tabloid was at the time the highest-circulation newspaper in America by far, selling more than 2 million copies each weekday and as many as 4 million on Sundays. In fact, no American newspaper has ever surpassed those numbers. But the News’ dominance was greatest in white, non-Jewish outer-borough neighborhoods such as Jamaica Estates, where the Trumps lived. Given that the man of the house, Fred C. Trump, was a major advertiser in the News and frequently appeared in its real-estate columns in the 1940s and ’50s, young Donald might have encountered it regularly—and, though adult Donald may not realize the connection, he sounds eerily like it now.

Indeed, the paper’s current left-wing politics have obscured

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