Nine days before CNN parent Time Warner will have to negotiate with Donald Trump's antitrust cops, the cable news network got a dressing down by the President-elect.
"Your organization is terrible," Trump told CNN reporter Jim Acosta when he tried to ask a question during Wednesday's news conference.
"Quiet, quiet," Trump admonished when it was clear the journalist would not be chosen for a question.
As Acosta persisted, Trump said, "Don't be rude." When that didn't work, Trump barked: "You are fake news."
The confrontation grew from a controversial story CNN published Tuesday about Trump being presented at a Jan. 6 meeting with intelligence experts a two-page synopsis with allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information on the president-elect.
Comment: The story wasn't just 'controversial' - it was slanderous fake news. Now, 'is that any way to start off a relationship?'
Both Trump and Russian authorities called the claims nonsense.
While Trump's rebuke was stark enough, it came as his Justice Department will start to investigate the antitrust implications of AT&T's $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
Trump said on the campaign trail that he wouldn't approve the deal.
It was much debated in media circles if the press conference run-in would move the needle on Trump's stance.
Some pondered whether Time Warner would have to sell off CNN to get the deal approved.
"If AT&T had to spin off CNN to get the deal approved, I suspect they would be willing to do so," said analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson.
"Based on everything AT&T has said publicly, their principal interest is in Time Warner's entertainment properties, not their news business."
The AT&T acquisition which comes not long after a deal to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV, will be scrutinized both by the House Judiciary Committee and by Justice.
"The CNN story puts an exclamation mark on the deal and what's always been the biggest risk to this deal — political concerns in the White House," Cowen & Co. analyst Paul Gallant, told The Post.
BuzzFeed, which published the document containing the alleged claims, came in for even harsher criticism from Trump.
"As far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing it, I think they're going to suffer the consequences," Trump said.
Attorney General-nominee Jeff Sessions, at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, said it would be "wrong to further some other separate discrete agenda that's not reasonably connected to the merger itself."
BuzzFeed Chief Executive Jonah Peretti sent a note to staff saying he stood by the decision to publish the document. BuzzFeed is partly backed by NBCUniversal.
One top media lawyer said it would hard for Trump to sue BuzzFeed, since the press has broad protections.