Trump TV Isn’t Coming. It’s Already Here
Donald Trump says that the Presidential election is rigged against him and that the news media unfairly treats him and his many supporters. So, naturally, the rumor is that Trump is now planning to launch his own television network after all the votes are counted in November.
According to The Financial Times, citing multiple unnamed sources, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has contacted a top media dealmaker about the possibility of Trump TV.
The FT says that the conversation between Kushner and Aryeh Bourkoff, the chief executive of LionTree, a boutique investment bank, was brief and inconclusive. And last month, Trump told The Washington Post he had no interest in a media company. But much has changed in a few short weeks, with Trump plummeting in the polls after so many allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee and his rather unapologetic response. And, besides, you can’t always believe what the guy says.
Let’s remember what CBS Chairman Les Moonves said back in February. Trump’s candidacy “may not be good for America,” he proclaimed, “but it’s damn good for CBS.” Clearly, Trump’s unique brand of populism has galvanized a large portion of the population. But it has also attracted all sorts of people who love to hate him—or are at least interested in watching what ridiculous turn he will take next. Trump TV has a massive audience just waiting for it.
Plus, Trump has already aligned himself with two masters of populist media spin. In August, he hired Steve Bannon, chairman of the staunchly pro-Trump Breitbart News website, as his campaign’s new chief executive, and then he recruited former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes as an advisor.
All that said, launching a TV network is an enormously complex and expensive thing. And Trump’s scorched Earth approach could prove a hard sell with advertisers. In the end, as some have mused, Trump TV makes the most sense as a budget digital video outlet on the Internet. After all, it’s the Internet dynamic that is really driving Trump’s campaign—as Steve Bannon knows all too well. Think about the late-night tweets. Or, better yet, think about the Facebook Live of Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathy Shelton. In a lot of ways, Trump TV is already a reality.
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