In the hours before the second presidential debate, a report emerged suggesting President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was in talks about launching a Trump-branded media property.
There were widespread rumors before Trump was elected president that what he was really interested in was creating Trump TV. Now, as the voters are about to weigh in on whether Trump gets a second term, Trump TV is back in the news. But the truth is that if Trump does not win re-election, it’s because he has conducted his re-election campaign, and much of his presidency, like it was already Trump TV.
While it is hard for his critics to believe, there are millions of Americans who not only support Trump because of his more or less conservative policies, but also actually like the qualities that set him apart from normal politicians: the tweeting, the belligerence, the political incorrectness, the adversarial relationship with a media they regard as partisan and biased to the point of being corrupt.
Consider this exchange with 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl: “Is the name-calling turning people off?” she asked. Trump replied with a question of his own: “Where are we sitting right now?” She answered, “The Roosevelt Room.” Trump shot back, “Of what?” “The White House,” Stahl replied. “That’s right,” Trump concluded triumphantly.
To many voters, this is maddeningly unpresidential. Ronald Reagan may have similarly regarded the media as liberal and biased against him, but it is hard to imagine him speaking this way to an interviewer. Trump fans, however, love this. This kind of grandstanding is why they adore him.
Trump has identified a segment of the market that finds his style entertaining, engaging, even inspiring. He has worked to deliver what they want for four years. The trouble with this as a political exercise is that, unless the polling is more mistaken than it was four years ago, that audience adds up to only about 42 percent of the electorate. That may not be enough to win him re-election, but 42 percent of voters can certainly support a successful television show. They can make for a massive podcast. They can buy a lot of red MAGA baseball caps and other swag. They can fill assembly halls and other rally venues.
Trump has perfected a new brand as a populist pugilist. While this brand appeals to fewer people than his previous brand representing wealth and glamor, a real-life Robin Leach’s Lifestyles …read more
Source:: The Week – Business