Perhaps in anticipation of a humiliating defeat in the presidential election, insiders in the Trump camp are talking about the possibility of Donald Trump trying to drag his glassy-eyed disciples from the musty arenas and airport hangers where he stages his rallies to the comfort of their own trailer parks. Vanity Fair is reporting that…
“Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. […] Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, ‘win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.'”
Donald Trump has distinguished himself as one of the worst businessmen of his generation. He has suffered multiple bankruptcies. He has underperformed the markets within which his companies operate. He is currently being sued for fraud. He couldn’t even manage to make money in the casino business. And this may be one of his worst ideas to date. What’s more, his incentive is wholly based on misplaced greed and his delusional narcissism:
“Trump, this person close to the matter suggests, has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation ‘brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.’ Trump has ‘gotten the bug,’ according to this person. ‘So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.'”
WTF? Does Trump think that if he started a cable network that he would be the star attraction 24 hours a day (without making America nauseous)? He’s fooling himself if he actually believes that his glowing orange presence is what drove the ratings during the Republican primary. The reason people were watching was the prospect of seeing him crumble to the floor in a fit, speaking in tongues, or otherwise implode on live TV. What could he provide on TrumpTV with that kind of perverse entertainment value.
Maybe Trump would produce his version of The 700 Club (of course it would have to be the 7,000,000,000 Club) where he would lecture his emotionally unstable viewers on how awful America is, and then try to sell them steaks, time shares, and worthless diplomas. He could give Alex Jones his own Conspiracy Theory Theater Hour and pair Ivanka and Ted Nugent as a bizarro Donny and Marie.
Even that would be bound for failure. Despite Trump’s ego, he does not have the broad based popularity to attract a television audience sufficient to support a network. Especially since his campaign has rebranded him as the nation’s foremost racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hate monger since Archie Bunker. His campaign supporters may seem numerous when you stuff a few thousand into a baseball stadium in Alabama, but in order to succeed in TV you need millions of viewers to tune in regularly. Will his fans do that to hear the same stump speech he has been rambling off for the past year?
And where will the advertisers come from? Trump has already seen some big corporations back away from any affiliation with him. Today there is a report that Wells Fargo, UPS, Motorola, JPMorgan Chase, Ford and Walgreens, have all opted not to sponsor the Republican National Convention this year, as they have in the past. Most companies do not want to be associated with demagogic bigots. Just ask Rush Limbaugh whose advertising revenue has collapsed to the point where it is threatening the continued existence of his radio show.
What Trump doesn’t know is that the cable business is a terrible investment right now for new enterprises. There is an over-saturation of channels struggling to get attention. The cable systems have no space for new channels. Trump would have buy an existing network to get any distribution. And people with far more adoring fans have had a tough time rolling out new networks. Oprah Winfrey is perfect example of one America’s most beloved figures whose cable venture is struggling. Glenn Beck can’t even get on most cable systems and is languishing in the web world. Sarah Palin has had three cable shows bite the dust, as well as her own effort to launch a web video service that lasted less than year.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
The notion that America is hankering for Donald Trump to come into their living rooms is one that only an acutely deranged egotist could entertain. But it’s interesting that this boneheaded idea is bubbling up just as the general election is about to commence. It seems like Trump is not as certain of his ability to win at everything he tries as he wants people to think. Otherwise he wouldn’t be floating this fallback position before the campaign against Hillary Clinton has even gotten started.