October 11-12, 2016 -- Is Trump running for TV network market share?

publication date: Oct 11, 2016
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October 11-12, 2016 -- Is Trump running for TV network market share?

In his second debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, rather than apologizing profusely for his lewd comments on "Access Hollywood," decided to double down on Clinton by inviting into the audience four women from the newspaper headlines of the 1990s who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Trump also used the debate to vow to put Mrs. Clinton in jail if he is elected president. While Trump did nothing to expand his base of support among college-educated Republican women or independents, he did throw red meat to his base. But Trump and his campaign advisers know that Trump's base does not command the numbers necessary to put their candidate over the top on November 8. In fact, Trump is now lagging behind Clinton in all of the so-called battleground states, with previously safe GOP states like Arizona, Alaska, and Georgia all drifting closer to the Clinton column. WMR learned from a GOP source in Indiana that even with Governor Mike Pence on the ticket, the Republicans fear that Indiana's U.S. Senate seat and governorship will go to the Democrats and that those coattails may narrowly deliver the state to Clinton's column.

Trump the "brand" is no longer running for President of the United States but for television market share for his rumored new cable news and infotainment network that will likely absorb Breitbart News and possibly a few other pro-Trump networks like One America News (OAN) and Newsmax. Trump's rumored venture into conservative network news is why some Fox notables like Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Shepard Smith have all criticized "The Donald." Rumors of the Trump New Network have propelled Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" network into near-oblivion.

Vanity Fair reported in June of this year that Trump would launch his own cable television network that might include a major social media platform. Trump could conceivably acquire the funds to purchase his favorite social media outlet, Twitter, to work hand-in-glove with his cable TV network. A combination TV network and social media empire would run rings around Fox, whose prime ratings demographic hovers between an average age of 65-to-70. Trump TV, with a social media operation, would pull from the highly-sought "millennials" demographic while attracting viewership away from Fox.

Breitbart chief editor Steve Bannon jumped from CEO of Breitbart News LLC to CEO of the Trump campaign because he knows he will have a lucrative position waiting for him at Trump News following the debacle of Trump's crushing political defeat. Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, fired by News Corporation mogul Rupert Murdoch over the same types of sexual predator problems that have dogged Trump, will also transition from Trump campaign adviser to a top dog at the Trump network.

A Hillary Clinton administration and a now-likely Democratic Senate (and a possible Democratic House of Representatives) will provide plenty of grist for the Trump network's mill. The 35 percent of the voters who are now poised to cast their votes for Trump will comprise a ready-made audience for Trump. Comparing the potential Trump network's viewer share to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox and considering that one of the three major broadcast news networks will probably close up shop in the next four years, Trump is looking to lead in the ratings war. And the ratings war is the kind of battle Trump knows and understands best.

As President Hillary Clinton nominates Supreme Court justices and a Democratic Senate rubber stamps them, the Trump News Network will be a natural magnet for the anti-Hillary audience. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh saw his career skyrocket during Bill Clinton's first term. Limbaugh ended up on some 800, mostly AM radio stations, across the country because he became the favorite anti-Clinton commentator who brought in millions of dollars in advertising revenue to financially-faltering local outlets.

The fact that Trump is no longer waging a political battle but an "inside Manhattan" media war is lost on his supporters who actually believe the real estate magnate can become "their" president. Being in denial about a president or a presidential hopeful is nothing new. On the morning of August 9, 1974, the morning after President Richard Nixon announced to the nation that he would resign the presidency of the United States the following day, a small group of Nixon supporters gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and urged Nixon to remain. Among them were an unlikely duo, Rabbi Baruch Korff, a Hasidic Jewish spiritual adviser to Nixon and founder of the
National Committee for Fairness to the Presidency, and Unification Church founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Korff and Moon were among the very last people Nixon met with in the Oval Office before he resigned the presidency.

Today, with one elected Republican official after another distancing themselves from Trump, one can only think of the GOP delegation of Senator Barry Goldwater, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, and House Minority John Rhodes visiting an embattled Nixon in the Oval Office on August 7, 1974. The GOP leaders told Nixon he faced certain conviction by the Senate and removal from office. Nevertheless, even though it was all over for Nixon, some of his most ardent supporters remained in a state of denial. And just like Rabbi Korff and Reverend Moon and his "Moonies," there are Trump supporters who remain in a state of denial that Hillary Clinton will be the 45th President of the United States, barring some medical or other surprise circumstance.

At least for four years, Trump TV will dominate the cable news spectrum with stories about how the 2016 election was "stolen" from Trump. Stand by for ample news stories about illegal Mexicans voting in Texas, African-Americans voting more than once in Ohio and Pennsylvania, vote flipping in Miami-Dade in Florida, and white voter intimidation in DeKalb County in Georgia. And with those offerings and more, Trump will be the ultimate "winner" of the 2016 presidential race.

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