Politics

How Trump Could Lose in November and Still Win Big Time

August 23rd 2016

By:
Joel Silberman

In his final episode hosting "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart expounded on the bullshit put forth by those in positions of power, concluding with these words of advice: "So if you smell something, say something.”

Well – I smell something, and I have a lot to say.

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump got a $2.6 billion free ride from the media. Why not, he gave them the best-rated Republican debate season ever. CBS’ Les Moonves said about Trump’s Campaign, “It may not be good for America, but it’s great for CBS.” To the media, the outcome of the election is far less important than the profit from the election.

It’s all about the money.

Today the media is reporting that Trump is having a good week – he read from a teleprompter and stayed on message for two whole days! (With the exception Monday’s twitter war with "Morning Joe" and Mika.) This is a low bar to be sure.

Why the favorable media coverage now?

For media, close elections garner greater ratings than landslides. It’s still all about the money. It is in their interest to cover the election in a way that makes them close elections. This is because to media companies, news is a profit center.

donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton

For Trump, losing in a close election reinforces his media narrative conspiracy theory of “rigged elections” that he will no doubt continue to promote because, as an electoral victory slips further away from him, Trump is using the Presidential campaign media spotlight to build something he can win at – TRUMP MEDIA.

The hypothetical Trump Media will include people at the top like Roger Ailes, who has a score to settle with FOX News and new Trump CEO Stephen Bannon – who believing a line from "Seinfeld" – "It’s not a lie if you believe it" — financed the fact-free book and movie, "Clinton Cash."

And one can only assume that joining him will be a host of conservative “true believers” looking for their way to cash in: Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Alex Jones, even Glenn Beck because – while some might be against him being the President – they’d love to bask in his reflected media spotlight and make money.

And, it will be a true Trump deal; he won’t put any of his own money in it. He’ll just license his name to it. He has already joined forces with hedge-fund billionaire, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, a trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation. According to Politico, Mercer is one of the most generous backers for Breitbart News Network where, with Trump campaign head Stephen Bannon, Mercer built the political data company Cambridge Analytica. So the money to make this company is in place.

And the return on investment? TRUMP MEDIA will combine much of the right-leaning media under one giant tent of HATE. And, with an audience of 20 million Trump supporters paying $9.99 a month, TRUMP MEDIA would bring in just under $2.4 billion dollars per year in subscriptions alone. Add to that advertising to and selling of audience data and it’s a big payday for losing an election.

Think about it – FOX NEWS ON STEROIDS.

FOX NEWS + Breitbart NEWS + The Enquirer + News of the World + Daily Caller + talk radio + publishing + movies and – for the first 100,000 people who sign up – they’ll throw in a Trump steak, a Trump wine and a Trump tie.

And think about the others who will gladly jump onboard to give Trump Media a 24/7 channel that has a built in audience of 25+ million people all unified in believing the system is screwing them.

Because – as we have seen – Trump and his fans will always blame someone else for their problems: immigrants, the media, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, the poor, refugees, gold-star families, and most of all the government.

The Trump Media Motto – Make Hate Pay.

And they will feed their audience a never-ending supply of red meat, red bull, and red baiting. TRUMP MEDIA only needs to continually stir the pot, keep people agitated and maintain fame for its namesake.

Donald Trump isn't just running to be President, he’s assembling the biggest pay media deal ever.

And it’s up to us to say, "bullshit."

Joel Silberman is a distinguished media critic, expert, and strategist as well as a partner at Democracy Partners.