Donald Trump success created by an infatuated media
Donald Trump is called a genius for his use of the media in lieu of his own spending. The question is who is really getting used and played. Recently I wrote the piece “Will this be the year that American elections aren’t bought?” where I wrote the following.
Conventional wisdom holds that those with the most money win elections. Assuming that polling is accurate, this year is turning that notion on its head. The Rachel Maddow piece in this blog post shows a completely different reality, a reality that may eventually scare millionaires and billionaires intent on controlling our electoral process. Their money may not purchase most politicians anymore.
Given that Jeb Bush has not gained any traction from the millions he has spent, the statement is likely true for candidates that are neither attractive with their message or given respect from the mass media.
“It is the value of the other kinds of media that Donald Trump has been able to generate that actually dwarfs what’s been spent in ads by the other candidates,” said Republican Consultant Bruce Haynes. “You look at the debates and 23 million viewers are tuning into CNN debates … You look at Donald Trump, he gives live speeches, and cable networks carry them live for thirty minutes at a time which dwarfs the value of a thirty second ad. And we are seeing the candidate deliver his message unfiltered, unscripted, sit down interviews, live speeches. This is much more valuable to a candidate than just the presentation of a thirty second ad. And Donald Trump has been frankly a genius in obtaining that time and using it to his great benefit.”
On the surface the statement gives the impression that Donald Trump is a genius for using the media to promote his message in lieu of spending any money to do so. Bruce Haynes is wrong. It isn’t that Trump is a genius. It is that the media have prostituted themselves for ratings. Every single Republican (and Democratic) candidate attempts to get media coverage. The traditional mainstream media decides who to cover. They have implicitly acknowledged that celebrity and off the wall statements get more eyeballs (read ratings) and as such have decided to cover Donald Trump extensively. Trump then uses his notoriety and the recessive fears of many Americans to convert that coverage into positive poll numbers. It is the perfect alliance between the traditional mainstream media and Trump.
I still hold that an educated America will be immune to the spending of millionaires and billionaires attempting to buy elections. One thing is true, the mainstream media will not be a part of the educating of Americans.