Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, August 19, 2016

Media Mogul

The speculation is that Trump's latest move to turn over his campaign to alt-Right website - and now the resignation of Paul Manafort - is a demonstration of Trump's desire to set up a rival to Fox News after he loses in November.  Matthew Yglesias notes that Trump isn't really a "business man" he's a media star.  Given his mediocre business record and value he puts on his brand, that certainly rings true.

The idea that he's preparing to launch an even more rabid version of Fox is advanced by John Cassidy among others.  Certainly, if Jabba the Hutt cosplay enthusiast Roger Ailes is landing in Trump's camp, that would be a sign that Trump's vision could be shifting to a media empire.

Secondly, a lot of Republicans are looking at the connection between Trumpism and Fox News' fact free inflammatory programming.  "How did this happen?" has to begin with Fox and people like Hannity and O'Reilly.  And of course Ailes.  Will Murdoch start to rein in the worst excesses of his evil spawn?  Certainly, the decision to hire Ailes acolytes to succeed Ailes suggests that he won't.

But if we are left with a shattered Republican party in November, they are going to have to look at the possibility of returning to some sort of recognizable reality.  And that will have to start with its media arm: Fox.

If that happens, there is a niche market for Trump & Co. to launch a version of Breitbart TV (Trump TV, natch), and an audience is perfectly set up for it.  Sarah Palin kinda sorta tried that, but the Quitta from Wasilla was never the sort to follow through on anything: elective office, media empires or sentence structure.

Trump threatens to turn the GOP into an ethno-nationalist party.  The Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell/Ayn Rand wing of the party will have to fight back somehow.  Is this the beginning of that conflict?

No comments: