In an episode of ‘Morning Joe’ this week Donny Deutsch, an advertising executive and TV personality but more importantly a friend of Donald Trump’s, painted an interesting and plausible scenario Trump might be following in the presidential election. The goal of Trump’s campaign would not be to win the election and end up in the White House, but to create and nurture a dedicated following that is large enough to justify the launching of a new TV channel after the election. On that channel, which would be financed by Russian investors with support from Putin, Trump would have unlimited opportunity to continue spreading his gospel of racism and xenophobia and to comment on US politics and policies, at home and abroad. Instead of ‘The Apprentice,’ which NBC has already announced it won’t bring back if Trump loses the election, he could have his own show that would be replayed a couple of times every day, and fill the rest of the programming with infomercials about Ivanka’s shoes and Melania’s jewelry, and even a show about wild game hunting presented by fuckface and douchebag, Don and Eric Trump.
It seems far-fetched, but reflect on it for a minute. With a solid core of some forty million Trump followers his channel would have one of the largest audiences in cable TV in the US. Considering how eager Trump is to get his messages out via Twitter, and how much he appears to enjoy his rallies, the idea of being able to visualize his Twitter rants must be very appealing to him. The problems at Fox News after the departure of Roger Ailes would enlarge the marketing opportunity, and Trump might be able to bring a junkyard dog like Sean Hannity and a retired pole dancer like Ann Coulter over to his channel. On top of this it would give him a chance to get even with Rupert Murdoch, who put himself back in charge of Fox News but also owns the New York Post, where he must have authorized the publication of Melania Trump’s nude pictures. For Vladimir Putin, the creation of Trump TV would mean that he gains a foothold in the market for what is still America’s favorite medium, from where Russian propaganda can be disseminated incessantly by Trump and his cronies with Russian ties like Paul Manafort.
And then there is the financial side of it. Trump TV could be the biggest business venture Trump will ever be involved with, and it would give him a chance to lose the election and still come out a winner, which is extremely important for someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He won’t go as far as saying that this was the intention all along, because that would alienate part of his future TV audience, but he’ll undoubtedly convince himself that it was.
In order to make Trump TV happen Donald Trump has to tread carefully during the rest of the campaign. He cannot deliberately throw the election or even create the appearance that he does, but at the same time he has to make sure that he doesn’t inadvertently win and end up helplessly in the Oval Office, instead of in front of a camera where he’s much more comfortable.
If Trump was not already thinking about Trump TV Donny Deutsch definitely put the idea in his head, and it might explain some of the erratic swings his campaign is taking. The only problem with this scenario is that it assumes that Trump is acting rationally, which is hard to imagine.