20 Comments
Aug 31, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

A nutty theory: The networks give him so much time and attention because the bosses agree with him. I bet they discuss the issue regularly with all of their female and Black executives and anchors. Ahem.

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Aug 31, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

The news media, especially the cable news networks, have made the Trump presidency into a hyper ratings grab. That's obvious. They tap into the rage that underlies today's politics and stir the pot. As an MSNBC viewer, it can get tiring at times with the same old-same old. Rap songs quoted, cringe-inducing "funny" segments, people looking incredulous, someone asking a guest of validation, having to wait until the end of the hour for a special guest, and of course, a four minute question with platitudes and pop culture references. Clearly I watch too much MSNBC. Tune in tomorrow for more anger and snarky comments.

But they're not the only ones. As a not so proud Twitter denizen, there are people there who've made Trump into their cottage industry. From the nutters who orbit some grifter with a Scooby-Do van to those who hang on the words of conspiracy mongers with books to sell and podcasts to promote, it is a cesspool of people who probably secretly hope Trump gets another four years just to keep the gravy train going.

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founding

The media really needs to think hard about whether they are creating impressions rather than reporting on them. I can’t help thinking that their worship of excitement and charisma is an example. I am old enough to remember when Eisenhower was in office. Excitement is not a word that comes to mind. I think the media was so enamored of JFK who was a genius at schmoozing the media that they are always looking for a candidate with his charm and charisma, qualified or not. Clearly they were much more impressed by the excitement of Trump’s deranged campaign than they were with the important substance of Hillary’s. They reported non-stop on the first and almost completely ignored the second.

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author

there’s never been any proof Trump is charismatic figure—press just invented that

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founding

And millions of people bought their description. Contrary to what the media tells us they create the impressions that they claim originated with the public. Or, as in the case of Al Gore the big fat liar, the right creates the frame and the media helps promote it.

The media also did that with Bush the “Compassionate Conservative”. I remember Molly Irvin’s pointing out that Bush had refused to strongly promote the SCHIP program to poor Texas families who qualified. In contrast Christie Todd Whitman had an aggressive outreach in NJ to make sure poor kids could get health insurance.

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Listen, in a fair election, they call Biden the 46th president by 10PM Eastern time on November 3rd. The problem is it will not be a fair election. Voter suppression, the slowing down of the postal system, now the head of intelligence not reporting Russian interference in person, Trump's continuing claims that if he loses the election it's because it's rigged, his stoking of violence to scare the shit out of suburban house wives, those are the issues. It is going to make for one of the most divisive and violent 5 months in recent American history. This man is not popular but his base is loud and loyal and own 60 percent of the guns. That's what scares the shit out of me.

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author

agreed. In fair election, this is no contest. but Trump is betting on authoritarian rule and a press that’s too afraid to call it that

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It seems like our culture as a whole overestimates support for Trump (in terms of media consumption, votes, and polls).

Like you said, more and more of us have consistently tuned him out years ago...

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author

yes, press completely we’d to idea Trump is Must-See TV

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“Trump’s convention acceptance speech was the lowest-rated one in primetime history,“ 😂

I wonder if Trump even knows about this, or if his sycophants are keeping this information away from him. Or if he found out on Twitter yesterday and that’s what sparked his manic tweetfest throughout the night.

Maybe the media will finally stop giving him so much airtime, since he is now a ratings disaster. Though I wouldn’t put it past him to force them to cover his pseudo press conferences via pool reporters. 🙄

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author

Ha good q! over weekend Trump tweeted that 145M (!!!) people watched convention

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It is really quite pathetic.

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This is really creepy. And apparently Trump barely got any coverage for the stunt of having Robert's funeral at the WH.

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Trump is obsessed with ratings, we all know. And we all hope that rubbing his nose in bad ratings will stop his crapping on our carpet. Thanks to Eric for giving it a go. But I am among those wanting to know why the Robert-funeral stunt was not covered. Why did media pretend there was no crap on the floor and just walk around it?

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I think Trump himself was disappointed in the way the press treated the funeral stunt. The way the text of the ad goes out of its way to say such nice things about Robert, and to mention what a good relationship he had with his brother the President, are dead giveaways as to who placed the anonymous ad. Trump wanted more personal publicity for himself, more credit for being such a loving brother. He thought he'd been cheated out of his rightful positive publicity by the media, so he bought himself some publicity in the Times.

Just my own take on it, of course. But I'll say it again (I sound like a broken record by now): still no death certificate.

Go figure.

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Not going with the conspiracy theory. I was just asking about media retreat from the story. I would guess they are being polite, as was Al Franken. Trump depends on others being polite.

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It appears that Laura Ingraham attributed it to Covid. Did I hear this right? https://twitter.com/andrea313/status/1305369026491822081?s=20

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Mr. Boehlert, Glad to see you’re convinced. More Trump on TV is good. Like NASCAR; you know there’s going to be a wreck. The more Trump is out there; the easier to see that he’s got no substance. “Sound and fury signifying nothing.”

And you’ve got it. People are bored by Trump. Let’s keep him on TV until people are sick of seeing his face. Which, hopefully, will occur before Nov. 3rd.

As an aside, I didn’t hear Trump say anything appallingly stupid last Wednesday. Thursday though is a pick’em. I choose Biden wants to destroy the suburbs. If you prefer a different quote go to it.

So I will donate $50 to the shelter of your choice. You donate $50 to the Central Union Mission closest time you.

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author

ha! I am weirdly fascinated by how Trump so closely associates being in TV w/ being validated as a human. He reminds me of that kid from Willy Wonka i

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