With ease, Donald Trump thrusts himself into mainstream media. Consequently, Americans are relentlessly streamed copious amounts of Donald Trump. Moreover, the media’s Trump addiction has the effect of creating a larger-than-life stature, as well as a more than willing sound board. Therefore, the media’s Trump addiction presents him as the Presidential Candidate, while diluting the other candidates, and their narratives.
No Press is Bad Press
Donald Trump has had his blunders with the media starting when he first announced his candidacy, where he called Mexican immigrants rapists. Since then, Trump’s statements have repeatedly come under fire, putting Trump on the defensive. Yet, Trump’s standard defensive tactic is to simply refute the allegations that that is what he said, or argue that it was applied in the wrong context; however, neither of Trump’s defensive tactics are useful in refuting the truth.
Trump’s defensive tactics are useful in something else, though: generating press coverage. Aligned with the old adage of “No Press is Bad Press,” media outlets jump on every controversial word Trump blips. Furthermore, media outlets then pump this news on constant repeat to millions of homes, consequently presenting Trump as larger-than-life. Thus, the media’s insatiable Trump addiction–besides making everyone bleed at the nose–serves as a sounding board for Trump’s campaign.
Free Press: The Best Money Can Buy
Perhaps intentionally, Trump has also found a way to leverage the media’s addiction to him. Here, Trump has used the media’s Trump addiction to help buy the best press: free press. While other candidates like Jeb Bush have spent a substantial amount of funds on TV ads–Jeb’s campaign has spent almost $30 million–Trump has benefitted from the media’s addiction.
Indeed, in November, Trump announced that his campaign has a $20 million budget for advertising; however, until most recently, the Trump campaign has not spent a dollar. This has been attributed not to the wild popularity of the Trump campaign, but, rather, by the media creating a popular Trump. Moreover, the media’s Trump addiction allows the Trump campaign free reign to deliver a perverted narrative of conservatism.
In an effort to provide Americans with coverage on presidential candidates equally, the media has developed an insatiable addiction to Donald Trump. Trump’s bombastic style of speech has paid off for his campaign, though, offering him free press, and a lot of it. Unfortunately, the media’s Trump addiction has come at the American voters expense, where the coverage of more than a dozen presidential candidates has taken the form of one candidate–Mr. Trump.
Authored by: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione