Evidence is mounting to support the notion that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump knows he’s going to lose the 2016 election but doesn’t care because his real plan is to start a new media company when he loses.
Days ago, filmmaker Michael Moore theorized that Trump’s run for the presidency was never serious, that in fact he was just trying to get a better contract for his reality TV shows The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice.
Quartz.com also pointed out that in June, Vanity Fair said that Trump was looking to start his own cable channel.
“According to people close to him, Trump hoped to leverage his millions of supporters into a loyal television audience, which, to him, might make the long slog of running for president actually worth it in the end,” wrote Quartz’s Adam Epstein.
In a tweet sent out just prior the publication of the Vanity Fair piece, Trump wrote, “The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!”
CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out on Wednesday night that Trump now has everyone in place to launch a media company with the hiring of Breitbart.com editor Stephen Bannen, ousted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Republican operative and “dirty tricks” specialist Roger Stone.
“Steve Bannon is coming over from media. What media and politics have in common is it’s all about aggregating the biggest possible audience,” said Stelter, the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.
He went on, “Well, what if Trump loses? Think about who he has on his team now. Steve Bannon, Roger Ailes informally, Roger Stone, the confidante who’s known for his dirty tricks. He has all the right people to put in place a new media company, whether it’s a television network or on Facebook or something we can’t picture yet. I think we have to at least consider that possibility even if Trump would never acknowledge that’s real today.”
This would explain why Trump is sticking to his losing strategy of appealing to angry white racists and “letting Trump be Trump.” He might lose the election, but he’s building a core audience of disaffected conservatives who will presumably tune in once the election is over to continue hearing Trump “tell it like it is.”
Liberals and fans of truth in broadcasting may dread the arrival of Trump TV or whatever media polyglot the Trump-Ailes-Bannon team may dream up, but one can draw comfort from even a cursory look at Trump’s long string of business failures.
Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump Atlantic City, his multiple bankruptcies, all of these expensive boondoggles point to a business executive who is feckless, reckless, disorganized and heedless of advice.
New York City ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the Democratic National Convention, “Through his career, Donald Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits and angry stockholders and contractors who feel cheated and disillusioned customers who feel they’ve been ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us.”
A former staffer from the short-lived Trump magazine named Carey Purcell said that her tenure at the publication was marked by bouncing paychecks and power outages due to the company’s failure to pay its bills.
“As a candidate, Trump has built his campaign on his success as a businessman, boasting about his successful deals, the jobs he claims he has created and his personal wealth,” Purcell told the New York Times. “But in the case of Trump magazine, he licensed his name to an inept and irresponsible businessman who broke promises, put its staff out on the street, and left a cancer patient without health care. Almost 10 years have passed since this took place. It has left me hoping that come Nov. 8, Donald Trump will add another item to his long list of failures.”