‘Xenophobia and racism sells ads’: Matt Taibbi shreds media for creating Trump – then profiting off of him
The Rolling Stone journalist who wrote the book “Insane Clown President” claims Donald Trump didn’t just take advantage or America’s shallow media system, but was created by it.
“For more than two years now, it’s been obvious that Donald Trump is a disaster on almost every level except one – he’s great for the media business,” Matt Taibbi noted. “Most of us who do this work have already gone through the process of working out just how guilty we should or should not feel about this.”
Taibbi notes that both CNN and CBS have bragged about the boom in ratings.
“[Trump] is good for business,” head of CNN International Tony Maddox said. “It’s a glib thing to say. But our performance has been enhanced during this news period.”
“If you look at the groups that Trump has primarily targeted: CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Colbert,” he said, “every single one of those has seen a quite remarkable growth in their viewing figures, in their sales figures.”
Donald Trump’s candidacy “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” Les Moonves said of his network in 2016. “The money’s rolling in, and this is fun.”
“This presidency has become the ultimate ratings bonanza,” Taibbi noted. “Trump couldn’t do better numbers if he jumped off Mount Kilimanjaro carrying a Kardashian.”
Taibbi argues that television networks share the blame for the Trump phenomenon.
“The Trump presidency is like a diabolical combination of every schlock eyeball-grabbing formula the networks have ever deployed. It’s Battle of the Network Stars meets Wrestlemania meets Survivor meets the Kursk disaster,” Taibbi explained. “It’s got the immediacy of a breaking news crash, with themes of impending doom, conflict, celebrity meltdown, anger, racism, gender war, everything.”
“There isn’t a news executive alive low enough to deny that we use xenophobia and racism to sell ads. Black people on TV for decades were almost always shirtless and chased by cops, and the ‘rock-throwing Arab’ photo was a staple of international news sections even before 9/11,” Taibbi argued. “Donald Trump didn’t just take advantage of these conditions. He was created in part by them. What’s left of Trump’s mind is like a parody of the average American media consumer: credulous, self-centered, manic, sex-obsessed, unfocused, and glued to stories that appeal to his sense of outrage and victimhood.”
Trump didn't just take advantage of a shallow media system, he's also a product of it: column. https://t.co/Ii7a767OrH
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) August 25, 2017