Monday, September 18, 2017


This showed up at the Daily Caller last night:
Tucker: Trump Thinks TV More Accurately Reveals The Public’s Beliefs Than Polls Do

Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson says President Trump told him that television programming is a more accurate reflection of the public’s beliefs than polling is.

“I know that he watches a lot of television. I know because I’ve talked to him about it at length, that he’s really interested in television, both the mechanics of it — he knows a lot about ratings and lighting, and producing and guest booking,” Carlson said on “The Jamie Weinstein Show.”

... Carlson told Weinstein that Trump “believes that television is a pretty clear window into what people care about.”

“He believes that television producers, especially of highly rated shows, understand what the public is interested in — what it fears, what it wants, what it loves. And so TV programming in some ways is a more accurate reflection of the public mood than polling,” Carlson said. “That’s his view, he said it to me. And that’s one of the reasons he watches a lot of television. Whether that’s true or not is an entirely debatable point, but he believes if you want to know where the country is, watch TV.”
Oh, okay -- Trump isn't just an old man addicted to his TV remote. He's doing research! As president of the United States, he's staying in touch with the pulse of the people by ... um, watching TV along with them. And not top-rated sports and entertainment programs, but, y'know, Morning Joe, which ordinary people don't watch. He's doing this to become better informed about regular Americans, the same way guys used to say they read Playboy to become better informed about politics and jazz.

Are we going to start hearing this on a regular basis? That Trump's TV addiction is really a populist's attempt to stay populist, and a media professional's attempt to stay on top of trends in his old field? Is this going to be like all the talk we heard during past Republican presidencies about how Reagan and George W. Bush weren't stupid at all, as snooty elitists insisted, but in fact had a unique, intuitive populist genius developed through non-elite means?

It would also seem that Trump's interest in "highly rated shows" is a tad selective. Saturday Night Live and Stephen Colbert got big ratings boosts when they began attacking Trump. American Horror Story got excellent ratings after suggesting that Trump's election would be one of the horrors depicted in the current season. MSNBC passed Fox in prime time ratings this year on the strength of anti-Trump coverage. (The lack of mentions in Trump's Twitter feed suggests that he rarely watches Maddow at all.)

Trump isn't staying connected to the public via TV. He's slacking off. He's half-learning things that he should be learning from briefing books. And he's hoping to get a fix of his favorite drug -- good publicity about himself.

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