Thursday, October 11, 2018


How is this even possible?
Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News

President Donald Trump loves to brag about ratings, but he’s not getting them anymore.

As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.

During three Trump rallies last week, Fox News showed clips and highlights from his speeches but stuck largely with its normal weekday prime-time programming. On Saturday, when “Fox Report Weekend” and “Justice with Judge Jeanine” would ordinarily air, the network showed Trump’s speech from Topeka, Kan., in full. But on Tuesday, a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was particularly hard to find — it was not aired live on any major network, and even C-SPAN cut away for other news. And on Wednesday night, as Trump took the stage in Erie, Pa., at 7 p.m., Fox News stuck with its coverage of Hurricane Michael.

... during a crucial period, with the midterms less than a month away, some in the White House are worried that the president is losing a prime-time megaphone to his base.
Every story I've ever read about Trump the media manipulator -- even in publications critical of the president -- has informed me that the president has a flawless sense of every media moment and an unsurpassed gift for knowing when to stir the pot and for how long. We're regularly told that a decade and a half on The Apprentice taught him how to tease, how to reveal, how to build suspense and then deliver a perfectly timed payoff.

So how is it possible that he overplayed his hand on campaign rallies? He's the master!

Of course, Trump wasn't the creator or producer of The Apprentice, and it was a hit but not a blockbuster for most of the time it was on the air. He's better at working the media than, say, Jeb Bush, but he's no genius.

He's not doing these rallies for maximum effect. He's doing them out of an insatiable personal need for validation.

That's also what's unsettling, if predictable, about the bizarre Olivia Nuzzi story. It's not just that Sarah Sanders buttonholed the New York magazine reporter and all but forced her to watch a staged and unconvincing show of comity and normality involving Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, and other top officials. It's also that Trump spent an inordinate amount of time trying to persuade Nuzzi that he's the best, the finest, the most popular. Here's Trump, as quoted by Nuzzi:
" ... I think the rallies have, frankly, built up our poll numbers very greatly. What am I now in Rasmussen? 52?”

The question was directed at Sanders, who confirmed the number. [Note: The Rasmussen poll had Trump at 51 percent.]

“Plus there’s 10 percent, they think, where people don’t respond, unfortunately. I’m not sure if this is nice or not nice, but when they don’t respond, that means it’s an automatic Trump vote. But it’s a 52,” Trump said
Right -- he's really at 62%, because every "undecided" is actually a "yes"! (I suspect that over the years Trump has also applied that rule in the bedroom.)

Just a reminder that another recent Rasmussen poll showed Trump at 50% approval, including 35% approval among black voters:

If you believe that, consider purchasing this bridge I own.

Trump will continue to do rallies, even though less would be more for his favorite TV channel. On this subject, he's not shrewd -- he's needy.

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