He has repeatedly complained that the high ratings he has generated for cable news networks is making other people rich. Now he and his advisers are talking about a way to fix that problem. As Sarah Ellison reports in Vanity Fair:
“Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States. According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him.”
Trump apparently wants to go through with Trump TV whether he wins or loses in November, so in theory the Trump presidency could be a non-stop reality show.
Trump TV would be a culmination of the way Trump has fused entertainment with politics. But it also shows the limits of Trump’s political appeal, because the incentive structures of politics and entertainment are very different. The entertainer thrives by getting attention, good or bad. The politician has to get not just attention, but also at least a plurality of support. If Trump’s TV station gets 30 percent ratings, it’ll be doing fantastically well. But if that’s his share of the vote, then his candidacy will end in failure. The very qualities that might make Trump TV viable are lethal to his political hopes.