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Could Trump be planning a move to television after losing Joe Biden? That’s something he’s been interested in before.
As a former TV host of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice, Trump has long railed against the mainstream media, and the term “fake news” will forever be associated with his tenure at the White House, as will, of course, his volatile relationship with the press.
Now that he has lost the 2020 presidential election, could “alternative facts” get to a station near you?
Sarah Ellison, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of “War” at the Wall Street Journal, suspected as early as 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was on the brink of victory, that Trump was planning to capitalize on a right-wing media empire.
This raises the question of whether a potential Trump TV station will compete with Fox – or whether the 45th president will merge with the conservative station that has been allied with his administration for four years.
Trump has previously expressed the desire to create a television station. During a speech at a Medicare event in Florida in October 2019, Trump complained about CNN’s coverage of his impeachment investigation.
“We should create our own network and publish real news,” Trump said (via CNN).
“We really do, we’re watching this. We should also do something about it. We should use some really talented people and bring out a real voice, not a fake voice.
He also tweeted in April that Fox News viewers wanted “an alternative”.
….fraud @donnabrazile (and others, which are still worse). Chris Wallace is meaner to Republicans than even “Deface the Nation” or “Sleepy Eyes”. The people who see @FoxNews in record numbers (thanks to President Trump) are angry. They now want an alternative. And I want that too!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2020
Eric Deggans, a media analyst and author of Race-Baiter, How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, told Washington Newsday that Trump would most likely “try to maintain his profile in politics and American life by switching to a prominent media platform when he loses the presidency.
“Trump has shattered a lot of norms, and if he did that, it would be another unprecedented move,” Deggans said. “In the past, when Republican presidents have suffered defeats, they have usually distanced themselves from the political stage – Generald Ford, George H.W. Bush as the most recent examples. Even George W. Bush retired after leaving office because his performance during the Great Recession made him mostly radioactive to Republicans who want to win back the White House”.
Deggans said that a quiet retirement was unlikely for Trump because he “does not seem to be built that way.
“There are many media outlets that would see dollar signs as a vehicle for his plans after the presidency,” he added. “I can’t imagine Trump starting his own station, because that would mean too much work and immediately put him in the back of a very full field. I think it’s much more likely that he will make a deal with an existing platform to be their biggest star and most important focus”.
Chris Cillizza of CNN also predicted that Trump now needs a “new act” and can no longer rely on the Trump band as a source of income, so he will turn to television.
“Let’s see what we know about Donald Trump,” Cillizza said. “First, he loves the national spotlight and won’t want to give it up. Second, he has long been obsessed with cable television. Number three, his brand – which is essentially his name and has always been the biggest moneymaker for his companies – will be severely diminished in the eyes of Americans because of the actions he has taken and has not taken during his four-year term as president”.
Cillizza added that Trump has more than $400 million in loans and his source of income will be “severely limited.
He added: “Trump, in short, will need a new act, and one that can provide him with money.
As for the much-promised Trump TV, Deggans believes that a Trump who no longer has control of the White House would not work for Fox News.
“I think Trump would insist that Fox News devote itself to him in a way that might