Commentary Opinion

Media Outlets Profit in Trump Era

IMAGE: Donald Trump during presidential campaign. iStock photo (Getty Images)


The legendary king of late night TV, Johnny Carson, would sometimes blame a “slow news day” for the lack of comedic material for his standup. It was a different era. No CNN 24-hour news, no other networks doing the same, no political pundits spreading their hype on television and the Internet, no social media.

Times have changed, though, especially now that The Donald oversees a scandal-a-day presidency. There’s plenty news to go around not only for the late night talk show hosts, but also for everyone else in America and in many parts of the world. It’s crazy. And guess what? I bet the wacky, constant news feeds are keeping more eyeballs and minds pegged to TV, phone and computer screens and other news bearing gizmos, and away from the old mundane concerns of those hooked on the frenzy.

Ever since he launched his run for the presidency, Trump’s brazen and erratic comments have not just been tabloid fodder, but also forage to fill many once empty news hours. Stories of his personal behavior and dirty doings have added to the fold. It’s crazy, really crazy. But it’s also music to the ears of corporate honchos at media et al. Trump is making them richer. That’s my take on the matter.

It’s sad too, not just crazy. As media outlets fill their coffers with the additional revenue provided by more television viewers, radio listeners, and online page views, the nation is also becoming more divided by the constant chatter. If you were to ask me, I’d say “the media done it.” Besides helping elect Trump with coverage mostly focused on him during the campaign, the folks at most media outlets continue to add to the frenzy, breeding discord with their never ending and often slanted drivel. But that’s how it is in the crazy news world, in which the old adage of “If it bleeds, it leads” still applies. And let me tell you, there’s plenty bleeding going around now with Trump at the helm. Figuratively and real.

Of course, Trump won’t be around forever. With the Mueller investigation doing its due diligence and stretching with prudence the long arm of the law, chances are The Donald won’t get to finish out his term of office, especially once democrats take over Congress in the fall. He will be shown the door. That’s my belief. Once he’s out, the media frenzy will also come to an end, along with diminished bottom lines. For a while, anyway.

My hope is that we return to the good old times of some slow news days, when late night show hosts scrounged around for comedic political material. But it won’t be so. The corporate media sharks are out now. They’ve tasted blood and I’m sure cherish what a news frenzy can do to their financial statements. They will find other like-Trump figures to feed their news needs and continue to inflame the minds of the people.

That’s for sure.


AUTHOR: Pedro Chávez