Wall-to-wall media coverage of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment highlights the former President’s grip on the press and the challenge competitors could face when attempting to break through.
Cable networks covered the allegations extensively, although during many broadcasts there was nothing new to report.
Local news helicopters followed Trump as he left his home in Florida for the airport, causing comparisons to the 1994 O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco Chase.
Helicopters hovered again as Trump’s motorcade traveled down the highway to the Manhattan courthouse and again as he left the Big Apple later that afternoon. On Tuesday (April 4) night — even as Wisconsin held an election to determine the balance of the state Supreme Court — little else was reported.
Instead, the never-ending Trump news cycle predicts what the coming months will look like for the former President’s GOP opponents.
The public’s appetite for Trump news will make it challenging for others to break through.
According to one Democratic strategist, although cable networks “love to hate” Trump, reporting on the former President is good for business.
The Democratic strategist admitted to hating to say that the former President is “good” for TV ratings and books, noting that Trunk was “driving the conversation, for better or worse.
Chasing ratings with negative news is an old story in the media, causing some to query whether the companies that received criticism for giving Trump free press ahead of the 2020 Presidential election learned anything.
In 2016 when Trump was dominating front pages and broadcasts because of his run for the Presidency, then-CBS CEO Les Moonves declared at a Morgan Stanley conference that although a Trump presidency wasn’t “good for America,” it was “damn good for CBS.”
Later, Moonves claimed the comment was a joke, saying it had no context and was in response to a question about local political ads, not TV ratings.