Meanwhile, back to Trump’s world…
Before we venture into the widening abyss of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, let’s pause for a moment and put on our cinematic lenses. Sit back in your easy chair, grab some buttered kernels and pop; there may be some turbulence ahead.
Now, imagine for a moment that you are going about your daily routine: waking after hitting the snooze button three times too many; warming up your Mr. Coffee while you draw a hot bath; opening the curtains while saying, “Hello world;” and gearing up for your long day ahead at the office.
After your Celtic sea salt bath, you slip into your starched Dickies, a button-down shirt and pair of loafers. You gingerly stroke your Calico cat’s fur, kiss your charming wife and two toddlers, grab your briefcase and set sail for your day job like Mr. Cleaver did in Leave it to Beaver. At the office, everyone — even the mail courier — greets you with the “Good Morning” Mr. so and so and other rapid-fire obligatory niceties.
After a long day’s work, you stop at the local farmers market to pick up fresh organic basil, thyme, hand-crafted noodles, and grass fed ground beef for your lovey-dovey’s spaghetti and meatballs with fontina cheese dish. Before charting a course towards home to wind down and start the process all over again, you stop at a corner newsstand for the local paper and fetch a cup of piping-hot Fair Trade coffee.
By all accounts, you have it made and are living the “American Dream” in real-time. Silently, you pay homage to the pilgrims that landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
What more can a guy or gal ask for, right? Short of love, peace, and heavenly devotion, I’d argue there’s not much more beyond that deal.
Suddenly, you realize it was all part of an elaborate show. Yes, my friend, you were — in the spirit of Ashton Kutcher — Punk’d.
Similarly, for a moment, your life was like Jim Carrey’s character in the 1998 film, the Truman Show — until you learned the truth. I can’t resist drawing a comparison with Donald Trump’s candidacy.
So Trump is already planning TrumpTV. America, you’ve been had. #$$$$ https://t.co/kN6dktORhQ
— HipHughes (@hiphughes) October 18, 2016
The difference between Trump and the fictional Truman Burbank is the duping of the film’s main character into thinking his life was real. On the other hand, Trump is behind the double-crossing of American politics and mainstream television. I’ll go one step further by saying that he knows the ragtag idealists behind his populist movement — even if they are unwilling partners.
With only weeks ahead of Election Day, multiple sources, including Gothamist reported that Jared Kushner is quietly negotiating a deal to bring Trump TV to your living rooms post-election.
You may recall Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law (Ivanka Trump’s husband) who owns the New York Observer magazine. The real estate investor, lawyer, and former Trump campaign speech writer reportedly also works silently in the background of the campaign.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 17, 2016
Using his contacts and political influence, Kushner at the behest of his father-in-law, met with one of biggest dealmakers in on Wall Street and beyond: LionTree investment banker and CEO, Aryeh Bourkoff.
Variety wrote that “The discussion between Kushner and Bourkoff was brief and took place more than a month ago. The two men are friendly and have been involved in philanthropic and charitable endeavors together. LionTree, the source stressed, has no interest in being involved in a venture that has been dubbed ‘Trump TV’ in speculative media reports over the past few months.”
The source dismissed the reports of a Trump TV deal as speculation. Apparently, Bourkoff and Kushner are friendly; the LionTree boss advised Ivanka’s husband on business ventures in the past. Just last month, Trump sidestepped rumors about his plans to found his a television network bearing his name. But you know what they say, “If it walks like a duck…”
Undeniably, the optics of the meeting is suspect. Nonetheless, if I was in the market to launch a media company or TV network, Bourkoff is the first person I’d tap for advice. After all, he’s connected to several high-profile projects with lofty price tags.
He provided investment guidance for the game-changing company takeover of Time Warner Cable by Charter Communications in 2015. Among his other $300 billion successful negotiations, Bourkoff had a hand in “Liberty Global’s $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media and Verizon’s $4.4bn takeover of AOL.”
Perhaps, one of the largest indicators that a Trump TV project is being considered is the GOP nominee’s hiring of disgraced former Fox News founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, who was fired by Rupert Murdoch in the wake of multiple allegations that surface against Ailes.
— ANONYMOUS JOBS (@AnonymousJobsUS) October 15, 2016
As a successful businessperson, Trump has to see the value of his antics during the presidential campaign. Despite his poll numbers, abandonment by senior party members over his divisiveness rhetoric and declarations by many opposed to his candidacy of his “unfitness” to be commander in chief, Trump defies the odds.
As a savvy business mogul, Trump would be foolish if he doesn’t see an upside to adding a media division to his bloated portfolio. After all, he’s a TV draw likened to a deity in the industry — and he knows full well. Not in my lifetime has any single person leveraged social media and the silent majority.
Just last month, a professor at American University chimed in on the New York land baron’s commercial appeal. Leonard Steinhorn said Trump “had a lifetime of experience with TV, and he understands the power of the medium in a way that many presidents have not. Donald Trump set out in this campaign to dominate the [TV] experience, to keep people glued in and to define the parameters of how we all experience this election. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the artfulness or the personality to compete with that.”
Ironically, Trump once deplored television and its repercussions on democracy. I dug into the archives of TV and found a statement the flamboyant entrepreneur made during a chat with former gossip maven Rona Barrett, as the Patch wrote.
“It’s hurt the process very much. Abraham Lincoln would probably not be electable today because of television. He was not a handsome man, and he did not smile at all. He would not be considered to be a prime candidate for the presidency — and that’s a shame, isn’t it?”
Imagine that? Like you probably did after reading this account — stuff that you can’t fabricate — my mouth was left agape. Trump? Did HE detest TV back in the day?
Sure, he did. But methinks it was part of his bait-and-switch master plan.
[Featured Image by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]