Baer: Trump TV could be huuuge!

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If Donald Trump's not the next president, could he be the next Ted Turner?

SOME DONALD Trump stories beg for further comment.

I don't mean his quick canning of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

I don't mean bad fund-raising . . . Wait, what happened to self-funding with "I'm really rich" billions and billions?

Nope. I mean a recent report in Vanity Fair that Trump's interested in his own cable news channel.

Oh, mama, talk about breaking news.

If Trump's not the next president, could Trump be the next Ted Turner?

Two things come to mind.

First, I imagine a whole network. Trump doing news would be big and wall-to-wall. (Get it? Wall to wall. Sorry.)

So it needs a proper name. Something simple, such as DTN (Donald Trump News) or TTT (Trump, Trump, Trump) might work.

Then it needs a slogan.

Detractors might suggest "Unfair and Unbalanced" (meaning him). But I like, "This is TTT, making TV great again."

And shows. You'd need shows to compete with the noise on Fox and MSNBC.

So, opposite Fox's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Trump can offer On the Border with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Those watching MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews might be tempted to switch to Meatball with Chris Christie.

If you like Hannity on Fox, you'll love Hillary on TTT, a daily recounting of Whitewater, email scandals, and presidential infidelity.

Watch All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC? Catch All Out with Ted Cruz, about rousting Muslim neighborhoods.

And then, as a friend suggests, Weather With Miss Universe at the top of every hour.

A winner, right? A natural for The Donald. And maybe the plan all along.

I say that because the second thought I had harks back to January and a possibly prescient satire piece that ran in the New Yorker. Written by Douglas McGrath, it suggested that Trump's presidential effort was aimed at getting twice the money from NBC to stay on The Apprentice.

 

It portrayed Trump as in the race solely to reburnish his brand and, having done so, to find ways to get forced out, because "running for President is bull----. What kind of loser would do this?"

The plan was to spew offensive statements - Mexicans are rapists, John McCain's no war hero, Carly Fiorina has a hatchet face, etc. - riling the politically correct.

In the piece, Trump tells an aide that nobody wants a heartless president, but insults are exactly the ticket for a guy who says "You're fired" for a living.

Of course, the plan backfires, Trump rises, and the piece ends with Trump bemoaning, "We have a serious problem . . . I might win."

It registered with me. I always was ready to believe that Trump never wanted the White House, just a giant ego-feed: huge reward, no responsibility.

Now I wonder whether this cable TV thing is the real reason behind the run.

His campaign found an untapped audience willing to trade civility for "telling it like it is," even if the telling is offered with overt or dog-whistled racism and misogyny.

And having set the stage on so many stages, then watching others get rich off his ratings draw, perhaps Trump's ready to bump it up to a higher constant platform.

And isn't an already polarized America the perfect place to push polarization?

The Trump camp denied the Vanity Fair story, but that camp denies lots of things.

And right after the magazine asked about a cable news venture, Trump tweeted, "The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!"

So stay tuned. Trump TV could be huuuge.

baerj@phillynews.com

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer