Speed Reads

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The theory that Donald Trump is prepping a media empire sounds way more plausible now

Donald Trump might already be putting together a Plan B for if he loses the election. At least that's how it seems to CNN's Brian Stelter, who pointed to recent developments in the Trump campaign that put the former reality TV star in a good position to launch a conservative media organization following a loss in November:

"If he's thinking he might lose the election, what he might want to do is launch a new television channel, or launch a new giant website, or a new subscription service. He might be thinking about a media enterprise. And if he is, [Fox News founder] Roger Ailes and [Breitbart executive chairman] Steve Bannon are the men you want in your corner," Stelter said.

Trump has long been rumored to be eyeing a possible post-election television venture, with Vanity Fair writing in June that a person close to Trump suggested he has "become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself. Such a situation 'brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network.'"

While The Washington Post's Greg Sargent thinks at this point the entire scenario sounds rather conspiratorial, he admits: "Perhaps Trump is very consciously sticking to his strategy of fusing white nationalism with rousing WWE style political entertainment, and very consciously avoiding broader demographic outreach that might dilute this approach's appeal to his core constituencies, in order to split off a chunk of the GOP and keep it for himself later as a following and national audience."

Everyone seems to agree, though, that the situation certainly "bears watching."