Trump TV
November 26, 2018

Is President Trump about ready to return to his old job of television host?

Trump on Monday once again lashed out against CNN on Twitter, lamenting the fact that the network has a "powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way" throughout the world. "Something has to be done" about this, Trump said, suggesting the U.S. government start its own "Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!"

As CNN's Rebecca Berg points out, there's already Voice of America, a government-funded broadcast network with an annual budget of $235 million. But apparently that's not enough for Trump, who seems determined to prove all those rumors about "Trump TV" true. Brendan Morrow

November 1, 2018

Fox & Friends has a solution for journalists who think President Trump should stop calling them enemies of the people: They should simply report the news exactly the way Trump wants them to.

That's what host Ainsley Earhardt suggested during a Thursday segment defending Trump for consistently vilifying the press. "He's saying if you don't want to be called the enemy, then get the story right, be accurate, and report the story the way I want it reported," said Earhardt, per Mediaite.

While she was technically paraphrasing Trump, Earhardt and her colleagues seemed to find this completely reasonable. Co-host Brian Kilmeade called this a "good point," which is surprising considering just two days ago he said he wishes Trump would stop using the phrase "enemy of the people."

Earhardt also suggested everyone should have sympathy for Trump, asking them to imagine how they'd feel if they were president and every time they watched TV, "most of the channels are misconstruing what you say." The Fox & Friends hosts discussed Trump's Thursday claim that calling the media the enemies of the people is his only way to fight back, largely painting it as justifiable. Watch a portion of the segment below. Brendan Morrow

October 18, 2018

Fox & Friends often feels eerily similar to President Trump's rallies these days, but Thursday's broadcast was even more openly aligned with Republican talking points than usual.

During a segment Thursday morning, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy suggested viewers have "got to vote for Republicans" if they don't want open borders, Mediaite reports. He said that "it's clear" that in the midterms, you should only support Democrats "if you think that our southern border should be open," but you should support Republicans "if you think the southern border should actually be a border with security, and stopping people, and processing them accordingly." At the last minute, he added "...the Republicans say" to suggest he was technically paraphrasing the Republican Party's message, but not before his fellow hosts had already moved on.

Doocy's comments came during a segment about a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the U.S. with hopes of crossing the border. Doocy suggested Fox & Friends might sway voters this November, forcing them to think, “did you see that story this morning on Fox & Friends about the caravan? Can you believe that the Democrats want open borders?” The Democratic Party also calls for improving border security.

Other segments on Thursday's Fox & Friends included a friendly interview with Eric Trump, who similarly warned of chaos at the hands of the Democrats. To really drive the point home, the show aired a clip of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich characterizing the midterms as a "life and death struggle" with "radicalized" Democrats. Watch Doocy's warning below, via Fox News. Brendan Morrow

June 26, 2018

President Trump's rallies tend to be something of a free-for-all, with crowds chanting "CNN sucks" or "space force," because why not. When it comes to journalism, though, there are standards — standards that CNN's Chris Cuomo believes Fox News violated with its gleeful headline about his network's chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, being jeered at Monday night at Trump's campaign rally in South Carolina.

"When do they just start calling themselves Trump TV?" Cuomo asked on Twitter, linking to the article, "CNN star Jim Acosta shamed at Trump rally as crowd chants, 'Go home, Jim.'" Cuomo added in apparent disgust: "What journalist would hype Trump's attacks on free press?"

Acosta responded to Cuomo for jumping to his defense:

Watch the hecklers, and Acosta's response to them, here at The Week. Jeva Lange

October 25, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission is prepared to vote next month on trimming or eliminating regulations that limit the ownership of multiple TV stations or newspapers in a single market, The Wall Street Journal reports. The President Trump-appointed FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has framed the decision as being a 21st-century brush-up to national media rules, some of which have gone unchanged since the 1970s.

"Local station owners and some big media companies have complained that federal rules — originally enacted in part to ensure a diversity of views — have hindered their efforts to grow and compete at a time when online competitors have made major inroads," The Wall Street Journal writes.

Other major changes are also afoot. On Tuesday, the FCC voted to scrap a longstanding rule that required local TV and radio stations to have a physical studio in the region they serve. "Technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio," Pai explained. On the other hand, Variety writes that "critics say [the change] will help media companies further consolidate their operations and even be a boost to the ambitions of Sinclair Broadcast Group," a conservative company that has been branded by progressive publications like Mother Jones as "Trump TV." Jeva Lange

October 17, 2016

Donald Trump's team has reportedly made moves to investigate the possibility of launching a television network if the candidate fails to end up in the White House, the Financial Times reports. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly "informally" spoke with Aryeh Bourkoff, the chief executive of the investment firm LionTree, about the potential network; people knowledgeable of the conversation said it was short and has not continued since the initial meeting.

Still, Kushner's meeting shows that reality does not seem to agree with Trump's assurance that "I have no interest in a media company," as he told The Washington Post in September. Yet despite Trump's massive support nationwide, the Financial Times reports establishing a Trump television network would be difficult because "cable and satellite companies are loath to take on extra channels in an era of shrinking audiences and 'cord-cutting.'"

But if Trump is indeed eyeing a future on TV, he has certainly surrounded himself with the right friends. Possible allies in such a future venture could include Kushner, who also heads The New York Observer, Trump campaign manager and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, Fox News' Sean Hannity, InfoWars' Alex Jones, and former Fox News head Roger Ailes, although his exit agreement from the network would prohibit him from close involvement. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads