The idea that Donald Trump could set up his own TV network following November’s election has been swirling around for months. New reports indicate that Trump is taking the idea seriously. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, has apparently been in talks about setting up a Trump TV channel.
Trump has ratcheted up attacks on the media in the last few weeks and he’s targeted news outlets throughout his campaign. Trump recently claimed the New York Times was printing false stories about his treatment of women and that NBC’s Saturday Night Live was part of a conspiracy against him. These attacks on the media have set Trump up as a champion of those voters who have no trust in mainstream news.
Donald Trump has publicly insulted the press at his rallies, encouraged his supporters to jeer at the press gallery and recently claimed that US journalists were no longer interested in truth. A Trump news network would enjoy a ready-made audience. Fans of Trump, many of whom think the election will be rigged, are unlikely to abandon him after November. The right-wing network of choice, Fox News, has also suffered from Trump’s attacks. Once loyal Fox News viewers now believe the network isn’t really conservative, especially since the departure of Roger Ailes.
A Trump-led news network might be the only business opportunity left to Trump. His reputation has been badly damaged by his campaign and his businesses are expected to suffer the fallout from the controversies dogging the Republican. The vocal minority that hangs on Trump’s every word would likely embrace news approved by Trump and his team.
It is impossible to predict what will happen on November 8th if Trump loses the election and his supporters refuse to accept the result but a new, right-wing news network would be a huge opportunity for Donald Trump and it could help transform Trump’s campaign into a long-term political movement.