Donald Trump watches a lot of television. It is not mere entertainment for him, but also a means to power and a guide to policy. Anonymous aides have said it can be difficult to wrest Trump from the screen to fulfill the duties of his office.
To anybody interested in a competent executive branch, this falls somewhere between mild and full-blown crisis. But every crisis is an opportunity, of sorts. If Trump gets his talking points, policy ideas, and legislative focus from a handful of advertising-supported television shows, it’s only a matter of time until these show’s advertisers and producers recognize they potentially have enormous power over national policy—or, at the very least, they can tell advertising companies that they do. Got a point to make? Don’t spend a fortune on lobbying and white papers. Just buy an ad on Hannity.
Indeed, some politicians and journalists are realizing just how much Trump’s statements are recapitulations of ideas he has just seen on TV. CNN's Brian Stelter observed that minutes after Fox News used the words "ungrateful traitor" to describe Chelsea Manning and "weak leader" to describe President Obama, Trump sent a tweet calling Manning an "Ungrateful TRAITOR" and Obama "a weak leader."