He may be gone from cable news but that doesn’t mean Keith Olbermann is staying silent. He just penned an article on media’s obsession with Donald Trump…
1. STOP ASKING “WHY ARE THEY COVERING TRUMP ALL THE EFFING TIME?”
They’re doing it for the money.
Save yourself the aggravation of looking for journalistic malfeasance, political motives, secret cabals or sinister corporations acting stealthily behind the curtain.
No stealth. No curtain. No apologies.
“Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now?” asked a giddy CBS Chairman Les Moonves late last month. “The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”
Moonves—to my experience the most honest executive in media (not that it’s a suffocatingly full elevator)—summed it up: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. … This is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”
What else do you expect from commercial-based broadcasting? Or commercial-based digital and print journalism?
And Moonves is just talking about ad revenues here. He hasn’t even touched on the subjects of ratings, or of all the free news product that Trump—and the Fight To Save Us From Trump—has generated. From networks to the net, the mantra “If it bleeds, it leads” has been replaced by “If it’s Trump, the numbers jump.”
Debates and these horrifying Town Halls (which reveal to the world that American public education failed circa 1960) cost more to produce than do candidate speeches—but they also kill off even more hours. And better yet, they produce ratings approaching 10 times the ordinary high water mark. And you can keep talking about these debates or Town Halls the next day on your other news shows—even if the event wasn’t on your network.
And don’t point the finger only at television. You. Are. Reading. This.
The effect the Trump magic wand has had on the web is a little more difficult to quantify, but it’s there. I truly worry about the future of mankind every time Donnie opens his Clutch Cargo mouth, but he has been right once in this campaign: The news organizations should be paying him for filling all this time and space. Of course, only Trump would fail to recognize that just as assuredly, those news organizations should also be billing him for all the free advertising. The two figures would presumably be a wash.
You want to ask a pertinent question? Don’t ask “why are they covering him so much?” Ask “why are we listening/reading/watching them cover him so much?”