B.J. Bethel

A view of the world from Ohio

Trump’s entire campaign is a massive, Friday news dump

Chris Zappone of Fairfax Media, home of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote a remarkable article on the nature of Trump’s media strategy, where it came from, and why it’s effective.

If you study political science, media and propaganda or pay attention to Eastern European or Eurasian politics, the approach is familiar. It’s pure Putin at its core, embraced by his surrogates across the former WARSAW Pact, flooding the media cycle with stories that are good, bad, false, more false – it doesn’t matter. Media fact checkers can’t keep pace with the flood, as Zappone notes, and neither can other candidates. Zappone’s critique, based off a RAND research paper titled the “Firehose of Falsehood,” explains this strategy – a strategy Trump used his entire campaign, and was quickly evident the night of the first debate, when he stole the news cycle from a willing media, an entire political party, and over a dozen other candidates.

Immediately after the first Republican debate, Donald Trump was hardly the topic of conversation. His pugilistic back and forth with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was noted, and negatively, but it didn’t rise to the level of historic ripostes of debates past (in terms of confrontations, it was no Jack Kennedy).

Afterward, Trump’s performance and his toe-to-toe with Kelly over his treatment toward female workers was note two or five depending on the source. John Kasich was the prominent moderate, the compassionate conservative, while the rest pushed their bona fides to the establishment conservatives. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie was the chatter from the punditry into the night.

Then the sun rose, the morning came, and the dawn of a new era of campaigning, elections and politics in the U.S.. Donald Trump began attacking Kelly in the middle of the night on his Twitter account. By the time morning news shows and the reporters were up, the story shifted from the other candidates and Trump’s alleged sexism to Trump vs. Kelly.

This would be the proceedings for the rest of the Republican primary. Trump would dominate the news cycle by the hour, just on whatever he tweeted at the moment. He would trash CNN for hours on the trail, then the network would give him minute upon minute of primetime at his whim.

Trump’s name recognition, his say-anything sound byte moments, followed by incessant Tweeting and a network of dummy social accounts and overseas trolls turning the wheels and opening the gates.

 

 

 

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