Rumor: Trump Is Running Just to Start His Own Cable Channel

Sources say it makes a surprising amount of sense
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2016 1:48 PM CDT
Rumor: Trump Is Running Just to Start His Own Cable Channel
Donald Trump might actually be running for media baron instead of president.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Is Donald Trump running for president simply as a means of launching his own cable news network? That's the theory put forth by Vanity Fair, quoting anonymous sources close to the situation. Trump is reportedly "irked" that he's bringing in big ratings for other networks without getting any of the profits himself. “He wants to figure out if he can monetize it,” a source says. He's allegedly consulting with daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner on a "mini-media conglomerate." His reasoning, according to a source: “We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.” A Trump spokesperson denies Trump is even thinking about such a thing. But immediately after, Trump tweeted: "The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!”

New York Magazine says the theory makes sense. This is the first time it's unclear whether a presidential candidate actually wants to be president. Trump is historically unpopular and shows little interest in changing that, and he's half-assing basic tasks of running for president, such as calling donors. Trump TV would be the "logical end" of his campaign, according to New Republic. “If Trump’s TV station gets 30% ratings, it’ll be doing fantastically well," the website states. "But if that’s his share of the vote, then his candidacy will end in failure.” Transitioning from presidential candidate to media baron wouldn't be easy. Trump would still need a partner for funding and would likely need to buy an existing cable channel. “It’s a fool’s errand,” an entertainment executive tells Vanity Fair. “But then again, we are talking about Donald Trump.” (Did this 1992 movie predict Trump's campaign?)

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