After nearly a year of sifting through swirling rumors regarding a creation of “Trump TV”, it’s here. On Sunday, “Trump TV” debuted on Trump’s FB page with former CNN contributor and Trump defender, Kayleigh McEnany appearing to be the face of the new outlet.
The move may come as a shock to some, particularly when back in 2016 Trump was quoted as saying “No, I have no interest in Trump TV,” to Cincinnati’s Scott Sloan of 700WLW radio. Yet, it’s worth remembering that during his campaign Trump aired a nightly show via Facebook Live. Plus, on August 2nd, Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, hosted a “real news” program which also ran on President Trump’s Facebook Page.
Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng wrote a compelling piece at the Daily Beast which reported that Lara Trump was in fact running the show at “Trump TV”, using her previous experience as a producer at Inside Edition and her role at consulting firm Giles-Parscale, for the President’s reelection effort.
“Giles-Parscale hired Lara in late March. Since then, she has taken over its Trump campaign work, practically replacing Parscale on that front in all respects but his official campaign title.
With Lara overseeing that digital consulting work for the Trump campaign, Giles-Parscale has helped to craft the new Trump TV videos. Trump herself starred in the first such video, which was released through the campaign’s social media channels last week. The firm is also doing some editing and graphics work for the videos.
The title “Real News” is an allusion to Trump’s and his supporters’ frequent allegations that reporting unfriendly to the president and his agenda is, almost by definition, “fake news.””
The article goes on to say:
“Though the videos are entirely produced by the campaign, not the White House, Trump is the first president to declare his re-election candidacy on the day of his inauguration, allowing him to use campaign resources to promote his agenda to a greater degree than his predecessors.”
The fact that the videos are, essentially, part of a reelection campaign effort, and their lack of “paid-for-by” disclosures have raised legal questions, it pales in comparison to the charge of “state propaganda” that had engulfed social media.
McEnany appeared in front of a backdrop emblazoned with Trump’s logo and website address kicked off the video with, “Thank you for joining us as we provide you the news of the week from Trump Tower here in New York”, praising the latest jobs report and the RAISE act.
While most would state that they do not have a problem with the President making his case to anyone who is willing to tune in, Susan Wright notes in her piece for Red State, suspicion arises after the President has repeatedly slammed various news outlets for being “fake news” while calling segments airing on Trump TV “real news”:
The problem is when the president spends half his day slamming the media, then employs others to get in front of a camera to not just tout his record, but to call it “real” news, suggesting anything outside of the echo chamber is illegitimate.
That’s propaganda straight out of North Korea’s playbook. In fact, the backdrop of these videos have the look and feel of professional agitprop, and that’s just freaky.
“Real” news gives everything: the good, the bad, and the inconvenient. That’s not what’s happening here.
Doubtless there will be an audience for Trump TV while the media’s trustworthiness numbers abysmally low. A new poll from Bospar, a public relations firm, revealed that as many as 6-in-10 Americans believes that the mainstream media creates “fake news”. It’s a sobering reminder that now, more than ever, it’s imperative to seek multiple sources of information that both agree and disagree with our deeply held presuppositions. Otherwise, a true State-run Media isn’t so far-fetched, nor too far into the future.