Election season is back in full swing and the Democratic primary candidates are all jockeying to see who will make it to the main debate stage. With that, you will begin to see those same candidates looking for any press coverage they can get for free. Some have already appeared on Fox News town hall events, although begrudgingly. With the current primary field around two dozen, it will be interesting to see who the chosen front-runners will be. Some candidates will probably run out of money relatively quickly and others will see their presidential aspirations go up in flames after the first few primaries. Either way, we will all see a lot of name-calling and group effort amongst the politicians and media alike to vilify the current administration and do their best to make sure 2020 is not a repeat of 2016.
That brings me to the topic of this post. What will follow is a section from my book The War For The Middle. It is a warning, not to politicians but for the Fourth Estate. With suspect polls showing nearly every flavor of the week candidate defeating Donald Trump if the election were today it makes me wonder if they learned nothing from their previous actions. Self-reflection is important for personal growth. With the conclusion of the Mueller report being in favor of the President and the opposing party still clinging on to impeachment delusions, there are some in the media who have adjusted their reporting to be a little fairer. Unfortunately, there are many stations and hosts that wear their hatred of the president as a badge of honor. This topic was written with them in mind. If you are one of those people or know someone who is, be a good friend and pass this article along to them. They may get mad at you for pointing out the obvious but hey, that’s what friends are for.
I’m going to speak directly to the people in the media and the fourth estate. This is also a message for our country as a whole but, for the purposes of this chapter, I want our television personalities to pay close attention. You reap what you sow! For those that are not familiar with that term, it means input correlates to output. In the law of karma, whatever energy or actions you put out into the universe so shall be returned to you.
For a simple analogy, farmer’s plant or sow seeds so they can reap the benefits of their harvest. No seeds, no harvest. People that work out and have a clean diet have a low body to mass index and are typically in good shape. The opposite is true for people with poor diets who stay away from the gym like the plague. There is also a direct correlation to wealth and giving. The amount of wealth that a person has is usually aligned with how much they give. Tithing is a biblical principle so obviously, this is not a new concept.
In 2015 Donald Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for President of the United States. A year later, he beat out 16 other candidates in hotly contested primaries. All of them had a track record of governmental service except for Donald Trump who never held a public office a day in his life. He secured the Republican Parties nomination and went on to face Hillary Clinton in the general election. After several fiery debates and multiple ‘October Surprises’ for both sides, he went on to win the electoral college while losing the overall vote count; thus, making him the 45th President of the United States of America. Congratulations media! You reap what you sow.
For people that can look back on history objectively and the role they might have played honestly, this analysis is no surprise. For the others who are too full of themselves and lack the ability of self-introspection nothing I say will matter to you and definitely will not get thru to you. There’s a term that’s poignant and apropos for people in the media and fourth estate in the latter half of that group. Book smart – street stupid. You’re very intelligent and college educated but have no common sense when it comes to the real world.
Everything you do in life has consequences. No one, including myself, took Donald Trump seriously when he said he was running for President. He had a history of saying he was going to run for President then would change his mind at the last minute. I, like many other people, thought this was history repeating itself and he was using it for publicity to promote his next project. The media and the journalists in the country undoubtedly thought the same.
What happened? Well, it doesn’t take a couple hundred-page book from the runner up and their co-writer to explain. The media happened. That’s it. Three words that speak volumes into the mindset of the seekers of truth. Seekers of ratings are more accurate. Donald Trump was and is ratings gold!
His first attempt at television was The Apprentice, which morphed into Celebrity Apprentice. If I recall correctly that show was on for 14 seasons with him as the host and he only stopped because he decided to run for President. NBC tried to keep the party rolling on the 15th season with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the host but it failed miserably and was canceled after seven episodes. The network and new host tried their best to blame the lackluster ratings on “the baggage from the previous host.” Facts are facts and numbers don’t lie.
Trump was the main reason that the show was successful. Blaming the predecessor for your own problems and poor performance is shallow, to say the least, and shows a lack of accountability. Administrations have a habit of doing the same thing when times are bad. Even when some of them have been re-elected and are in their second term, they occasionally blame the person before them for leaving a mess. That line may work for the first year or two but, eventually, you have to own it. Ask any General Manager (GM) of a major league sports team. The owner may let you slide for a few seasons if you having a losing record. Eventually, the blame will be placed squarely on your shoulders and rightfully so. In those situations, “You’re Fired!” becomes more than a tag line and is a reality those GM’s face.
So what role did the media play in electing Donald Trump? Why am I blaming them and not the person who lost? Ultimately, the American public made the decision that has shaped our present and future as they always do. Politicians can only say and do so much to build up their case when they ask for your vote. What got Donald Trump across the finish line and into the history books was the media.
I definitely can feel a ‘what are you talking about Bucci’ right now. Before some of you curse me out and stop reading or agree with me thinking that’s right, take a constructive deep breath, hold it for three seconds and exhale till you calm down and remember why you started reading this book, to begin with. Looking into the mirror and seeing the situation for what it is, self-analysis and honest reflection, this is the only way we can learn from our decisions and the choices that were made. The truth strikes at the heart and only hurts when it’s true. The pain is temporary. What is left is what you do.
Here is the breakdown. The United States is a celebrity-driven culture. We worship our celebrities and follow everything they do. Look at the people with the most followers on any social media platform. The people that have more followers than the populations of some countries are celebrities in every field; the majority being in entertainment. That could be sports, music, and film, TV and anything else that people find entertaining. There are even YouTube celebrities whose claim to fame is posting content that went viral and now have a loyal fan base.
Donald Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 16, 2007. This is long before he announced his candidacy in 2015. To get a star that cements a person’s legacy permanently into a sidewalk, which is the epitome of what our celebrity-driven culture has become, one has to have a history of fame that spans many years. I grew up reading about Trump. His wealth and opulence was the envy of many. His book, The Art of Deal was released on November 01, 1987. It sold millions of copies and is still in bookstores to this day. The success of that book is what is credited as making him a household name.
Coming off the success of Celebrity Apprentice and right into the political realm, news stations, political channels, day time and late night TV shows, they all wanted Trump on their set. Trump equals ratings and he was happy to give it to them. Besides all the free airtime, which essentially acted as a yearlong infomercial for Trump and his brand, what the media unwittingly did was let the proverbial Jeanie out of the bottle.
After a year went by and he secured the Republican Party nomination, what they thought was reality TV now became reality. Trump used that period of time to hone his message, get free advertising across the country and promote himself to the American people. The message that he was a legitimate candidate, which was entertained by liberal and conservative media if only for the sake of ratings, was instilled into the viewing public and ultimately reinforced, one primary and talk show at a time. There’s an old saying: tell a story enough times and eventually it becomes the truth.
For the people who go into defense mode and start to blame Russian meddling, Wikileaks, hackers from Macedonia, James Comey and anything else they feel is the reason for Hillary’s loss, remember that wars are won and lost on the battlefield. When information is weaponized it is done by all parties involved. Any negative press gained from the hacking of the Democratic National Committee servers and subsequent release of the Podesta emails was offset by the release of the never before seen Access Hollywood video from a decade prior. Revelations from those events were damaging to both sides. The information uncovered regardless of how it was attained was not fabricated. You can shoot the messenger if you don’t like what you hear. However, if the result is learning what we didn’t already know, who is then to blame? Truth is the truth and knows no other name.
Loss is hard to accept. Politics is a dirty game. The media and the fourth estate spent an entire year fawning over Donald Trump. When the power of celebrity is unleashed, it’s hard to contain it. If what you wanted were ratings, mission accomplished. For those who planted the seed of a possible Trump presidency into the minds of millions and can’t believe he won, don’t be surprised by the fruits of your labor. ‘Give it time and watch it grow. Before long, you will reap what you sow.’