The constant and often uncritical cable news coverage of Donald Trump just wasn’t enough. Now, according to a new report from the Financial Times, Trump’s closest advisors may be laying the groundwork for Trump to start his own media empire.
On Monday morning, the FT reported that Trump’s son-in-law and top consigliere Jared Kushner recently met with Aryeh Bourkoff, an investment banker who is known as a major power broker in the world of media company acquisitions to discuss the possibility of Trump TV.
All indications are that a potential Trump TV would be filled with the same sort of bigotry and bile that is fueling Trump’s campaign. And with somewhere around four-in-ten voters unperturbed by that bile, a Trump TV channel or streaming service stands to have a wide audience or subscriber base.
Back in June, Vanity Fair first reported on the rumors that the billionaire presidential candidate was considering starting his own TV network after the election. A source told Vanity Fair that Trump had been irritated by the fact that he was driving ratings across the three major cable news networks, but not sharing in any of the profits.
Many of Trump’s closest advisors also hail from the media industry—namely, its right flank. Kushner owns the weekly New York City periodical, the New York Observer. Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon is the former executive of the company that owns the right-wing news website Breitbart. And Trump is also reportedly being advised by recently ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes—though Ailes, according to FT, wouldn’t be able to work on Trump TV because of a non-compete clause as part of his dismissal from Fox due to alleged serial sexual harassment.
Another key figure in a possible Trump TV venture would be Sean Hannity, who has been a pugnacious Trump defender from his perch on primetime at the Fox News Channel. “Hannity will go to Trump TV,” a Fox source told New York‘s Gabe Sherman in early September.
In April, during the Republican primary race, Trump told a rally in Maryland that he would disappear if he lost his bid for the Oval office. “I don’t think I’m going to lose, but if I do, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again, folks,” he said. “I think I’ll go to Turnberry and play golf or something.” If only!