In a preemptive strike, a super PAC controlled by President Trump has released a TV ad attacking the character of former FBI director James Comey in advance of a highly anticipated Senate hearing on Thursday.
The ad, entitled “Showboat,” comes from Trump’s Great America Alliance.
Most TV political-attack ads focus on politicians -- or at least someone running for office. James Comey is not running for office. He is a private citizen without a job.
Welcome to the new world of political advertising that isn’t about an election. The ad claims Comey is “just another D.C. insider in it for himself.” The specific remuneration was not spelled out here.
Trump may not have much time for tweeting on Thursday -- or watching TV at all. He is trying to promote his agenda, including pushing to repeal Obamacare — but not offering a replacement. (There will may be some thing down the road. Maybe.)
For its part, many TV networks will cover all or parts of the Comey testimony: CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS and Fox are expected to broadcast all or parts of it, as well as CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, Bloomberg, C-SPAN and CNBC.
Many will air it with limited TV commercials. Fox News Channel is airing it commercial-free.
Will any of the cited reasons why President Trump fired Comey be revealed? At first, White House officials said the dismissal was due to the way Comey treated Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the email issue.
One wonders how this reasoning made sense to the average TV viewer or Trump supporter. During the campaign, endless broadcasts showed Trump screaming about “Crooked Hillary,” as well as cries of "Lock her up!" at his rallies.
Maybe more TV ads by the Trump-back Super Pac will shed light on this strange contradiction. Trouble is, limited- or commercial-free coverage of Comey’s testimony will make that a difficult.
Expect Presidential tweeting to resume on Friday.