Commentary

Trump's Scoop: TV News Networks Are Responsible For Crashing Economy!

Is the U.S. economy being driven down because of the news media? That’s what President Trump says.

It must be true. After all, this guy knows business. He says his taxes are low or nonexistent. He also claims to be a financial genius, despite losing more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer year after year, per The New York Times. As a business journalist, I’ll wait to see his tax returns.

A recent Trump tweet sees a different side of business and economic journalists —  they make stuff up. “The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”

Any business journalist worth their salt reports on the economic data — largely from what the federal government provides — as well as all third-party and stock-market information. Right now, financial news analysts are conflicted: Not all things are good — or bad. Some would say current U.S. economic growth of around 2% is perhaps OK, but not great.

Trump has yet to offer specific details of his overall media perspective concerning the economy.

The truth is economies around the world are suffering — China, the U.K. and more recently, Germany. Historically, U.S recessions happen every eight-to-12 years. We are now around nine to 10 years since the last one ended.

While we wait, I’d like a update: Who exactly is the fake news media these days? While Trump has taken swings against MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times and others, he has also recently cast some doubts about Fox News Channel.

Fox News Channel, like many other networks, reported on the recent and dramatic 3% drop — 800 points — the Dow Jones Industrials incurred last Wednesday. That decline prompted Trump, early Thursday morning, to send out his tweet blaming news channels trying to “crash” the economy.

Here’s a different and related financial story.

Trump's controversial tweets and rally speeches are the loaded TV content that news networks report on these days, which has resulted in generally higher TV news viewership and ad revenue.

We know why. This kind of content follows typical TV genres: comedy, drama and reality TV, with lots of fictional input. Trump loves to see his name in the press. At the same time, he also likes to disparage TV news outlets as “failing.”

Does Trump really want to change the way he is covered? If so, he is going about it the wrong way.

Instead, he should consider switching gears. Tell the truth, be boring, don’t tweet and apologize. A lot. That will result in some lame TV news content — and lower TV news viewership, as TV networks will not run much of this.

If Trump wants to perk things up now and then, he should practice this line on the teleprompter, which will be entertaining to supporters, as well as offering a direct, honest and economical approach:  “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.”

And then he can just deny ever saying it.

Too rough? The frank talk is already starting. At a rally in New Hampshire last week, Trump said this:

“The bottom line is: I know you like me. And this room is a lovefest. But you have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k)s [are going] down the tubes. Everything is going to be down the tubes. Whether you love me or hate me, you have to vote for me.”

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