Having all but conceded defeat in the election, Donald Trump appears ready to pivot to his post-run moneymaking scheme. The long rumored “Trump TV,” which many both within and outside the campaign say is the inevitable conclusion of Trump’s failed run, got a soft launch this week – but things are already not going well.
Out of the blue, Trump’s campaign announced it would be doing live daily shows at 6:30 every night on Trump’s Facebook page. The details were laughable, but clearly meant to serve as a test for a future network deal.
The show will be hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to the campaign, Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, and Cliff Sims, another Trump adviser.
Epshteyn says this nightly Facebook Live stream is simply a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media Trump so publicly loathes. “We all know how strong the left wing media bias is. This is us delivering our message to voters,” he says. “It has nothing to do with Trump TV. It’s about using 21st century technology and communication in a way that’s effective.”
In other words, a group of conservative no-names were going to be delivering Trump talking points and airing rally livestreams every night until the election. Not exactly appointment television.
And the first episode proves just how cringeworthy things could be. The internet was not impressed.
this newsroom reboot blows pic.twitter.com/aMOOfkvJOi
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) October 24, 2016
Put something on the flat screens that make us look smart. pic.twitter.com/9YY30yo2ur
— luke o'neil (@lukeoneil47) October 24, 2016
(Yes, eagle-eyed viewers noticed half the televisions in the background were airing an episode of Jeopardy! for inexplicable reasons.)
The hosts and guests oftentimes seemed oblivious to what they should be doing while live.
— Jeremy BOOberger (@jeremynewberger) October 25, 2016
CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter noted that the number of viewers was pretty good for Facebook, but terrible for a would-be television network.
Trump campaign averaging 50-60,000 viewers for Facebook Live stream. Big by Facebook standards, very low by TV standards pic.twitter.com/9MwfYeFq9y
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 24, 2016
And considering this is the show’s launch day and many people probably checked in out of morbid curiosity, that’s not a good sign for the future. It’s hard to imagine many prospective investors getting excited by those sluggish numbers.
Others were troubled by the sickening way this “news” program mirrored propaganda.
The set was intentionally designed (poorly) to fool viewers into think they were seeing a nightly news broadcast, while being spoonfed Trump talking points.
It's not news. But it has all the visual cues of broadcast news, and it's turning up in peoples' FB feeds. Will people know the difference? https://t.co/cULzp8gn8z
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) October 24, 2016
Put altogether, Trump’s first venture into the broadcast business was an abject failure. There simply weren’t enough people interested in watching a poorly-produced Trump propaganda show. The fact that Trump is becoming more and more toxic as time goes on means the list of people willing to destroy their reputation for a chance to appear on Trump TV is diminishing, too.
All signs point to this being a colossal dud. A failure to add to the long list Trump has racked up over the years.
Featured image via Twitter