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‘Trump TV’ Will Participate In White House Press Briefings

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters. 

Right Side Broadcasting Network’s (RSBN) announcement that they will be participating in White House press briefings is raising new questions about whether President-elect Donald Trump intends to bypass traditional media as President and create a press corps more favorable to his administration.

During their live coverage of President-elect Donald Trump’s “Thank You” rally in North Carolina on December 6, the show’s host Joe Seales announced that the network is “going to become a 24-hour network very soon.” Seales also said the network will “be in the White House” and “be at the press briefings” during the Trump administration:

According to Foreign Policy magazine, to get accredited to report in the White House, “a reporter first needs to be approved for a congressional press pass by the Standing Committee of Correspondents, elected by accredited reporters.” RSBN must also meet a number of other requirements along with their application to be credentialed as a reporter in the White House:

Among other requirements, congressional reporters must demonstrate that they work for a publication whose “principal business is the daily dissemination of original news and opinion of interest to a broad segment of the public” and is “editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government.” The White House also requires an additional Secret Service background check.

Trump could, however, circumvent press rules and procedures by allowing a non-credentialed reporter to ask questions during the briefings, which is exactly what happened in the last Republican administration. Jeff Gannon of the right-wing Talon News was “admitted on a day-to-day basis” into the White House briefing room where he was “repeatedly allowed to ask — usually friendly” questions to the Bush administration.

It is unclear whether RSBN has applied or meet any of the standards set by the rules governing the press galleries, but their relationship with Trump makes their announcement problematic.

The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers has described Right Side Broadcasting as “the unofficial version of Trump TV since last summer,” noting the Trump campaign had “teamed up with Right Side to produce pre- and post-debate analysis shows that streamed on Trump’s Facebook Page.” Borchers additionally noted Right Side Broadcasting CEO Joe Seales had previously told Reddit users to address mainstream media outlets by “continu[ing] to discredit them.”

The announcement also comes as right-wing media figures are urging Trump to exclude mainstream news outlets from press briefings. Fox host Sean Hannity has repeatedly questioned why journalists from CNN, NBC, Politico, and the New York Times “have a seat in the White House press room,” claimed “it’s time to reevaluate the press and maybe change the traditional relationship with the press and the White House,” and urged the Trump administration to get rid of the White House press office and “start over.”

Given Trump’s long adversarial relationship with the press, it appears he is taking this advice to heart and attempting to push out mainstream journalists in favor of reporters made in his own image.

IMAGE: U.S. Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump is shown on video monitors as he speaks live to the crowd from New York at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The Trump Brand Goes Down-Market

With polls and prayer as a guide, let’s assume that Donald Trump loses the election. What will he do for a next act?

If Act 1 was selling the Trump name, the play’s in trouble. Ticket prices for things named Trump are selling at a deep discount.

Just last month, a deluxe room at the swanky new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., posted a rate of $805 a night but could be had for $445 on Hotels.com. And this was during an International Monetary Fund conference, when every other five-star hotel in the vicinity sold out.

Two restaurateurs who had signed up for the hotel fled after Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists. The day after the hotel opened, the Trump Organization executive overseeing the project quit in disgust.

It’s hard to make gold on a brand name that has turned to sludge. Those able to afford these prime locations are finding it most inconvenient to live, work or play golf under the shadow of a Trump sign.

Who would invite Latin American or Muslim dignitaries to a building named for the man who has smeared their people, not to mention the female half of humanity? And would said dignitaries patronize such properties, especially when they have a world of Trump-free real estate to choose from?

The luxury market has spoken. Bookings at Trump Hotels caved 59 percent in the first half of 2016. And since Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, foot traffic at Trump properties has tripped 17 percent.

In a sage move, the Trump Hotels group is dropping the Trump name for its new line of fancy hotels. They will now be called Scion. “We wanted a name that would be a nod to the Trump family,” CEO Eric Danziger explained in diplomatic fashion.

But the scions named Trump can’t be feeling terribly optimistic. With many women shunning anything associated with Trump, the Ivanka Trump line of clothing and accessories seems headed for the bargain bin.

In a Morning Consult survey, 57 percent of women said they wouldn’t consider buying Ivanka Trump products. A group has even organized a boycott of stores selling Ivanka Trump brand merchandise.

“As the Trump brand goes, so goes the Ivanka brand,” Chad Kawalec, head of the Brand Identity Center, told The Wrap, an entertainment news organization.

Despite Donald’s anti-trade rants, Ivanka procures about 75 percent of her merchandize from foreign factories. We were reminded of this recently when the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 20,000 of her made-in-China scarves for being too flammable.

Concerning her role in developing the Washington hotel, Ivanka does have her defenders, sort of.

“As much as her father makes our skin crawl, we have said that Ivanka knows what she’s doing,” said Jason Clampet, editor of Skift, a travel news company. “The question the brand’s new property raises is whether her smarts outweigh his non-smarts.”

Trump’s name is plastered all over Manhattan, but Donald owns very few of the buildings on which it hangs. Flashing his celebrity, Trump cleverly duped the real owners to pay him license fees to use his name. Many no doubt feel burned at the moment. Should they rename the buildings, they would still own them, not Trump.

A Dubai business consortium has erased the Trump name from its new golf course project. The developer of a troubled hotel complex in Toronto is attempting a similar exorcism.

The most plausible Act 2 for Trump would be some sort of TV network, with his devoted fan base as audience. Worth a try as his affluent consumers decamp for other trademarks. For them, “Trump” and “classy” have parted ways.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached atfharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

IMAGE: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves to supporters outside the front door of Trump Tower where he lives in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Trump Campaign Test Drives ‘Trump TV’

After retreating to more favorable right-wing media outlets, Donald Trump’s campaign will now air a nightly Facebook Live show, as “a way for the campaign to circumvent the mainstream media.”

Trump created a similar event on Facebook Live to stream the pre-and post-debate coverage of the third presidential debate last week that journalists said could be a “preview” of Trump launching a television news network.

Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly claimed that the media is biased and rigging the election against him, and on October 23, his campaign announced a plan to break up media conglomerates that have criticized him.

Recently, Trump has steered from more mainstream news outlets, retreating to Fox News to help him push his campaign message.

Wired’s Issie Lapowsky reported the event’s launch and noted  that media figures are already calling Trump’s nightly news show “a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November.” From the article:

Tonight, the Trump campaign is kicking off a show that will air on the candidate’s Facebook page every night at 6:30pm ET via Facebook Live from the campaign war room at Trump Tower. The show will be hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to the campaign, Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator for Glen Beck’s TheBlaze, and Cliff Sims, another Trump adviser. In tonight’s inaugural episode they will interview Trump campaign manager KellyAnne Conway and adviser Jason Miller.

The series, which will stream Trump’s rallies directly each night and feature pre-and post-event commentary, comes on the heels of the campaign’s debate night Facebook Live last week, which brought in more than 9 million views.

[…]

Members of the media quickly seized on the event, calling it a test drive for Trump TV, the post-election television network that Trump is rumored to be considering in the event he loses in November. Despite reports that his son-in-law has been talking to media dealmakers about Trump TV, Trump himself has denied he has any interest in such a thing.

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.

[…]

Of course, it’s not the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign’s jobs to be objective purveyors of the news, and Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale acknowledges as much. “It’s an extension of our ad programs and our social media posts,” Parscale says. “The only difference is we’re going to broadcast it live.”

Just don’t call it Trump TV.

Reprinted with permission by Media Matters.

Trump’s Son-In-Law Held Informal Talks For Post-Election Trump TV Network

(Reuters) – Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, informally approached LionTree Advisors Chief Executive Aryeh Bourkoff about setting up a Trump TV network after the U.S. presidential election, but the investment bank does not want to be involved in the process, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Kushner contacted Bourkoff, one of the media industry’s top dealmakers, in the past few months, but there have been no further conversations, the source said on Monday. The source asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.

There was no reason given for LionTree’s reluctance to participate in the process.

The Financial Times first reported the LionTree talks earlier on Monday, citing sources.

Trump, the Republican U.S. presidential nominee, told the Washington Post last month he had “no interest in a media company” and reports that he was considering setting up one was “a false rumor.”

Kushner, the owner of the weekly New York Observer newspaper, is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Kushner and LionTree did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump said on Monday he expected widespread voter fraud in the Nov. 8 presidential election despite evidence that shows the system is sound. Trump has tried to whip up fears of a flawed elections as he has fallen back in opinion polls against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

(Reporting by Liana Baker in San Francisco and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Leslie Adler)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as his son-in-law Jared Kushner (L), daughter Ivanka (2nd from L) and his wife Melania (R) listen at a campaign event on the day that several states held presidential primary elections, including California, at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar