Since leaving the White House, we haven’t heard a whole lot from Donald Trump, mostly because he doesn’t have social media accounts to amplify his ignorant and reckless beliefs anymore, so he’s mostly stuck with his barely viewed website and doing the occasional phone interview on right-wing media. On Thursday, he decided to test what influence he still has with the party and it didn’t go over exactly as well as he had hoped.
He was a guest caller on OAN network – the wingnut channel determined to be even more sycophantic to him than Fox, not to actually talk about issues as an aspiring candidate for office often does, but to talk about the only thing that his presidency was good for – news ratings. He boasted how networks like CNN and Fox have lost almost half of their viewership – a factor that’s almost entirely due to Trump no longer being in office, since these people aren’t anxiously tuning in for the latest idiotic thing the president did, with sometimes good reason to fear for their lives.
Of course, Donald Trump only sees this as the news needing his influence, and he felt the need to reward OAN with better ratings by making his appearance, while also punishing Fox News for what he perceives as the network’s lack of loyalty. He’s luring the right-wing media outlets into a ratings war for his own entertainment now that the more mainstream outlets have stopped paying attention – only further proving the point that it’s a terrible way for networks to report the news. For all the sucking up they’ve done in the past, Fox and its competitors are learning the hard way that Trump thinks nothing of turning on them.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making