Equal time for Trump?

Trump wants "equal time" on TV, containing positive coverage

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Will the reality show president get a second season, or will Donald Trump be pulled off air?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

The oft-used argument against comedians getting political is that, like the church and the state, Hollywood and Washington should be kept separate. This line is repeated by conservative pundits and commentators when a late-night TV hosts launches into a rant about Trump and his administration, failing to see the obvious irony that without the entertainment business, the current White House incumbent is unlikely to have made it to the Oval Office. If television stars cannot comment on Washington, Donald Trump would not have been allowed on the campaign trail. While comedians make their shows political, the President is turning the White House into a soap opera.

CNN argues that he is threatening to exhaust the nation in "another mind-scrambling chapter of a reality-show presidency" as he goes rogue, even "by the hyperactive standards of Donald Trump". As he orchestrated a cacophony of threats, warnings and waging bitter political feuds, there was method in his madness: the President is "making clear that he and only he is writing his script" as part of his efforts to resist outside control of his own presidency.

One of the parts of the script Trump claims authorship over is his famous catchphrase "fake news". In an interview with former Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, Trump claimed that he coined the phrase: “The media is really... the word...I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake’.

“I guess other people have used it perhaps over the years, but I’ve never noticed and it’s a shame.”

Merriam-Webster was, however, on hand to debunk the President and deem his claim over "fake news" as, well, fake news. The dictionary's research traces the phrase back to the late 19th century, and is used "to describe a political story which is seen as damaging to an agency, entity or person". Merriam-Webster do not plan to add the term ton their dictionary...yet.

Will Trump get a second season for his presidency? According to the Independent, he is on track to win re-election in 2020. They argue he "cannot win a two-person race, but he can prevail in a field with strong independent candidates on the ballot". On the campaign trail, he capitalised on a changing political environment as voters move away from the traditional two parties – although Trump was on the Republican ticket – and his support from voters is "personal, not ideological". Opposition to Trump may, somewhat ironically, result in the President winning re-election. A multi-candidate field could further divide the anti-Trump vote, and make his return to the White possibly by simply holding on to his current level of support.

The Trump Show is losing viewers as the reviews continue to be unfavourable. More than half of American do not think he is fit to serve as president, with his approval ratings plummeting and plummeting since taking office at the start of the year. A recent poll has also suggested his popularity is slipping in rural America, with support eroding in small towns and rural communities where 15 per cent of the US population lives. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that adults living in "non-metro" areas shows that they are now likely to disapprove of the President as they are to approve of him, with 47 per cent of voters from these communities either supporting or opposing Trump.

The reality show president entered our screen with much fanfare, as his premiere in the White House causing controversy and drawing in the viewers. Will Donald Trump reach a second season in 2020, or will the re-election prove to be a season finale for the President?

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