The value of presidential attention in an age of mechanical reproduction

MSNBC and Fox News are capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s TV watching habits, dramatically increasing issue advocacy advertising rates in recent weeks as companies and outside groups try to influence Trump and his top lieutenants.

The ad rates for “Morning Joe” have more than doubled post-election, according to one veteran media buyer. Trump, who reportedly watches the show most mornings, has a close relationship with “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, and they talk regularly.

Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” and other primetime programs on Fox News have boosted their rates about 50 percent. Trump also is a frequent viewer of the network’s primetime shows.

“The president’s media habits are so predictable, advertisers migrate to those areas,” said one media buyer.

One prominent D.C. consultant said some of his clients, including a big bank and major pharmaceutical company, were negotiating this week to buy ads on “O’Reilly” and “Morning Joe” because they knew they had a good chance of reaching the president.

That is from Daniel Lippman and Anna Palmer, via Kevin Lewis.


You have to admire a president who simply cares nothing about what anyone thinks of their TV viewing habits.

"Trump’s TV watching habits..."

Nobody in the media or general public 'knows' Trump's TV habits -- it's mostly empty speculation based on random tidbits of Trump eclectic commenting.

What were the TV habits of Obama, Bush, Clinton, Nixon, LBJ... ??

The TV MSM has been heavily into the issue-advocacy business for half a century -- nothing new going on... except Trump is into online social media, unlike previous Presidents.

It's pretty easy to deduce. he makes comments about specific shows that he watches. He comments on them in real time. Citing statistics that just showed up on O'Reilly factor. we probably know more about his viewing habits then we do about Chinese GDP

It's possible that dropping references to television shows, which can be inferred as evidence of being down to earth, might be completely constructed. It seems unlikely that it would be otherwise. Trump and his those who he employs are constructing his brand and this is an efficient signifier. It's presence as a topic in this comment section proves as much.

I recall reading something about Obama's affinity for SportsCenter

Nixon was a huge football fan, watched the game on Sunday pretty often

In the 1972 to 1975 Australian labour government, the equivalent of the Minister of Finance was notorious for a agreeing with the last person he spoke to.The Treasury Department arranged for one of its officials to sit next to him on the plane on the way up from Melbourne to Canberra before a cabinet meeting.

Here's today's lesson in irony: Steve Bannon reading David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest. For those not familiar with the book, it tells the tale of the mistakes made in southeast Asia by the political elites appointed to top posts in government (the best and the brightest) who refused to listen to the informed advice of the careerists with expertise. Who has this president's attention?

How is it irony? You should probably want Bannon to be reading it, right? Or are you just projecting that it is pointless for him to do so?


If in fact Bannon has a lot of influence in the Trump administration, he absolutely should be thinking about what has gone wrong in previous administrations.

Shouldn't you be happy a high ranking Trump appointee is reading a book about overconfidence and hubris?

Not necessarily. In today's political atmosphere, he will likely conclude that hubris and overconfidence apply only to others-- to his opponents-- because His Is the Only Virtuous Political Tribe.


Have the Apprentice rates increased as well since evidently DJT watches that as well.

Current season ad rates would decline since Trump can't watch himself on Apprentice.

OTOH, reruns ad placement should sell high (unless Trump watches "prerecorded" past seasons).

Wouldn't one presume that Trump values his time enough to use a DVR?

I wouldn't. He has cited stats on Twitter that were just talked about on O'Reilly factor, for example.

Doesn't that imply that during the Obama years other media charged more for their influence? Or perhaps they were more public spirited,

At least now we know why he is too busy to attend daily security briefings

The Apprentice reruns ARE Trump's security briefings.

The other point is the media outlets are jacking up rates.

I guess it's the equivalent of those billboards for fighter jets on the DC metro.

Obama watched a lot of BET and Sportscenter while in office. Dubya was known for going to bed pretty early and not watching much TV.

Can the cable TV feed into the Whitehouse be intercepted and different ads inserted specifically targeting the President?

Seems cheaper.

Not possible now- the Russians have already hacked that feed.

Bannon could translate, but sees no need, so freestyles instead.

It's a little known fact that of an evening The Donald likes to sit down and listen to a little Schubert.

I wonder if corporations are paying for these ads out of their advertising or their lobbying budgets. If the latter, I wonder, if this persists, if the spending will taking away revenue from K street lobbying firms, and thereby reduce their influence. Will we be seeing major Madison Ave advertising companies opening up K Street satellite offices?

More effectively targeted ads would be composed by lobbyists.

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