The Daily Gamecock

​Trump TV network a possibility in lieu of White House grab

Presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump addresses economic concerns and answers audience questions at the T. Ed Garrison Arena in Clemson, South Carolina.
Presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump addresses economic concerns and answers audience questions at the T. Ed Garrison Arena in Clemson, South Carolina.

As the countdown to the election grows increasingly shorter, many are left disillusioned by their options. On one end, a long-time politician molded by seemingly continuous scandals prepares herself for a title she feels she’s earned — that of the highest office in the land. On the other side, a controversial billionaire mogul creates enough scandal of his own to compete with her. Many voters feel distraught and fatigued by the process that has led them here and unprepared for the days to follow.

However, at least one man is ready despite the country’s decision, and he is found in a surprising place — on the ballot itself. After holding a live stream on Facebook regarding the current state of the election, many speculate that the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, aims to start airing original content after the election’s end in the case that he loses. Others have just called it another campaigning method. But the first theory isn’t without its subtle hints and provable truths.

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been reported to have had talks about starting a Donald Trump-funded/inspired television channel. This channel would serve to extend the platform he ran in his campaign and build off the fanfare he’s received over the past 17 months. Many see this as his way of making the entire campaign experience a profitable one, and CNN’s Brian Stelter dubbed the live stream a “prototype” for the channel. Trump himself denied these claims.

The billion-dollar question is: Will people care? Can the Trump camp transform the political fervency he is witnessing now into a devoted audience base?

The current data point to yes. The live stream made Facebook headlines and garnered millions of views, making it the largest live event of that night. Now Fox News is hosting a casting call for what has been alluded to as an "up-and-coming conservative media network,” which many associate with the prospect of Trump TV. NBC News writer Ben Popken marks the matter as not a question of "if," but rather of "when."

“Using new, low-cost, streaming models, a Trump TV Network could be on the air in just three months, according to an industry expert,” Popken said.

Though this is currently all speculation, the fact that a TV network that could rival other conservative efforts like Fox and Friends is on the rise could spell a shift in modern media. Now that Trump has proven that there is a class of people who embrace the ideas he presents, similar efforts might not be too far in the future. At a recent peak, Fox News netted 1.35 million views, so it stands to reason that a channel like Trump’s could thrive.

There is an alternative bit of reasoning, however. Many people attribute this acclaim for both Trump and FOX News to the status of the current electoral process. Who is to say that political discourse will continue to be relevant to the masses past Nov. 8 — especially a brand new project by the possiblerunner-up?

In the end, Trump TV appears to be just a backup for the presidential hopeful, so any manifestation of this idea would have to mean he has lost. Will the general public continue to apply worth to his words after such a defeat? Or will the network crash and burn before it even gets off the ground? All of these questions won’t be answered until enough time passes.

But one thing is for sure: This is where Trump’s suspected plan finds its own downfall. All of it hinges on his own defeat, and history is almost always written by the victor.