Every four years, America gets the chance to decide who our next president will be, and every 4 years, the media dedicates its leading stories and copious amounts of time to the election, that is unless there was some sort of strange shooting. Usually, there will be a few candidates that the media sees a legitimate president in, and hones in on them, giving them more air-time. What makes this year’s election such a strange one, is that Donald Trump, a former reality TV star and current billionaire, is leading both in the polls, and in news coverage. Trump has already established a name for himself in our country, which makes him even more likely to appear in media coverage, having an attention-grabbing name that everybody knows. But it’s not just his name that’s pulling in the viewers, it’s the controversial statements Trump has been constantly spewing that everybody loves to watch.
For many journalists, finding a story can be difficult, and finding a subject that will be exciting on its own is even harder. There’s only so much news to report in the day, and finding something fantastic to report everyday can be maddening. With Trump, every word out of his mouth is something everyone wants to listen to, not because they agree with it, but because it’s so outrageous that his words are connected to a political campaign.
There’s no denying it, money is something everybody can be interested in, and people with a lot of money tend to be very interesting to people. Donald Trump not only has a big bank account, but he’s also got a big personality. This combination creates the ultimate target for media attention; he ran his own reality show, and now he’s acting like the subject of one. Trump’s audacious demeanor seems purposefully angering/outrageous, bringing out the most extreme reactions from people. He knows exactly how to create good television, and he’s putting that knowledge to use everyday when performing in front of the cameras. Trump might as well still be on reality TV, every word that spills out of his mouth is lapped up by the media, ready to spew it out to the public, hungry for racy entertainment.
Many candidates are backed by Super PACs on the campaign trail, but Donald Trump is not one of them. Not because he’s going the Bernie Sanders route who is refusing to take any money from billionaires, but because he IS a billionaire. Some may say that it’s his money that’s propelling his campaign forward, but since Jeb Bush dropped out (who was funded by several donors, one being CV Starr & Co that gave him 10 million) that may not be so. When he began his campaign, many viewed it as a joke, and expected Trump to quietly disappear back into his gold-encrusted penthouse once his charade was over. Trump isn’t so much of an underdog story considering he’s a billionaire, but he did rise to the front of the campaign in an underdog-like style, which is everybody’s favorite story. Not everybody is rooting for Trump, but all eyes are on him and his surprising following. Although, the immense amount of TV coverage Trump has been getting has created the illusion that he has a gigantic following. While it is unexpectedly large, a recent article shows that his support among voters is possibly around 8 to 16 percent.
It seems a bit ironic to be focusing on Trump, when he already gets so much coverage, but frankly, there’s a reason he’s got so much focus on him. The news can be viewed as boring, and Donald Trump is anything but. He speaks without a filter and never apologizes, which is something that you don’t often see in presidential hopefuls, who tread light hoping they don’t offend any potential voters. Trump is that reality TV show character you love to hate, the things he says are sometimes so ridiculous we can’t help but tune in every time he gets going, and that mindset in viewers has been picked up by the media. The more Trump they’ve got, the more likely it is they’ll have better ratings during his coverage.