Say what you will about Donald J. Trump, he knows how to get the people talking. He’s been accused of being many things, including a swindler, a con artist, a bumbling fool, the Messiah, the best president in history, and a Russian super-spy double agent. What isn’t talked about enough is the Trump Media Strategy that catapulted him to power in the first place.
Even if you think he is Satan himself, you have to admit that he’s really, really good at PR and marketing. It’s undeniable. He became President of the United States and convinced half of this country to vote for him by being funny on TV and manipulating the mainstream, pardon me, LAMEstream media.
His unique blend of narcissism and media expertise finally found success in American politics. It may have seemed like a surprise but he’d been training for this moment his entire life right in front of our faces.
He’s a 1 of 1. There is nobody on Earth like Donald Trump. An unapologetic narcissist whose only goal in life is getting showered with attention from everybody all the time. He has no grandiose plan, there is no “4D Chess” at play. He simply wants your attention, and he’s damn good at capturing it.
What makes Trump so compelling is his authenticity. Nothing about him is an act. His public personality is who he is and has been since he started selling gold-plated real estate scams in the 80s. He truly believes what he says. He’s a legendary shit talker, a genuinely funny public speaker, and somebody you hate to love and love to hate.
There are countless ruthlessly ambitious knockoffs who try to recreate his success (Boebert, Gaetz, Jordan, Greene just to name a few). But they are cheap imitators that lack the electricity of Trump. Soulless politicians devoid of personality who rule over dilapidated regions of the country with less than 5,000 residents. Yet they’re somehow always in the news.
You’ve seen the posts from these Trump imitators and I’ll bet they made you angry. “How could somebody be so stupid?” “I hope you get put in jail.” “Let me respond to your stupid and highly inaccurate social media post with some snarky response, that’ll show the world how dumb you are.”
And therein lies the problem. There’s an ancient saying on the internet that you should never “feed the trolls”, and these people are professional trolls that happen to be politicians. The media and social media are designed to make you angry. When you’re angry, you engage. When you engage, they make money from ads. If you truly want to make these people go away, you need to ignore them. But you can’t, your ego won’t let you. And they know that.
So before 2024 becomes a fiasco all over again, let’s review how this strategy works through yet another example that is happening in real time.
Step 1: Say Something Highly Controversial and Absurd on Twitter
The Trump Media Strategy Lesson 1: Say wild shit on Twitter. Make it vague enough so that you can later claim your words were taken out of context and call the media “fake news” for reporting on it.
It works for two reasons:
- Attention = News Coverage = Votes
- Being entertaining is much, much more important to Americans than public policy
Trump got his power from the media. If you dominate the news cycle by saying bombastic things, these networks will give you FREE 24/7 coverage, thinking they’re harming your reputation. In reality, your face is what the American people see all day, every day. His approach was objectively brilliant. Weaponizing the media’s profit margins against them. They had to cover Trump otherwise nobody would watch. And money is infinitely more important to them than journalistic integrity.
Ghoulish xenophobe Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) is one of the more desperate, successful Trump imitators. She employs this strategy effectively all day, every day. Let’s examine how the process works from start to finish.
The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home because he was in possession of highly classified documents. It was an unprecedented act, questioning the political motives of the raid is a no-brainer.
Or you could say something completely insane. This tweet is perfect. Controversial, absurd, outlandish. It riled up her most extreme supporters while pissing off every lib on the platform. So much so, that they quote tweeted the shit out of it to broadcast just how wrong she was to a bunch of people that already agree with them.
The Twitter algorithm isn’t advanced enough to distinguish between positive and negative engagement. All it sees is an account with a lot of “influence” that gets people talking. Remember, ANY clicks are good, ANY engagement is good. You may think you’re “dunking” on these people but you’re helping them. Also, do you really think you’re changing anybody’s mind on social media?
Now that the trap has been laid, it’s time to let the media do what they do best: shamelessly chase clicks.
Step 2: Let the Media Mock You Relentlessly
Despite what it looks like, this is working perfectly
Trump Media Strategy Lesson 2: There is no such thing as bad publicity
Congratulations! You’re a politician that’s said something so insane that it’s turned into a viral Tweet. But your work has only just begun. You started the fire, now it’s time to let the media keep it burning.
There will be an initial wave of aggregator blogs, opinion pieces, and news segments that should propel you to the top 3 on Google trends and Twitter. I know, I know, what they’re saying is really mean. But remember, notoriety is more important than your reputation. It’s better to be famous for being an idiot than not famous at all. Plus, this gives you a stockpile of ammunition for step 3.
The news media is starving for clicks. They’ll jump at any opportunity to write a worthless blog with a clickable headline. Their goal is minimal work and maximum clicks. And “Politician Said Something Dumb on Twitter” is as simple and lazy as it gets.
As you can see from the screenshot above, they played right into MTG’s unnaturally large hands. “Defund the FBI” was trending on both Google Trends and Twitter.
Once the articles start slowing down (after about 8 hours), it’s time to get angry. Are you really gonna let these liberal elite PUSSIES talk to you like that? Of course not! You have a GED and an undiagnosed mental illness. Nobody can tell you shit. It’s time to fight back by calling THEM out.
Step 3: Play the Victim and Accuse your Opponents of Doing the Things you just Did
Trump Media Strategy Lesson 3: Project your misgivings onto your political opponents.
Uh-oh, the news cycle has moved on to something else that will enrage it’s audience and other people are stealing your shine. But you’re not gonna let this controversy die that easy.
Remember all of the mean bloggers and talking heads with their “truth telling” and snide remarks? The floor is now yours, talk your shit. Remember, don’t explain, don’t apologize, double down. Not only should we defund the FBI, but we should also charge anybody who is disloyal to Trump with treason. The facts are irrelevant, the real traitors are the FBI because they did their jobs. It doesn’t have to make sense, just keep projecting. Stick to the script, anybody who says anything against Trump is a deep state operative who wants him dead.
Trump’s best tactic was ignoring the things he actually said on the record and attacking the news media for pointing it out. He always claimed positive intent no matter how abhorrent his tweets were. Trump would use the press’ questions and accusations as a springboard to point out atrocities the democrats had done or were doing.
At this point, there are at least 600 articles and probably 40 news segments of people mocking you, so take your pick. You can take aim at the lamestream media as a whole or target a popular media personality with skeletons in their closet. Most of them are terrible people like you, so it should be pretty easy. Or at least pick a journalist that looks weird so you can mock their appearance. Once you have your target, unload.
Go on Newsmax or Fox News and repeat your rallying cry (DEFUND THE FBI!) to make middle America jump out of their recliners and say “DARN TOOTIN!” Or whatever it is they say. You’re the real victim here. An innocent politician fighting for America was unjustly maligned for a silly tweet. A true martyr in the social media age. Somebody willing to speak the truth no matter the cost.
And for the love of God, don’t forget rule #4: Start a new controversy while the old one is still hot.
Step 4: Start Another Controversy Before the Old One Loses Steam
Defunding the FBI isn’t far enough, we need to defund the IRS. Doing either would cause irreparable damage to the United States but that’s beside the point.
You can’t rest on your laurels now, staying relevant in this ADHD world is a full-time job. In order to remain in the headlines, you need to say preposterous things constantly.
If you’re out of ideas or those “underground sex trafficking” tweets aren’t hitting like they used to, make up a new conspiracy. I heard Hillary Clinton and Pete Davidson are hosting drag queen shows for toddlers in Chuck Schumer’s vacation home. Nancy Pelosi is funding abortion farms in China. I made those up in 10 seconds and they’re more plausible than most of the shit these people actually believe.
Don’t worry if your constituents try to kill these people. You hate them anyway. Legally, you are in the clear, and morally, you’ve been dead inside for quite some time. Don’t forget, this strategy relies on you believing that your fame and power are more important than anything or anybody. Even innocent lives. Even your family. Even America. Especially America.
Chaos. Confusion. Lunacy. Keep the train moving before anybody can figure out what happened.
Rinse. Repeat. Please Kill Me.
I pray for this hellscape to end sooner rather than later. Political content has turned into a human centipede of ridiculous statements and reactions. The politicians shit them into the media’s mouths, who then shit them into our mouths, then we shit them back and forth into one another’s mouths.
These people are trash but I get it, politics is a profitable career path nowadays. You can make hundreds of millions through insider trading while doing nothing at work. And who’s going to stop you? Other politicians? They’re all doing the same shady shit. Trump became the most powerful man in the world and didn’t work that hard at all. If that’s not the American dream, I don’t know what is.
There was a time in America when obnoxious idiots were ignored. Now those people are being elected. You should be angry at that. They’re supposed to be in charge of the country, to have some decorum and respect for the traditions of this country. Not be whiny, bitchy, vindictive children screaming for attention.
The Trump media strategy is a constant paradox. Journalists need to cover these people because they’re lawmakers and that’s how you hold them accountable. But what happens when the public doesn’t care? When they are so entrenched in party politics that facts cease to matter? When everything is accused of being “fake news” or a deep state conspiracy? Your coverage does the exact opposite of what it’s intended to do.
We all have to play the game. I wrote this article to get clicks from people searching for Trump Media Strategy (I need to say it 7 times so Trump Media Strategy, Trump Media Strategy, Trump Media Strategy) so I’m part of the problem. Best case? This enlightens some people about how this works. Worst case? It gives another wave of failed actors the blueprint for becoming a “conservative firebrand”. In today’s modern media landscape, it’s always a lose-lose, unless you’re an advertiser.