Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of The Kelly File, MRC President Brent Bozell and Fox News contributor Judith Miller made the case to fill-in host Sandra Smith that Donald Trump’s recent pledge to begin airing millions of dollars in television ads is not exactly necessary given the fact that the liberal media have been giving Trump a lion’s share of their 2016 election coverage.
Miller was first asked about this development and she immediately raised questions as to why it’s an imperative since “he’s gotten all of this advertising for free”: “It’s been all Trump, all the time. Just about 70 to 80 percent of the coverage and he has played the media like a Stradivarius. Why should he start investing in ads now? Won't that be, as Donald Trump himself said, too much Trump?”
Bozell wholeheartedly agreed that Trump “playing the press like a fiddle” and made this promise in the first place so it can serve as another storyline that the press will drop everything to cover:
Just him saying so, him saying that he is spending it spend money on advertising. For a politician to say that, that's like a reporter saying, I'm going to write a story. There's no there their to that statement. Everybody does that, but he does it because he knows every reporter will drop everything he’s doing and write it about it for days. I guarantee you, he’s giggling right now. I’ll bet you he has no intention of spending that[.]
When Smith tried to push back and defend the need for the arguably exhaustive coverage since “he is the leading GOP candidate” and “it’s not like they are just talking about some candidate out there,” Bozell responded by reiterating the arguments both he and Miller raised: “But Judith is right. If he is getting 27 percent of the vote or whatever it is, he gets 80 percent of the coverage.”
Instead of spending money on ads and “his non-message,” Miller suggested that Trump should be spending money on building a “ground game” in the form of “getting the voters out and what he is betting is that if you get enough free advertising time or you buy ads, you’re going to motivate voters to go out and vote, and that's usually not the way things work in ao Republican primary or Democratic primary.”
Making his own prediction, Bozell brought up the success then-Senator Obama had in 2008 with both the media on his side and a solidified ground operation:
He’s been able to dominate the air waves since the very beginning, but that doesn't necessarily translate and ultimately into dominating the votes. That was the big X factor about Barack Obama in 2008. Well, turned out, he had an equally good ground game going along with the air game, and he was able to pull it off, but we don't know that about Trump yet. It is a big unknown whether he has that has that or not. If he has this, I think he'll take this one in a waltz. If he doesn't have this, the emperor's clothes are going to come off right away.