The media has always given President Trump too much negative coverage. Now one journalist is ready to admit: it’s been profitable for them.
Oscar Rickett, a journalist for Vice and the Guardian, wrote a piece on November 9 for Vice with the headline, “My Awful, Profitable 18 Months as a Trump-Obsessed Journalist.” In it the journalist, who lives in England, admitted, “I’m sure I’m not alone in consuming an unhealthy amount of information about Trump, but I’ve also spent the past 18 months paying my rent and even treating myself to some of life’s good things (food, mainly) with money made off the back of him. How did it come to this?”
For Rickett, Trump was an “incendiary businessman turned outrageous--possibly dangerous--Republican candidate.” Rickett certainly wasn’t alone in his ability to turn a political phenomenon into a career through negative coverage; the American media spent the summer turning Trump coverage into a hate-fest, with 91% of the time spent on Trump focused on criticism.
Rickett acknowledges this, even labelling the news and entertainment industry as the “Trump industry.” In a world where all celebrity interviews now have a special section devoted to how someone feels about Trump, where the media celebrates those who give Trump the middle finger, and where everyone suddenly became an expert on politics overnight, this summary seems surprisingly accurate. Almost no one writes about something unrelated to politics; articles on things like the highest note sung at the Met Opera are like oases in the political desert.
But Rickett takes it just a bit further, after all, he is a journalist obsessed with Trump: “To get your mind around this industry, imagine the orange-skinned president as some yuge creature trampling wildly forward, and thousands upon thousands of smaller creatures attached to its every orifice, grooming it and biting it, sucking its blood and burrowing into its tangled whips of blondish fur.”
This is the same journalist who wrote the charming, “Seven Ways to Succeed While Being Drunk At Work” for The Guardian. Apparently, the less popular eighth way involves focusing one’s work schedule around Trump and the 2016 election. It also includes making 4 hour-long documentaries about Trump, and quite a few articles, especially the ones headlined “What Trump’s Ruthless Family History Means for America,” and “I Watched the Presidential Debate From the UK And It Scared the Hell Out of Me.”
This addiction is not without side effects, but Rickett doesn’t want to address those. Like all modern fairy tales, apparently there is no moral to this one Rather, Rickett would prefer if journalists could continue obsessing over Trump, just in a different fashion. Make Trump look like the apocalypse, “a darkness that had been growing and was now enveloping, returned to claim its terrible prize.” Because nothing says unity like implying that 62 million American citizens were ready to vote in the apocalypse.