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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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EditorialsUp Front 11/18

Up Front 11/18

With the US mid-term elections due in early November, commentators have been busy offering opinions on which way the voting will go. The Republicans currently control both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The question is, will the Republicans retain control of the Senate and the House of Representatives? Or might the Democrats win one, or even both? Or will one take the Senate and the other take the House? It is important stuff, as controlling the vote in the House or the Senate dictates how easily a President can get things done. The result is also a good indication of how well the current administration is doing, although traditionally the incumbent does poorly in the mid-terms. However, this year, if you take social media into account, the man at the centre of US politics has had more exposure than perhaps all of the past Presidents combined, and not necessarily for all the right reasons. He has also been having a running battle with traditional media, claiming it is the bearer of fake news, especially when it takes him to task. All this amused me when I recently came across a magazine I was involved with in the mid-nineties. I was living in America, and we ran a cover story on the man we then referred to as ‘The Donald’. It wasn’t what you might call a long read, but it described him as having ‘a ripening disregard for the non-affluent’, which is ironic when you consider where his voting base lies. However, one of the key points put across in the article was how much Donald Trump was able to use the media to his advantage. He worked his business ‘in the eye of the public’ it said. ‘The more he did, the more press he got; the more press he got, the more he did.’ It also suggested his only vice outside of beautiful women was his addiction to seeing his name in print or on television. ‘It is a major reason for his success, as well as his problems.’ Considering this article was written in 1995, after the first time he had used the US bankruptcy laws to restructure the debt of one of his companies, it’s interesting to see his relationship with the media today. In those days he was said to have the ‘Midas Touch’. Now, with his every Tweet getting massive exposure, he plays the media as well from off the page as he did when he was their golden boy. There’s one comment in that article from over twenty years ago that is worth bearing in mind, regardless of the mid-terms. ‘Barring any unforeseen twists,’ it said ‘he will be around and bigger and better than ever. Just a reminder, “There’s no such thing as bad press.”’

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