Last September we shared some researched insight and analysis about the candidacy of Donald Trump and how it was predicatively playing out behind the scenes of a very famous media empire:
(In Part) […] As a consequence of the specific forethought, and after deciding it’s better to have an honest enemy, Mr. Trump is now in the position of tearing down the pillars of Roger Ailes creation. And, as evidence of Trumps’ strength therein, Roger Ailes’ responses reflect a reality that Ailes views this ENEMY, unlike any other enemy, because Trump holds Samson-like capabilities. (link)
There are numerous, albeit subtle, recent indications Donald J Trump has won that battle; yet few people even noticed it taking place. Perhaps we should prepare for a rapidly approaching new reality amid a network in a current state of chrysalis:
New York […] The most visible change is that, since June, Murdoch has been attending Ailes’s daily executive meeting held on the second floor of Fox headquarters. The secretive afternoon gathering in Ailes’s conference room is attended by about a half-dozen of the network’s most senior lieutenants. It’s where some of the most sensitive decisions about running the channel are discussed. (link)
Where “sensitive decisions” can be defined through the prism of a very specific history. Hence, the example of Fox News and “comprehensive immigration reform“.
In essence, if you review carefully the subtle hints from flashes behind the curtain, and attach them to the reality of what you witness on the box, what you will note is a paradigm shift.
Fox broadcast financial success was in large measure created from filling a void – they gave voice to ‘conservative’ perspectives. But Donald Trump has now moved the political platform askew.
Candidate Donald Trump has not just moved the political platform, he has moved the underlying political fulcrum. As a consequence the media measuring tools have to be re-calibrated. The Vulgarian electorate, and with them the measuring bubble, is off balance.
There are profound indications Donald Trump has won the war we previously mentioned. He has, at the very least, won the most significant battle. This was accomplished by Trump forcing, through sheer will, seismic shifts in the media landscape.
Much like the battle at Thermopylae, Candidate Donald Trump narrowed the canyon for his opposition. Through constant and consistent reinforcement, and a growing awakening which he forced upon the electorate, a new media battle space was created. This one was much narrower than previous, and Trump defined the parameters.
Now Rupert Murdoch has to accept Fox News is no longer as strong or as viable from a position of opposition to Obama-policy, in combination with advocacy for their preferred candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio (along with the political positions they represent).
Despite the constant cheer leading by Murdoch, Bush and Rubio could not gain policy traction on the slippery platform controlled by Donald Trump.
Only brutally honest, vulgarian types, with a principle-centered and natural balance are able to navigate this political dynamic. Professional politicians who are trained in the fine arts of: fence sitting, straddling and obfuscation, find themselves at a disadvantage when the political positions are no longer ‘straddle-able’.
2016 Presidential Candidates are responding to the positions of Donald Trump on the campaign trail. Trump moves in one specific and consequential direction; and if they don’t follow him they’ll slip off due to the severity of slope he puts beneath their feet.
Many have already fallen. Many more are teetering.
These are consequences of Donald Trump focusing on the underlying electoral fulcrum, not the platform surface. The fulcrum is also the high-point in the bell curve, where the majority of the electorate position their perspectives on a myriad of issues. Trump owns this battle space, and as a consequence everyone from the candidates to the media moguls are now having to modify their positions.
Seismic. Nothing short of seismic.
Quite a remarkable new position when you consider it was only a year ago, when Mr. Wall Street, Rupert Murdoch, considered Jeb Bush as the most favored candidate.
Seeing Jeb fail, Murdoch switched his hopes to Marco Rubio, a promotional position which still holds most currently favored status visibly throughout the network:
[…] Several other prominent conservatives I’ve spoken with grumble that Murdoch is pushing Fox to be openly hostile to Trump and Ted Cruz at the same time the channel boosts Establishment candidates, most prominently Marco Rubio. “I’ve joked to people that they’ll be doing a segment about kumquats in China and somehow they’ll mention Rubio,” one Cruz ally told me. Another conservative activist pointed out that Fox gave Rubio the first interview opportunity following Obama’s Oval Office address on ISIS last month. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, it should also be noted, has been one of the most aggressive Trump and Cruz critics. (link)
The problem for Murdoch in 2016 is now how to re-navigate the landscape with Donald Trump as an inevitable winner. Obviously Roger Ailes tried, and tried, to knock back the populist uprising, consistently repositioning the GOPe crew. However, while it might be less visible now, the sunlight is less than a few Iowa weeks away from exposing the scope of failure. There is a certain urgency now.
And what to do with Roger’s little princess, Megyn Kelly. As we shared within Trump’s battle plan back in September:
[…] It’s not about Megyn Kelly per se’. It’s about taking the strongest most valuable part of Ailes organization, the one he has invested the most time, effort, energy and emotion with, and confronting that ‘golden goose’ first. Ailes would surely never respond the same way if it were a less valuable part of his business. Trump hits em’ where it hurts. (read more)
Trump did not want that fight. However, once Ailes little princess began it, and knowing such an attack carried executive approval and transparency, Trump knew what he had to do and wasn’t shy about doing it.
By winning in such a brutally obvious fashion -and by doing so with such public review and sunlight- Donald Trump has made the network’s biggest asset, it’s biggest liability.
How would/could a TV Network deal with a President Donald J Trump, knowing their primary public face is the antagonistic reverse image of Trump’s populism.
Think about it.
And knowing the history, again considering a Trump Presidency with a full-throated Trump-sized mandate, who the heck would take her on board?
Interesting times ahead…..
[…] A friend who ran into Ailes in Palm Beach over the holidays remarked that he was using a walker. “He seems detached and removed,” one Fox personality tells me. “He’s not around as much,” says another friend of Ailes. “He doesn’t have as many meetings with talent.” (link)