Right Hooks

Trump a Boon for the News Industry

The MSM is raking in the cash on its incessant negative coverage of the new president.

Political Editors · Jun. 8, 2017

Early this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie commented to a group of reporters, “Donald Trump has been the greatest thing for your industry. Your industry was dying before Donald Trump became president.” It is hard to argue against Christie’s statements, even if “dying” is overstated. Trump has proven to be as popular as ever and if there is anything he can take the most direct credit for it may be that he has single-handedly boosted what had become a steadily declining news industry. In fact, one of the news outlets to have most benefited from Trump’s election is, ironically, the New York Times.

Last year, three of the Times’ most read stories were about Trump. New digital subscriptions to the paper from October through December of 2016 were higher than all of 2013 and 2014 combined. And the day after the election the paper picked up 41,000 new subscribers. In the first two months of 2017, the Times had already doubled its subscriptions from all of 2016. Talk about an industry surge. New York Times CEO Mark Thompson stated, “We added an astonishing 308,000 net digital news subscriptions, making Q1 the single best quarter for subscriber growth in our history.”

Other news outlets have witnessed similar growth. The Wall Street Journal saw a 300% increase in web traffic directly following the election, while the New Yorker posted a 230% increase in subscriptions in January. And all the major news media cable outlets have reported an increases in viewership, according to the Nielsen ratings.

Clearly the common denominator for the industry’s recent boom has been both the candidacy and the election of Trump, a factor which is almost universally agreed upon by those in the industry. (We noted their twisted favoritism toward him and the reason for it during the GOP primaries.) But admitting Trump is good for business does not translate into any love for the man, demonstrated by the MSM’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of Trump. CBS executive chairman Leslie Moonves stated last year, “[Trump] may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” He continued, “Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? The money’s rolling in and this is fun. I’ve never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

Trump has clearly been proven wrong on one prediction: The New York Times is not anywhere near failing as far as its economic viability is concerned. As far as its journalistic standards, well, that’s an entirely different story — one that has more akin with the janitor’s “investigation” in “Billy Madison” than any actual reporting.

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