The Donald Show: Trump, Television, and Manufactured Reality
Television has had a tremendous impact on Donald Trump. During Trump’s impeachment trial in the United States Senate, part of his consideration for who would represent him was based on how well those individuals would come across on television. As one White House source stated, “It’s simply who Trump is, [he] loves having people who are on television working for him.” 1 One article referred to Trump’s obsession with television as:
Having been a reality-TV star before entering politics, Trump is known to be obsessed with how his presidency plays out on TV and to keenly monitor the media appearances of top advisers, sometimes watching them with the sound off. 2
Jerzy Kosinski’s novel, Being There, addressed a simple gardener who must leave the house where he has lived for years when the old man who owns the house dies. The novel and, subsequently, the movie, starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, and Melvyn Douglas (1979), provide a perspective on the influence television has on Donald Trump in the White House.
In the movie, there is a scene where Chance (Sellers) is eating dinner with the very affluent and influential, Ben Rand (Douglas) and his wife, Eve (MacLaine) and he is asked by Rand his opinion on health care in America and says, “Yes, shut down and closed by the attorney.” 3 What Chance (called “Chauncey” by Ben Rand for no apparent reason) was referring to was how he was forced to leave the house where he lived as a gardener by the estate’s attorney. But his remark is interpreted as a brilliant insight into the state of our nation’s health care.
When he was elected President, there was hope that he would “grow in office.” This was meant as a way to see him begin to grasp the seriousness of the position he held and would start to take the time to make thoughtful comments—that has not happened. This is not to address his policies or those of the Republican Party, those are not being challenged here, rather the issue is how Trump articulates for many Americans the problems, fears, and hopes that they feel. There are times when a President is confronted with issues, whether it was a surprise military attack on American military facilities in Hawaii, or planes flown into two tall buildings in lower Manhattan, or a health crisis that seems to have profound consequences to families and the livelihood of people, that is when a President can step forward to address all Americans. Look beyond tax cuts, government deregulation, climate warming skepticism, abortion restrictions, Supreme Court picks to just Trump’s presentations, his demeanor, his messaging. Jon Meacham, a presidential biographer stated, “I cannot think of a president off the top of my head who has so self-evidently failed to learn on the job.” 4
Chance is oblivious to life around him. Statements he makes that get repeated by a President of the United States mean nothing. There is no connection between what is said and what and whom those words might affect. During this pandemic we are all going through, it is natural that people turn to their leaders for hope and inspiration and guidance. When Trump pushed the use of hydrochloroquine, an anti-malaria drug used to address lupus, and when he suggested that people “clean” their bodies with a disinfectant saying, “I see disinfectant, where it knocks [coronavirus] out in a minute—one minute—and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning,” his words were taken seriously by many Americans. 5 One man is known to have died from ingesting a variation of hydrochloroquine, one used to clean fish tanks and New York City’s poison control center saw a significant increase in calls within 18 hours of Trump’s remarks on using a disinfectant, asking if they could take Clorox or other Alcohol cleaning products. 6
62 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. Many did not vote for him because of specific policies he pushed but because of certain feelings that he gave them. 7 Gallup organization research has shown that for many Americans what they want in a President is trust, compassion, stability, and hope. 8 Those leadership qualities matter when Trump speaks. Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, said regarding leadership, “The secret of American leadership is convincing Americans that what you want to do is in their self-interest.” 9
James Bryce, an Englishman who frequently visited America, wrote an interesting, although largely forgotten book on American politics, American Commonwealth, published in 1904, which has a chapter titled, “Why Great Men Are Not Chosen President.” 10 One quote by Bryce says it all:
An eminent American is reported to have said to friends who wished to put him forward, “Gentlemen. let there be no mistake, I should make a good president, but a very bad candidate,” Now to a party it is more important that its nominee should be a good candidate than that he should turn out a good president.
In an odd sort of way, Trump had an exchange with Rona Barrett, a well-known celebrity columnist who asked Trump in 1980 if he would ever consider running for President. In that interview Trump said something that echoed Bryce:
Barrett: Why wouldn’t you dedicate yourself to public service?
Trump: Because I think it’s a very mean life, And I also see it that somebody with strong views … which may be right but may be unpopular, wouldn’t necessarily have a chance of getting elected against somebody with no great brain but a big smile. 11
Greatness is not the issue. Robert McNamara, when nominated to become Secretary of Defense by John Kennedy, told Kennedy he did not know anything about government, Kennedy replied, “We can learn our jobs together. I don’t know how to be president either”. 12
Kosinski was concerned that watching television seven and a half hours a day raised the issue of what was being missed regarding life around one. As Kosinski said, “the world comes to us through television.” The question which Kosinski asks, which is the issue that helps us address Trump not growing in office is: “What happens when you overdo?” One writer addressing Trump’s attachment to television wrote, “Trump’s obsession with television is so consuming that the former reality-TV show star experiences the reality of his presidency through flat-screens in the West Wing.” 13 Television helped Donald Trump win the Presidency, but it may not have prepared him to govern well, particularly during a pandemic.
The Image Is The Man
Television made Trump. Trump’s role on The Apprentice which was on for 15 seasons with Trump hosting the show for the first 14 seasons, made Trump a household name.
In February 2016, as the Trump candidacy for President was in full swing, Les Moonves, chief executive of CBS said, “[Trump was] good for us economically…and…may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” 14 Moonves saw a public eager to watch a well-known reality TV star try to win the right to run for President of the United States. Moonves described the 2016 Presidential campaign as a “circus,” and joyfully counted the money saying, “The money’s rolling in and this is fun.” Reality show TV merged with the Presidential campaign to create a Presidential election season unlike any before.
This exuberance for Trump in 2016 is now lightyears in the past. Personality issues that were there for all to see were pushed aside. Dave Berg for 18-years was co-producer for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, noted issues with Trump in the Summer of 2016. Berg stated that Trump saw late night talk shows as important to his campaign. Trump, in fact, was critical of Mitt Romney not taking these shows seriously in the 2012 Presidential campaign, when he was the Republican candidate. In an admiring statement on Barack Obama, Trump said, “Obama, say what you want, he was on Jay Leno, he was on David Letterman. He was all over the place.” 15
Part of Trump’s fight with mainstream media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC is because he gained his status, celebrity status might be the best way to describe it, through gossip columns. Liz Smith, a well-known New York City gossip columnist who wrote for the New York Daily News for years, was described this way regarding her role in Trump’s rise to celebrity status:
Liz Smith claimed to have invented Donald Trump, and in a powerful and enduring way, she did. Trump’s rise to celebrity was the product of an energetic injection of tabloid journalism into New York’s media bloodstream in the 1970s and ’80s, and it was Smith who turned Trump into one of the main characters in the city’s soap opera. 16
Smith’s writings on Trump’s divorce from Ivana Trump in 1990, gained Smith her own celebrity status. Trump fumed about Smith’s writing, but when he threatened to buy the Daily News just so he could fire her, her status went even higher. 17
Trump’s relationship with gossip columnists, no doubt influenced his expectations of how to deal with traditional mainstream news outlets. One gossip columnist stated:
It’s easy to forget, given Trump’s current war with the press, but there was a time, not so long ago, when Trump’s mastery of the news media—or at least the branch of it that helps shape and define the popular culture—was all but complete. 18
Katy Tur, an NBC correspondent and an anchor on MSNBC, was assigned to cover Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. At one point during a contentious moment with Trump, he yells at her, “You know my whole life has been a win. You understand that.” Tur’s account of her time on the campaign trail is one where Trump or a subordinate try to repeatedly get her to see things Trump’s way–probably not all that unusual from any politician who want their image presented a certain way, but Trump’s style and approach to trying to achieve this was different. A confrontation with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager (well one) has Tur being yelled at and there was a follow up yelling session by Trump, where her cameraman said afterwards, “I can’t believe Trump yelled at you like that.” 19 For Trump the transition from dealing with gossip columnists to reporters and correspondents was not an easy one and still is not.
Trump’s divorce from Ivana was 14 years before The Apprentice first aired. In those years between 1990 and 2004, to stay in the public’s eye, Trump had to keep working at it, The Apprentice changed all that. In those 14 years, Trump appeared in several movies and on several television shows. But, unlike his continuous presence week after week, season after season on The Apprentice, an appearance in the movie Across the Sea of Time (1995) where according to a New York Times review, “Donald Trump [made] a suitably discreet entrance,” that may not count as a way of keeping his name actively in the public’s mind. 20 Or, in 1996 in an appearance on the television show The Nanny, Trump wanted to be referred to as a “billionaire” not a “millionaire,” eventually it was agreed to call him a “zillionaire” whatever that is. 21
The Apprentice helped to solidify an image of Trump. Yet, image is one thing, substance another. Clay Aiken, whose name is just on the tip of your tongue (runner-up on Season 2 of American Idol, who released five albums and ran for a Congressional seat in North Carolina losing with 41 percent of the votes) summarized Trump’s role on the show:
It was very much a ‘I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.’ Donald Trump isn’t the businessman that people believe he is, because we saw him on TV playing The Apprentice and he did look like he was leading. But on The Apprentice, he doesn’t lead. 22
In a situation that sounds like the contentious issue of the Emolument Clause in the United States Constitution, which addresses a President not taking advantage of his position to make money, Trump took advantage of The Apprentice to make money off the show, beyond appearing on it. He rented space in Trump Tower to the show’s producers to film the TV show. 23
The Apprentice allowed Trump to create an image. Often losers on the show, such as Khloe Kardashian, were asked by Trump what charity they supported, and he would denote money to that charity. As Trump stated in one show, “I’m going to give $20,000 to your charity.” Or he stated, “Out of my wallet,” or in one case, “Out of my own account.” The money came from a TV production company. As one report on these contributions stated:
The [Washington] Post found 21 separate instances where Trump had pledged money to a celebrity’s cause. Together, those pledges totaled $464,000. The Post then contacted the individual charities to find out who paid off Trump’s promises. …As with Kardashian, that money came from Reilly Worldwide [a production company]. Trump gave nothing. 24
Six corporate bankruptcies, three were for casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey during the 1990s belong to Trump’s record as a businessman. He had another bankruptcy in 2004, the year The Apprentice began and another in 2009 but The Apprentice made him into a different commodity. Regular viewers of the show favored Trump by 28 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Voters who did not watch the show gave Clinton a 15-point advantage. 25
It should not be forgotten that Ronald Reagan did television and made a national name for himself in the process. Reagan usually played a second-tier actor in movies. There were exceptions, such as his performance as Drake McHugh in Kings Row (1942, also starring Ann Sheridan and Robert Cummings) but playing Professor Peter Boyd in Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) seemed to cement his image as a joke whose Hollywood years were behind him. Even when Reagan was in the White House, he was haunted by his role in that movie as indicated by the 1984 recording of the album Five Minutes, the recording group was Bonzo Goes to Washington.
Reagan’s image went through a transformation with his hosting of General Electric Theater on television between 1954 and 1962. Unlike the reality show format of The Apprentice, each of the more than 200 episodes of General Electric Theater were adaptations of a novel or a play or a work of fiction. Unlike Dennis Rodman or Omarosa Manigault or Chloe Kardashian appearing on The Apprentice, episodes of General Electric Theater included Fred Astaire, Lon Chancey, Jr. or Myrna Loy. Nancy and Ronald Reagan appeared together in several commercials.
CBS broadcast General Electric Theater on Sunday evenings at 9pm, a prime time for adult viewing. This was an era when, basically, television consisted of ABC, CBS, and NBC, each were competing for the same audience. Some places, such as New York City had several local channels but even in the New York market there might only be seven channels, and they did not stay on the air 24-hours a day. Watching a station sign off with the National Anthem and start their programming with a prayer was typical.
Reagan, in addition to just being on television visited General Electric facilities and gave speeches at Rotary Clubs on behalf of General Electric across America. His first real impact on the national political scene was the speech he gave in support of Barry Goldwater in October 1964 at the Republican National Convention. But that speech was an outgrowth of what he had been saying as he toured the country representing General Electric. 26
Reagan had his lies, all Presidents do. Perhaps the most well-known of Reagan’s was when he said, “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.” 27 In addition, Reagan understood the importance of presentation style for a politician. As he said during the 1980 Presidential campaign, “How can a president not be an actor?” 28 But actors run the gamut from great to B movie stars.
There are aspects of the Reagan Presidency, however, that when looked at closely resemble nothing of what conservative means in the Trump Presidency. There were tax increases while Reagan was President, and with the Republicans as the majority party in the Senate. In 1983, in Reagan’s third year as President, he signed an amendment that made up to 50 percent of Social Security benefits as taxable. A reason why the Republicans lost control of the Senate in the 1986 Congressional elections can be pointed to this event. Furthermore, withholding taxes went up under Reagan. In 1980, the year Reagan was elected, and the Republicans became the majority party in the Senate, individuals paid 5.08 percent in Social Security taxes and 2.1 percent in Medicare taxes. By 1986, the year Republicans lost control of the Senate, The Social Security tax was 5.7 percent and the Medicare tax was 2.9 percent (Social Security is split evenly between employer and employee).
From his years on television, learning how to reach a broad audience and touring the country for General Electric, Reagan learned that pragmatism sometimes is a necessary aspect of political life. Ideology and his version of being conservative was not as television reality-show superficial as the version that Trump displays. Toward the end of Mrs. America, currently on Hulu, Phyllis Schlafly (played by Cate Blancett), who led the Eagle Forum and spearheaded the push to prevent the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) from becoming ratified and becoming part of the United States Constitution, believed she was going to be offered a position in Reagan’s cabinet, that does not happen. The phone conversation Reagan has with Schlafly, has Reagan saying he had not done as well as expected with women voters (although he won that 1980 election) and tells Schlafly he needs to mend some fences with women voters, including those who supported the ERA. Schlafly is expendable as Reagan aims for pragmatism.
Schlafly was described by one writer as the person who, “played a major role in linking the Republican Party with the New Right,” and referred to by many in this movement as their “First Lady.” Reagan’s picks for his administration showed his pragmatism as one article states, “Schlafly did not end up in Reagan’s Cabinet, which was generally stocked with more moderate figures. Reagan was sensitive to her polarizing effect even within his own party.” 29
Alpha House, an Amazon Original which was on briefly for two seasons, (2013-2014, starring John Goldman, Mark Consuelos, and Clark Johnson) has an episode where Republican senators head off to a retreat at a Virginia plantation. In the background as entertainment there is a Reagan impersonator who uses actual Reagan quotes and Senators start throwing stuff at him. One Reagan quote goes, “Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it is common sense,” with one Senator saying, “Better get out of here before it gets really ugly.” 30 Reagan’s television years, had their impact on him but in ways entirely different from Trump’s years.
Trump’s television years taught him to think only in showmanship ways, without any substance, very different than the years Reagan spent on television. One critic of reality shows, as The Apprentice was, stated:
Reality television shows usually portray people in a heightened state of reality to the point of it almost being fiction. Thus, the premise behind many shows has garnered criticisms based on how fabricated the portrayed reality actually is. Additionally, through editing film crews are able to portray a situation that might have been largely underplayed in real life for the purpose of portraying drama. 31
This way of looking at the participants on reality TV has influenced Trump regarding how he sees the American public, or, more precisely, that segment of the public he wants to keep reaching to stay loyal to him. Part of that view of how he sees the public is to say anything that sounds good to him or makes him look good, regardless of how many lies newspapers or fact-checkers count. In fact, Trump supporters do not care if he lies, even if they know he is doing it. 32
Reality television, these odd assortment of shows that are too numerous to list and run the gamut from girls pledging to join a sorority (Sorority Life, 2002-2004), to sex change operations (Sex Change Hospital, 2008), to following the lives of six stylists at salons in New Jersey (Jerseylicious, 2010-2014), to a dermatologist in action (Dr. Pimple Popper, 2018-2020), permeate television. These shows often display a similar format where participants come across as stereotypes. One study that examined women on these shows stated:
Women are often presented as dependent and subordinate as well as dim-witted and vain. There are very few reality programs that feature women as the main subject. However, the programs that do portray women do so in an extremely negative light. Apart from being depicted as passive and weak, women are generally much younger and more physically attractive than their male counterparts, displaying them as sex symbols. 33
Southerners are often portrayed as lazy or stupid (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty), 34 African-American American women are portrayed as prone to hair pulling and brawling. 35 A study noted that bullying and aggression on a reality show can lead viewers to believe such behavior is more acceptable. In fact, the same type of actions seen on a television crime show had less impact on viewers than a reality show. 36
One woman who was part of a reality show described her experience at the beginning of shooting, while took place in her apartment:
[A] few hours into our first day, I understood that “me” wasn’t a pronoun that existed in the context of this show. I was playing a version of myself — a character — and with a nudge here and a shove there, it was clear what character the producers wanted me to play. They were casting the stereotypical L.A. girl: Long blonde hair, thin, perhaps a bit shallow, and with a small, fluffy dog to boot. I looked the part. I had a choice to make: I could either fight it, and portray the intelligent, feminist and sarcastic self I had grown into over the past 23 years, or I could fake it. I chose the latter. 37
The very apt criticism of Trump that he has not grown in office can be related to his television years. The reality show feel of contestants coming and going or cliff hanger moments, at times, leaped from the set of The Apprentice to the White House. A Time magazine critique stated:
The President’s tweeted insults of not only of his opponents but also his own subordinates has been widely compared to reality television, and the news focuses on the revolving door for White House operatives and leaked predictions of one another’s departure. 38
Growth would require developing substantive values and ideas and there is no reason to do that if as Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players” and, unfortunately for the country as a whole, Trump’s stage has hardly moved from the one in Trump Tower where The Apprentice was filmed.
Elvis has Left the building, but Donald has Not
The phrase Elvis Has Left The building was a reference to announcements after an Elvis concert that he was not coming back out for an encore and the audience could leave. The notion of a dramatic exit is now used in association with this phrase. There is no dramatic exit for Trump, where he gives a meaningful, thoughtful address to the nation and aims to inspire people in a difficult time, there is only continuous theatrical presence.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, President George Bush showed a Presidential style where he tried to bring the country together. His efforts may not have lasted long, but it showed a style of Presidential leadership we do not see now. Donald Trump, despite the hardship that COVID-19 has brought on, cannot escape his character. Trump through his actions and words has only exasperated the divisions that already exist within the country—there has been no kumbaya moment that Trump has shown during this difficult time. His press conferences only serve to fuel social media to fan the flames of division.
Trying to watch Donald Trump’s nightly press conferences that took up part of March and April 2020 until Trump’s re-election team realized they were harming the product and his chances for re-election, so ended the surreal performance of these nightly gatherings, will be discussed by historians for years to come. One press conference (Monday, April 13th), lasting more than two hours included a short video which was a strange thing to see. The video included the words, “The media minimized the risk from the start.” Other parts of this short video showed Governor Gavin Newson of California saying, “He returns calls, he reaches out, he’s been proactive.” That is followed by Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida saying, “The president has been outstanding through all this.” So, a Democratic and Republican governor are meant to convey the appearance of bi-partisan support for Donald Trump. A blatant campaign ad during a moment when people turned on their television sets to listen to a President say something about where we were as a country and what might be done about it.
It is difficult to try to step back and become detached and assess what took place: Chance from Being There was on full display. The deadly impact of a pandemic was slowly taking hold on the country and a moment when Presidential leadership could say something truthful about what lies ahead and how this virus cared not whether one was Republic or Democrat, was lost. Instead Trump showed a video that could have been produced by Mark Burnett, the creator of The Apprentice (but probably was not).
What stands out about this video and add in other scenes from press conference moments, such as Mike Lindell, CEO of the company that makes “My pillow,” being called upon to stand at the podium with Trump at his side and say, “God gave us grace on November 8, 2016 [when Trump was elected President] to change the course we were on,” 39 is the type of foolishness that cried out for a Saturday Night Live skit. That is not what a country needs to take away from Presidential press conferences on a pandemic.
Trump’s version of what was going on at these press conferences seemed to be detached from how they were being understood by the media. A New York Times article pointed out that the audience was larger than The Bachelor or Monday Night Football. Trump, subsequently tweeted, “my News Conferences etc. are high, ‘Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers.” But he missed the point of this article which addressed networks discussing whether they should carry his daily press conferences since he repeatedly provided false or misleading statements about COVID-19. 40 Chance was on full display moving from Ben Rand’s mansion to the White House.
Donald Trump has not traveled far from The Apprentice. It is unfortunate that he cannot grow in office. Franklin D. Roosevelt had an interesting quote on leadership, “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their minds.” Trump’s mind was locked by television’s imprint and it is still there.
In the waiting room before an appearance on Jay Leno, Trump told a producer that The Apprentice was rated the number one show, the show was not. The producer wrote of this moment:
The ratings had started to slip at the time. I thought he was joking, so I laughed. But he didn’t, and neither did his staffers. It was obvious that they hadn’t told him about his dropping Nielsen numbers. You can’t be president if you only hire yes people. 41
The country probably has a White House filled with yes people advising the President. Chance with his obliviousness of life around him resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
- https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-picked-impeachment-defense-team-based-on-tv-performance-report-2020-1 ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U8VFGWyfhE ↩
- https://www.politicususa.com/2020/04/18/presidential-historian-calls-donald-trump-the-most-dangerously-ignorant-president-in-history.html ↩
- https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/04/trump-actually-suggests-injecting-disinfectants-could-cure-coronavirus , and, https://www.physiciansweekly.com/covid-19-when-the-president-speaks-people-listen-and-google-answers/ ↩
- https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/494744-poison-control-centers-report-increase-in-calls-pertaining-to-exposure-to ↩
- Roderick Hart, Trump and Us: What He Says and Why People Listen, New York, Columbia University Press, 2020 ↩
- https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-personal-renaissance/201906/what-qualities-do-you-want-in-our-next-president ↩
- Richard Reeves, American Journal: Travels with Tocqueville in Search of Democracy in America, New York, Simon and Shuster, 1982, p.69 ↩
- http://www.gw.edu/misc/radio/articles/great_men_not_pres.pdf ↩
- https://www.noozhawk.com/article/rona_barrett_donald_trump_no_great_brain_but_a_big_smile_20160327 ↩
- Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1993, p. 25 ↩
- https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/07/is-donald-trump-a-tv-addict-215346 ↩
- https://theintercept.com/2016/02/29/cbs-donald-trump/ ↩
- https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/11/trump-leno-letterman-bonehead-veteran-campaigner-column/86776658/ ↩
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/how-liz-smith-made-donald-trump-a-leading-character-on-the-new-york-stage/2017/11/13/1c94168e-c88f-11e7-aa96-54417592cf72_story.html ↩
- https://jezebel.com/this-profile-of-gossip-columnist-liz-smith-is-really-sa-1797342912 ↩
- https://www.thedailybeast.com/shock-horror-trump-was-once-in-love-with-the-press ↩
- Katy Tur, Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History, New York, Dey St., 2017, pp. 26-29. ↩
- https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/film/across_the_sea_of_time.html ↩
- https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/02/05/trumps-the-nanny-cameo-required-script-changes-fran-drescher-says/4665376002/ ↩
- https://www.nickiswift.com/152288/disturbing-things-everyone-ignored-about-the-apprentice/ ↩
- Ibid. ↩
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-promised-personal-gifts-on-celebrity-apprentice-heres-who-really-paid/2016/08/18/b8d087b4-5d9a-11e6-af8e-54aa2e849447_story.html ↩
- https://theweek.com/speedreads/608403/are-apprentice-fans-donald-trumps-most-reliable-voters ↩
- Thomas Evans, The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism: The Education of Ronald Reagan, New York, Columbia University Press, 2008 ↩
- http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Ronald_Reagan/EnduringLies_RonaldReagan.html ↩
- https://www.thoughtco.com/ronald-reagan-quotes-you-should-know-1779926 ↩
- https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2020-05-27/mrs-america-fact-check-phyllis-schlafly-reagan-election ↩
- https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/amzn1.dv.gti.eea9f729-e268-0a1c-f3e3-834fc810674d?ref_=imdbref_tt_wbr_pvs_piv&tag=imdbtag_tt_wbr_pvs_piv-20 ↩
- https://www.jobmonkey.com/realitytv/criticism/ ↩
- https://www.vox.com/2017/7/10/15928438/fact-checks-political-psychology ↩
- https://the-artifice.com/sterotyped-women-in-reality-tv/ ↩
- https://cultursmag.com/does-reality-tv-encourage-cultural-and-gender-stereotypes/ ↩
- https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/09/122700/reality-tv-racial-stereotypes ↩
- https://www.npr.org/2014/08/24/342429563/viewer-beware-watching-reality-tv-can-impact-real-life-behavior/ ↩
- https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-was-on-reality-tv-faking-real-life_b_4823714 ↩
- https://time.com/5211267/warning-television-american-politics/ ↩
- https://www.complex.com/life/2020/03/mypillow-ceo-mike-lindell-white-house-coronavirus-press-conference ↩
- https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/29/trump-tweets-touting-tv-ratings-coronavirus-briefings/2936761001/ , and, the article Trump referred to, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/business/media/trump-coronavirus-briefings-ratings.html ↩
- https://www.usatoday.com/opinion/ ↩
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