Understanding Trump’s Media Strategy

By: Tom Morgan

If you are in management you probably see what he is doing. If you were in the military you likely do. If you play chess you do.

This is about President Trump’s battle with big media.

A friend likened it to the President letting loose a dozen rabbits. Meaning a dozen items the media have to chase down. While he rolls ahead with bigger things.

I think his strategy has more meat to it. And more thought behind it.

The model is simple: You take the battle to your enemy. You force him to deal with you. You force him to focus his resources on that battle. Especially if his resources are limited. Or weakened.

While he is focused on the battle you skirt his flanks with other forces. You open new beachheads. Or new fronts. You parachute forces to behind his lines.

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In some companies the CEO faces entrenched old management. Especially in takeover situations. He doesn’t want to sack the old management. That would destroy morale. It would deprive the firm of management’s knowledge. And their valuable experience. But they are old and rigid. They resist new ideas.

Solution: He creates additional positions. Promotes young executives to them. Streams more and more power toward them. Until they have as much or more power than the old management team.

Trump takes the battle to Big Media. Other presidents and candidates complained of bad treatment from them. Some took on Big Media. And lost. But Trump makes a frontal assault. And he knows Big Media is weakened.

Big Media have lost audience. Lost readers. They have had to trim newsrooms. They have reduced their presence in Washington. They are not as powerful as when they took down Nixon. And humiliated Bush II.

They have lost support. Heavy majorities of Americans distrust them. Most Americans feel they are biased.

Trump wages war on them. He calls them liars. He says they peddle fake news. He forces them to focus their limited resources on that war.

Meanwhile, he skirts their flanks. He takes his message to today’s websites. To FoxNews on cable. To radio talkshows. He uses social media.

And he Twitters. To 35 million followers. (Hillary had 1 million.) That is one hell of an audience. One hell of a beachfront. He gets his message to them unfiltered by Big Media. And undistorted by them.

Meanwhile, Big Media focuses on the original battle. They squabble when Trump faces down CNN’s White House guy in his first press conference. AP whines that his press secretary does not feed their guy the first question at the daily press conference. After all, that’s tradition. Instead, he lets guys from lesser media ask the questions.

The old-line press corps complains that the new president threatens to change the seating at press conferences. He may do away with reserving the first few rows for Big Media elite.

He has drawn them into full battle, full focus. They think they are still powerful enough to bring him down. So they run negative stories galore on his infant presidency. And they threaten him. They openly warn they will prevail. After all, other presidents challenged them. Big Media humbled them.

Ahh, but Big Media no longer has that strength. That is how the new President is betting. Big Media fights this war with old tanks. Trump is into Star Wars weaponry. They try to embarrass him with their audiences and readers. But those numbers have dwindled.

While they focus on that, President Trump Tweets to 35 million followers. And that number is growing.

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If you like him this may help you see what he is doing. If you hate him you had better hope Democrats and the Left will wake up to what he is doing to their favorite media.

From Tom…as in Morgan.


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