How Donald Trump Uses the Media

A photo of billionaire businessman and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Just as Donald Trump can pull off wearing cufflinks and a ball cap, he can pull off making statements that outrage media critics but are applauded by many Republican voters. Photo © Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Loved by some, loathed by others, billionaire Donald Trump definitely has an ability to draw attention to himself. But while countless celebrities seek out media exposure, Trump is a master at getting it time and time again.

That's being shown during the 2016 presidential race. When he makes controversial comments, whether during a debate, in a speech or through social media, political pundits try to take him to the woodshed by saying it's further proof he's unfit to lead the country.

Trump fires back by accusing news organizations of liberal media bias. Trump's supporters nod their heads in agreement and the cycle starts over again. But his mastery of using the media started long before the election cycle began.

Trump Gets to Create His Own Biography

Usually, voters are suspicious of rich people running for political office. The thinking is that a millionaire or billionaire can't possibly understand or care about the problems of everyday Americans.

In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney couldn't seem to escape his wealth or his family's elite connections. Trump has no such problem, bragging about his business deals. No one appears to care that Trump was also born into a wealthy family.

That's probably due in part to Trump's long run on NBC's . While other politicians have to introduce themselves to voters, America already knows Trump and his personality. That's why voters appear to give him a pass on his business bankruptcies, giving him the chance to explain himself or brush off the criticism.

Not many political candidates get that luxury.

Trump Can Attack Both the Liberal and Conservative Media

Conservative political candidates routinely attack the so-called liberal media, and Trump is no different. What is unique is his ongoing battles with Fox News Channel, which is seen as being on the opposite end of the political spectrum.

Trump attacked Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly after she questioned his statements regarding women at a presidential debate. The war of words between Trump and Fox News Channel appeared to benefit both sides with increased media exposure.

While some conservatives question Trump's true political views because he once was a Democrat, most voters aren't applying the typical labels to him. Instead, they simply trust his business judgment and believe his "straight talk" is exactly what America needs to reclaim its prestige and respect around the world.

While other candidates plod along with long-winded, detailed policy proposals for Middle East peace, the debt and other issues, Trump can get by with a quick and boastful comment that gets cheers from his supporters. A political analyst who questions the substance behind Trump's remarks will get venom from him rather than an explanation. As long as voters remain in Trump's corner, it's a win for him.

Trump Stays One Step Ahead of the Media

On a Monday, Trump can grab headlines with what media insiders blast as an outrageous comment or proposal. By the time the news cycles comes around to report what he said and the pundits have their say on why they don't like it, Trump has already moved on to something else.

That makes it hard for the media to catch up. There's no time to dissect what commentators say is a bad idea from him while simultaneously reporting on his latest political move.

Trump drew fire from both ends of the political spectrum when he called for a temporary ban on Muslims trying to enter the country. Before the media and his rival candidates could fully assess and respond to that proposal, Trump moved on to declare that he'd use an Executive Order to give convicted cop killers the death penalty.

Both ideas were short on specifics. But they were enough for Trump to win the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association, which helps in the 2016 New Hampshire Primary.

Presidential candidates can usually be expected to have the media scrutinize their every move, motive and proposal.

But because Trump is a unique candidate at a time when voters want tough talk rather than solid answers, he can use the media as a tool to get him what he wants most -- more publicity.

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