Perhaps since Donald Trump knew his Daytona 500 appearance was going to be broadcast on a network with Fox in its name that he could just launch into a campaign speech and have it broadcast to the captive TV audience waiting to see the race cars start zooming around the track.
Unfortunately for Trump, the network broadcasting the race where he was appointed to be Grand Marshall — a title that surely appealed to the president’s overblown sense of imperiousness — was Fox Sports where the imperative was making money from commercials, not acting as a retransmitter of Trump’s self-serving propaganda.
So instead of seeing the president deliver his spouting of boasts, insults, and rants that typically comprise his campaign rally speeches where ever he goes, the network cut away from his remarks before he could deliver them to their viewers.
Even more ironically, due to the strategic ad buy arranged by Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s media advisors, those viewers at home got to watch a political ad attacking the president created by the Bloomberg campaign.
Adding insult to injury, Fox Sports also cut away from the president’s joy ride around the Daytona track in his presidential limousine.
While Trump supporters on Twitter went apoplectic at the apparently deliberate slight, if they wanted to see the president’s speech, they could have simply turned the channel to Fox News which broadcast the speech that their sister channel ignored and whose content mandate actually is appropriate for the coverage of political topics.
Hopefully, more channels will avoid giving the president the type of free media exposure that he exploited so successfully during his 2016 campaign. With today’s fractured media landscape requiring the expenditure of ever-greater sums of money to reach the largest number of eyeballs with campaign messages, one longs for the days when the FCC enforced both the equal time rule which requires every media outlet to offer an equivalent amount of airtime to any opposing view they broadcast and the now-defunct “fairness doctrine” which “required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC’s view—honest, equitable, and balanced,” as Wikipedia summarized it.
As a being seemingly fed by the media attention he attracts, it would be interesting to see what would happen if the news media simply decided to ignore Donald Trump completely and not mention his name or show his face for a few weeks. It’s likely that Trumpism, if not Trump himself, would simply wither and die without the constant self-reinforcing cycle of outrage and attention.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.