During Politico’s “Off Message” podcast discussing his book “The Vanishing American Adult,” never-Trumper Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said President Donald Trump “comes out of a reality TV world,” which gives him “lots of anxiety about whether or not that kind of world is really what we want for our kids.”
Sasse said of Trump, “The president has had kind of three careers en route to becoming president. I think of them as three 10–15-year careers. He had real estate where he was really successful. He sort of took his dad’s model of the outer boroughs and brought a new real estate model to Manhattan, and he was successful doing that from the mid-seventies until1990. Then he had a bunch of operating companies for 10 or 15 years I guess, casinos and operating companies—most of those failed. And then he had the career that really launched him into the presidency, which is celebrity reality TV.
He continued, “And let’s be clear—the guy is a marketing genius. He recognized far before Politico and other media outlets recognized, you are going to have a disintermediation of media channels. The barriers to entry were going down. There would be far more entrance. There would be the potential of a lot more siloing and echo chambers in the way that we do media. And frankly, if you can be a content provider on a grand scale, you become more significant than the mediating distribution channels. He had an intuition about that and how you run media cycles, which is heavily driven by provocation and kind of outlandish statements. And you can kind of over-promise and whatever happens next there will probably be a new moment in the 24/7 media cycle. So, I mean he definitely comes from the world to the presidency that comes out of a reality TV world. And I have lots of anxiety about whether or not that kind of world is really what we want for our kids.”
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