Jimmy Fallon’s skit about the emergence of a Trump News Network could be more prophecy than comedy, US politics experts have told The New Daily.
The Tonight Show host put on his Donald Trump fluffy wig, narrow eyes and pursed lips for a sketch on Wednesday, depicting the US President’s launch of his own private news network, TNN, as an alternative to “fake news”.
“The only way to ensure the news you’re watching is not fake is if I’m the one delivering it, which is why I’m starting the Trump News Network,” Fallon said.
“This is TNN.”
The TNN skit resurrects the question: will Mr Trump one day launch his own news network for real?
Before the election, a theory emerged that Mr Trump’s true desire was not the presidency, but to launch his own TV station and media conglomerate after the election.
Mr Trump could be out of the Presidency as early as two years if the Democrats regain control of the Senate and the House and move to have him removed.
“Trump is finished. Trump TV is next,’’ boomed The Atlantic.
“Is Donald Trump’s endgame the launch of Trump News?’’ pondered Vanity Fair.
Does this go some way to explain Mr Trump’s relentless damning of the mainstream news organisations – including relatively sober broadsheets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post – as “fake news”?
Melbourne University US politics lecturer George Rennie said Mr Fallon’s joke was not so ridiculous and, on the flip side, could in fact be viewed as “realistic”.
“It’s a plausible hypothesis based on what Trump’s done both before and after the election. It lends itself to a Trump New Network being on the horizon,” he told The New Daily.
“He might do it and he’s well-placed if he does. He would find it easy to get funding to get a network off the ground.
“It fits in with what we know about Donald Trump. He’s obsessed with television. As reflected in his Tweets, he can’t let go of the fact he’s a TV star.”
Mr Rennie said that in many ways, the President of the United States already had his own news network: his Twitter feed.
“You could say it’s a 24-hour news service,” he said.
“He manages the delivery of news himself. It all fits the MO of someone who might set up their own network.”
But if Mr Trump was to establish ‘TNN’, would he get an audience?
A new poll from Quinnipiac University found that people were not wholly happy with the mainstream media, but they trusted it as more credible than Mr Trump.
The poll asked registered voters who they trusted more when it came to the “truth about important issues” – 52 per cent chose the media and 37 per cent voted for Mr Trump.
However, 50 per cent of people felt that Mr Trump’s presidency had not been covered fairly by news media, while 45 per cent approved of the coverage.
Even so, 61 per cent disapproved of Mr Trump’s treatment of the media – which he calls “the enemy” of the people.
This suggests a hard-core, significant number of people who take Trump’s words as gospel.
So watch this space.
Originally published at The New Daily.