Donald Trump used to appear on any TV program that would have him, garnering him billions in free publicity. But those days seem to be (mostly) over. In fact, Trump is now appearing only on Fox News. What happened?
The last time Trump appeared on any network other than Fox News was July 31, when Trump was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC. That was the time he questioned whether the Gold Star mother of the killed Muslim army officer was not allowed to speak because of her religion, starting his very public argument with the soldier’s family. Oops. He hasn’t appeared on ABC since.
His last appearance on NBC News was July 24 (and not on MSNBC since May 20), on CBS was July 17, and the last time on CNN was June 13.
Trump has completely retreated into the echo chamber of Fox News. Since his appearance with Stephanopoulos he has appeared 11 times on Fox News. His favorite interviewer? Sean Hannity, who also advises Trump.
How much of an echo chamber? One where the echoes are softer than softballs. On Sean Hannity’s show, Trump was asked “You’re doing events starting early in the morning. Wednesday night, we didn’t finish dinner until well after midnight. And I’ve watched you through this process. Where do you get that stamina to do this?”
Then five days later, on a town hall, Fox News asked “How do you have the stamina to keep going and going and going? You’ve only taken two days off this month, Hillary’s taken seven days off.”
Just a few days later yet another interview began with “You have had a banner week. I don’t know how you do it. But you have given at least four or five major speeches, you have been to Louisiana, you just gave a speech this afternoon.”
Trump’s desire to talk to only people who fawn over him means that he is singing to the choir and won’t be able to reach out to voters beyond his core constituency (which is angry blue-color men who watch Fox News). That’s a good way to lose an election (assuming you are trying to win it).