With the announcement that he will post his first “Fake News Awards” on Jan. 17, it’s more obvious than ever that Donald Trump views the presidency — maybe life itself — as nothing more dignified than a TV reality show.
Although he denies it, Trump is obsessed with polls and ratings, the very rocket fuel of Hollywood and D.C. alike. When they work in his favor, he broadcasts them to anyone within earshot; when they don’t, he cries “fake news” to the gleeful delight of his adoring fans.
Like a rapidly aging C-rate producer with a 2-year-old’s attention span, Trump has no interest in policy substance beyond a skeleton script. He divides an increasingly complex world into bad guys and good guys as in 1950s Westerns, grossly oversimplifies all plots regarding world events, and always promises exciting, if often predictable, endings.
“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” Trump told the (failing) New York Times in the now-famous Christmas interview from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Such is the depth of his ego and degree of his man-child fantasy that he alone controls the fate of all media in the 21st century.
Copying Jim Carrey’s movie character from 1998, Trump is living out his very own “Truman Show,” at the expense of hoodwinked voters who were promised better. Those same voters will be left to mop up — perhaps even rebuild — the trashed theater of the U.S. after Trump has ridden off into the sunset.
Hopefully, “The Trump Show” will be canceled sooner rather than later. Your ratings are tanking badly these days, Donald. Going down the tubes — fast.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.