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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Trump: a "Television Character" Who Gets Lots of Free Media

At The New York Times, Nicholas Confessore and Karen Yourish explain that the difference between Trump and other contenders is that he gets vastly more free media.
No one knows this better than mediaQuant, a firm that tracks media coverage of each candidate and computes a dollar value based on advertising rates. The mentions are weighted by the reach of the media source, meaning how many people were likely to see it. The calculation also includes traditional media of all types, print, broadcast or otherwise, as well as online-only sources like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Its numbers are not quite an apples-to-apples comparison to paid advertising. But they do make one thing clear: Mr. Trump is not just a little better at earning media. He is way better than any of the other candidates.

Mr. Trump earned $400 million worth of free media last month, about what John McCain spent on his entire 2008 presidential campaign. Paul Senatori, mediaQuant’s chief analytics officer, says that Mr. Trump “has no weakness in any of the media segments” — in other words, he is strong in every type of earned media, from television to Twitter.

Over the course of the campaign, he has earned close to $2 billion worth of media attention, about twice the all-in price of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history. It is also twice the estimated $746 million that Hillary Clinton, the next best at earning media, took in. Senator Bernie Sanders has earned more media than any of the Republicans except Mr. Trump.

At TPM, Kristin Salaky reports a remarkable admission:
A Donald Trump spokeswoman said in an interview Tuesday that the real estate mogul's sexist comments about women, some of which were recently used in an ad from an anti-Trump super PAC, were made when he was playing a "television character."

Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked Katrina Pierson about the recent anti-Trump ad, paid for by Our Principles PAC, in which women read various quotes the former reality TV star has said about women over the years. Pierson said that she does not think the ad would be a problem for the campaign because the quotes were said by Trump, the former host of NBC's "The Apprentice," as a character on television.