If two weeks ago I told you that Trump would get well over an hour of uninterrupted primetime (along with hours of coverage on either side of the speech) on every cable channel to simply discuss his immigration policy, you would have more likely believed that Sean Hannity had unendorsed him. But that is exactly what happened, and the result was almost the equivalent of Trump getting a second chance to give his convention speech, all at the exact moment when the race appears to be tightening.Nonetheless, it worked. Trump pwned the major media yet again. Just as he does when he holds rallies in blue states. While his strategy mystifies tv pundits (how many times has Rachel shaken her head in disbelief over Trump spending time in states he can't possibly win) but the location of a rally is irrelevant to Trump. All that matters to him is harvesting free tv time, and that he does, by the truckload (if time could be loaded onto trucks): CNN and MSNBC and Fox carry his rallies live, and then discuss them for hours before and after.
Trump pulling this off (in a world where the news media is supposedly dead set against him) is so remarkable that a large part of me thinks that it had to happen by pure luck or accident. After all, while Trump is a savant when it comes to playing the media like a fiddle, he’s also not that bright and there is so much chaos in his campaign that it is hard to believe this could have all been part of a highly-coordinated plan.
I guess the news networks benefit from greater viewership, and thus higher ad revenues, though I suspect Trump fatigue will set in, leading viewers to tune out. Or maybe the first microcephalic zika babies will be born in Florida, changing the subject from the election to the failure of congress to fund the CDC zika response, and maybe, just maybe, to the legitimacy of late term abortion.