- The Washington Times - Friday, March 31, 2023

Donald Trump was just hit with the news a Manhattan grand jury has indicted him on charges that have yet to be made public and all the MAGA haters in the media go: Yay! 

Trump is the best bailout the failing CNN could hope to receive.

Truly, if wars are good for the economy, Trump is great for mainstream media. 

“CNN preaches patience as ratings tank during turnaround,” The Associated Press wrote just this week.

“CNN Begs For Patience As March Ratings Plummet,” The Street just wrote.

“CNN primetime ratings plummeted 61% in March,” The New York Post just reported, citing Nielsen data.

Now comes the indictment of Trump.

And ho, boy, oh, joy, aren’t the execs at CNN giddy with glee.

It’s war time at the cable network — at all the anti-Trump networks — at all the media, both pro and con in their slants of coverage of the, dramatic drumroll, please, The Witchhunt, oops, err, sorry, make that The Trump Indictment.

Not only will CNN see a ratings hike from Trump.

But Fox News will, as well. When governments face stalled economies, they can boost revenues by going to war. When media executives face lagging, dwindling, depressing profit numbers, they can boost revenues by warring against Trump. It’s simple. It’s mathematical. It’s just business.

“[W]ar can increase GDP per capita by reducing unemployment and by shifting people from family formation and other non market activities into wartime production,” The Cato Institute wrote in a study, “The Effect of War on Economic Growth,” published in late 2020.

True — that discovery doesn’t include the negative effects from war-related deaths and disfigurements and disabilities. But then again: the media doesn’t care about the body counts from warring against Trump, either.

When it comes to getting Trump, the  media only concerns itself with damaging this former president to the point of ensuring he can never take the White House again — trickle-down harm to his family, to the integrity of American justice, to the very Constitution and democratic-republic be danged. Putting away presidents is good for media bottom lines.

The golden egg in all this hoopla would be a photo — nay, a rolling video camera segment — of Trump, in cuffs, being led to jail.

Truth? Justice? The American way?

If that were at all part of this next take-down Trump process, the charges listed in the indictment wouldn’t be sealed.

They would’ve been released at the get-go, so that Trump, Trump’s attorneys, and real members of the media who concern themselves with the watchdog premise of their position to dig for truth — so that all these people could properly vet them and determine if they’re based on delusion before they slammed through social media as hit headlines of Trump guilt. As it stands now, all that’s left with this indictment is conjecture and gossip, and predictions based on guesses and speculation.

“The indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days. The charges are not publicly known at this time,” CNN wrote in paragraph number three of a story that was headlined this way: “Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury on more than 30 counts related to business fraud.”

What great clickbait.

Then the story opens with this: “Donald Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in an indictment from a Manhattan grand jury, according to two sources familiar with the case — the first time in American history that a current or former president has faced criminal charges. Trump is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.”

As CNN knows, most people rarely read past the headline. Those who do, rarely read the full story.

The better headline, the more honest leading paragraph, would make clear that the indictment is sealed and therefore, the accusations unknown. But then this witch-hunt, oops, err, sorry, make that indictment of Trump becomes a non-story. Why wait for truth when half-truth, partial truth, maybe truth, perhaps truth draws more eyeballs?

There’s payroll to meet, dontcha know — says CNN, and its partners in anti-Trump media.

There’s profit to make.

It’s go-time; it’s war time. On the heels of this indictment of Trump most certainly will come others. Politically, the left and MAGA haters on the right stand to gain big by keeping the narrative of Trump as a criminal alive and well, front and center, between now and primary Election Day. But profit-wise, the media stands to gain even more with the nonstop coverage of Trump.

Just about a year ago, CNN’s $300 million streaming platform, CNN+, went belly-up and closed. MSNBC similarly struggled and saw dips in viewers in 2022. 

“Frustrations Mount at Washington Post as Its Business Struggles,” The New York Times wrote in August of 2022.

Good thing there’s Trump.

He’s the never-ending witch-hunt that feeds the media beast.

“‘Easier to sell to a jury’: Experts give Georgia angle on New York Trump indictment,” Channel 11 out of Atlanta just wrote on its 11Alive.com website.

“[L]egal analysts in Atlanta say there is nothing to stop Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from pursuing possible grand jury indictments of Trump, and others, on election interference charges and possibly racketeering charges — even as Trump is being prosecuted on different criminal charges in New York.”

The next media Trump-tied profit opportunity takes its place.

Expect a cascade of others to follow. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

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