It looks as though the American and most of the international media is up in arms about the upcoming Donald J. Trump presidency. It was certainly not expected, even though it was predicted. But now he's the U.S. president, and the rules of democracy have to be respected. To review the potential impact of "Trumpism" to show business, VideoAge surveyed ten experts from nine countries.
For most Americans, Trump is a "trump" (wild) card, but for Europeans and Italians in particular, Trump is a deja vu experience. Italy had a precursor in Silvio Berlusconi, who had been Prime Minister and founding president of a political party for 10 years on-and-off, starting in 1994. Indeed, Italians have a name for it: Trumpusconi.
At NATPE 2012, VideoAge Daily raised the possibility of a Berlusconi-type of presidency in the U.S. and now we see the similarities: Both Berlusconi and Trump made billions in real estate and construction. Both became popular through television. Both of their respective spouses come from show business. Both have five children each and they rely on their eldest daughters: Berlusconi on Marina and Trump on Ivanka. Both have conflicts of interests, are populist candidates, with no previous political experience, and lack social filters. Both are despised by some world leaders: Berlusconi by French and German leaders, among others; Trump by China and Mexico, among others. However, both have a great relationship with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
Conjectures are now flying all over the U.S. and international media that Trump's own Republican Party will eventually impeach him because he's, in effect, an outsider. Others report on his various conflicts of interests and hope that, like Berlusconi, the court of law will cut his presidency short. Indeed, as an American TV executive who works for a Canadian company said, "Like me, many Americans are not very concerned about Trump's authoritarian inclinations because they trust our system of constitutional checks and balances to constrain him."
If Berlusconi's 10-year experience in government is to serve as a guide, Trump would well last the full two mandates, or eight years.
Being in the entertainment industry, VideoAge's question is whether or not a Trump presidency will be good for show business and, in particular, television.
On the campaign trail Trump threatened legal actions against the unfriendly media. As President, Trump will have the power to change the direction of the entertainment...