This really is such a money scam both sides are running. As Dan McLaughlin said a few days ago when Trump tweeted his CNN GIF, pro wrestling perfectly encapsulates his relationship with the media. The drama of the conflict is riveting, but at base it’s all manufactured for mutual profit. A lot, lot, lot of mutual profit.

In keeping with the metaphor, we’re at the apex right now of Joe-n-Mika’s “heel turn.” They were good guys during the primaries, when they couldn’t stop babbling about Trumpmania; then came the falling out and now they’re in a feud with the hero, with this past week the political equivalent of Wrestlemania. The beauty of this con, though, is that it works both ways: To “Morning Joe” fans, of course, it’s Trump who’s the villain. If and when the narrative eventually calls for reconciliation between the two, they’ll join forces once again and battle amnesty supporters or Syria doves or whoever in a political-media tag-team match.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski reached their biggest audience ever when they talked Friday about President Donald Trump’s tweets about their show.

The Nielsen company said Wednesday that 1.66 million people watched the MSNBC morning show the day after the tweets. That narrowly beat the show’s previous record, which came the day after Trump was elected last year…

Friday’s “Morning Joe” proved more popular than Trump’s favorite morning show, “Fox & Friends.” Even Trump tweeted that he watched “Morning Joe” on Friday.

We can beat this metaphor even more. Trump’s “facelift” tweet about Mika Brzezinski was so harsh for a sitting president that it operates like a steel chair to the back when the ref isn’t looking. Was that out of bounds or a warrior just doing what he needs to win? Morning Consult took a poll. Bad news for the White House:

Overall, when asked if the tweets made them view Trump more or less favorably, registered voters split, er, 17/51. Even Republicans were a tepid 28/25. If you’re curious what share of the party, exactly, will defend Trump on pretty much anything, there’s your answer in black and white. Twenty-eight percent.

One more poll for you, this time from Axios. In the Trump version of the Hulk Hogan/Andre the Giant feud, i.e. the White House vs. CNN, who’s winning? Results:

That’s surprisingly competitive among independents, and note that that poll was taken before CNN’s latest fiasco. For all of the network’s effort to position itself as a beacon of truth in an age of dark Trumpian deceit, it may not be long before more Americans trust the White House than they do CNN.

By the way, Scarborough and Brzezinski will be on Stephen Colbert’s show next Tuesday to cash in discuss their many concerns about Trump’s presidency and, perhaps, to perform a song or two. Exit question: If I’m right that these kayfabe wrestling-style feuds with Trump are pure gold for the media, how do you explain this?