We can’t stop watching President Trump because he is watching us. Trump is a president who keyed into the national media and into popular culture in a way that we have not seen before. He seems to always have the television on.

In addition to watching, he responds and inserts himself — instantly becoming part of the story. This is how the protest by African-American football players against racism in policing turned into a story about President Trump. He picked the perfect time and place — a Republican Senate candidate’s rally in Alabama — at which to place a story into the 24-hour news cycle. His timing with inciting rage seems to conveniently happen when he is surrounded by his base.

The President has also surrounded himself with characters who present television-like plot twists.