Similarly, the Trump Show — with free promotion from the media — titillates us with, “SEE! Porn star’s lurid tale of tryst with president! SEE! Showdown with Little Rocket Man! SEE! Russian attack on democracy! SEE! Omarosa reveals her private tapes!” Far from turning middle Americans off, the Trump Show reels them in, regardless of whether its star is cast as hero or villain.
Until Trump, old-guard Washington was performing the equivalent of a long-running Broadway show featuring the same tired performances — everyone donning their fraying stage costumes, repeating their lines by rote, both the left and the right falling predictably into character. The recitations had grown flat from lack of sincerity or passion, and the news media, as critics, wrote the same reviews ad nauseam. “Fake news” rings somewhat true when what’s being covered is so formulaic and contrived.
With Trump, we get the cheesy, the shocking and sometimes the uncomfortable — just like a good drive-in movie. Trump never seems to study the script or know his part, at least as defined by those previously cast as the “President of the United States.” His riffing and ad-libbing are endless sources of dismay from Democrats, the media and, quite often, Republicans. But drive-in movies never depended on good scripts.