Wednesday 26 October 2016

Colette Fitzpatrick: Donald Trump doesn't surprise me, but amount of women who support him does

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

There's an old adage in news: 'if it bleeds it leads'. Stories involving violence are what viewers want to know about so you lead with those.

Substantive news stories, stories that viewers should know about, are often bumped in favour of stories that rate.

The bottom line for commercial news stations like, for example, Fox News is ratings. And what's rating right now is Donald Trump.

It's not just a case of letting The Donald loose on air because viewers like to rubberneck when someone is making a fool of themselves.

Many are tuning in because they like him and agree with him. Many of them don't think he's a misogynistic old dinosaur. They think he's calling it as he sees it. And many of those Trump supporters are women.


Fox News management has copped this by mending fences with Trump, despite his clash with anchorwoman Megyn Kelly. Fox news boss Roger Ailes picked up the phone to Trump.

This resulted in the latter's tweet: "[Ailes] is a great guy & assures me that 'Trump' will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!"

It was a cold, hard business decision.

The reasons people support Trump vary. Some believe government is deeply flawed and the same type of people are voted for again and again. Maybe if Trump wins, there's a chance the whole thing will collapse from his absurdity. Others believe he's honest. Or the only real nationalist in the field.

Surprisingly many women weren't offended by his comments about Megyn Kelly.

A third of women interviewed by Reuters who self-identified as Trump supporters said they still supported him after his comments about Kelly.

It's not Trump that's surprising us.

It's the sheer amount of people who still support him and the frightening number of those who are women.

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