I caught ‘Pod Save America’ (“PSA”) on HBO today. I lasted 8 minutes. If you haven’t seen it, don’t. It’s basically every generic podcast, but on TV. Five millennials with the same exact personality and opinion (as each other and everyone you know) discuss Trump ad-nauseum.
Like some stocks are "pure plays" for investing in a given industry, PSA is a pure play on Trump's gift to the media, where topic trumps talent. Er, Trump trumps talent. This undifferentiated snoozefest could never exist without Trump. Their bile is their bond to their prefabricated cult. Their only bond.
In fact, if Trump didn't happen:
- NY Times subscriptions wouldn't be through the roof. He's singlehandedly saving the "failing New York Times and Washington Post", as he calls them.
- MSNBC and FOX News ratings wouldn't be at their highest levels ever.
- Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms wouldn't be at the center of national discourse, after pounding us with clickbait and outrage porn.
Nearly every nonfiction bestseller this year was about Trump. Don't believe me? Google it.
Then there's TV's Fake News Industrial Complex - Daily Show, Samantha Bee, Jim Jefferies, Jon Oliver. All with the same opinions and jokes. All living off the Trump Dividend.
Colbert would have been off TV if his rudderless show didn't latch itself to Trump Fever and the audience it comes with. Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and new arrival, Jimmy "Ruffles Trump's Hair" Fallon all jumped on that bandwagon. Our outrage is their salary.
It's even spilled into comedy clubs. Dozens of no-talent comics, getting by on cheap laughs without writing a single joke, suckling off anti-Trump tribalism. I saw David Cross do a cringe-worthy 90 minutes in Brooklyn that included acting out a violent rape and beating of Trump in jail. I've never been more disgusted. Not by the subject matter, but by the lack of punchlines and disdain for my time. This garbage would never survive a real comedy club audience, outside a Brooklyn hipster reality fortress. Same goes for countless lazy sets I've seen the last couple of years.
Beyond the media, I bet #MeToo wouldn't have happened without Trump. Nor would much of the aggressive social activism we see - good, bad and ugly.
Something has undeniably been stirring. Unfortunately for us, it's not a blender, it's a centrifuge.
That's up to us.