Is there a method to President Donald Trump's “madness,” as many of his most ardent supporters have stated from the beginning?
Most recent case in point: Trump said NFL ratings are down and continue to slide, because of growing fan displeasure with national anthem protests:
...NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Meanwhile, liberal media outlets and others, including Vox, have blamed the ratings slide on everything but the protests.
Just one problem.
As CNN anchor John King reported Sunday, team owners are now in possession of data backing Trump's claim — at least to a substantial degree:
"NFL owners so far siding with their players for their right to free speech, but they're also keeping close tabs on the financial impact and the public relations impact of this confrontation.
I'm told the owners have research clearly showing the president is right when he says the anthem protests are one factor in a TV ratings drop."
As is always the case, the formula is simple: If business owners don't pay attention to the bottom line, they ultimately go out of business:
“And since the president weighed in, the owners are now dealing with a surge in ticket holder requests for refunds. Other sports leagues are watching this quite closely.”
Let's get back to that “method to the madness” reference.
Being the savvy businessman Trump is, is it reasonable to suggest maybe, just maybe, when he poured gas all over the national anthem protest, he believed the resulting firestorm would cause players to double down on their protest, further alienating fans?
Is it also reasonable to suggest Trump figured ratings declines associated with growing fan discontent would ultimately cause not only advertisers to balk but force owners to ultimately consider their respective bottom lines, as well?
If Trump has taught both supporters and detractors anything over the past 28 months, it's that he often defies his critics. Gleefully so. Every time.
King's comments are in the below video.