In The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World's Face, Alex Pareene explains that conservative media has had two forms, reality-based newspapers for the masters and a garbage media to manipulate and fleece white male retirees. After Obama was elected, a shift occurred on the right, in which consumers of the garbage media became leaders.Trump as an old man has shifted his tastes to consume it too.
...a large and lucrative industry is dedicated to lying to white, reasonably comfortable, male retirees. The conservative movement spent decades building up an entire sector of the economy dedicated to scaring and lying to older white men. For millions of members of that demographic, this parallel media dedicated to lying to them has totally supplanted the “mainstream” media.
... the real engine of the right-wing propaganda machine: companies selling newly patented drugs designed to treat the various conditions of old age, authors of dubious investing newsletters, sellers of survival seeds, hawkers of poorly written conservative books, and a whole array of similar con artists and ethically compromised corporations and financial institutions. The original strategy behind demonizing the “mainstream media” may have purely political, to steer voters away from outlets that tended to present information damaging to the conservative cause, but the creation of the conservative media was also a revenue opportunity for shameless grifters from the very start, ...
The bottom-feeding amorality of the sorts of people who sponsored the right-wing press, and the crummy nature of the products and services sold, shows exactly who was supposed to be consuming it: suckers. Or, more specifically, trusting retirees, with a bit of disposable income, and a natural inclination to hate modernity and change—an inclination that could be heightened, radicalized, and exploited.
... a large portion of the Republican Congressional caucus became people who consume garbage conservative media, and nothing else.
Donald Trump is 70 years old. He has always, clearly, been an incoherent thinker, contradictory and prone to self-gratifying delusions. But if, for much of his life, he was able to pass as an intelligent and well-informed man, it was probably just because he religiously read newspapers, especially the New York Times. That was and is a decent way to sound like a smart person, at least for a few minutes, which is long enough to impress most rich people. Now, though, Trump is older, his thinking more rigid, his favored media outlets less trustworthy and more likely to reinforce reactionary tendencies. Cable news has largely replaced newspapers as his primary source of information about the world. He has also taken to reading conspiratorial websites run by kooks and con artists.
Makes sense to me! From gold coin "investments" to buying the Brooklyn Bridge Mexican Wall.