Donald Trump’s relationship with TV is unique. Not only has the former reality star become known for his obsession with small-screen coverage, several sources have claimed he consumes cable news at an alarming rate, sometimes spending hours fixated on the tube.
Though Trump has denied this habit, a recent profile in the New York Times suggests his TV consumption is much more concerning than any of us could’ve imagined.
“People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.”
We know what you’re thinking: How in the hell could anyone with a full-time job squeeze in eight hours of TV-watching? Especially when that job is leading the free world.
The report gets more alarming. Trump has reportedly enforced a rule that prohibits anyone from touching the remote control—except for him and the technical support staff. When he has meetings in the dining room, he allows the 60-inch screen to be muted; however, he is said to keep tabs on the scrolling headlines throughout the meal.
“What he misses he checks out later on what he calls his ‘Super TiVo,’ a state-of-the-art system that records cable news. Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham suggested Trump’s TV consumption is simply a defense tactic—a way for the president to keep his eye on one of his greatest adversaries: the liberal media.
“He feels like there’s an effort to undermine his election and that collusion allegations are unfounded,” Sen. Graham told the Times. “He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him. The way he got here is fighting back and counterpunching.”