HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton and Rhianna

I learned it from watching Dennis Rodman and Paris Hilton.  Tell the media what they need and want to hear. Give them a place and time to talk to you about it. Watch the headlines roll in.

Dennis would tell them where he would be partying, with who and something wild he would do. Paris would tell them what she would be wearing and what celebs she would be partying with. Both knew exactly how to leverage the media of the time to their advantage.

It wasn’t long after I got into the NBA I realized that every team had multiple media outlets that had to write, talk or broadcast something every day.  They craved content.  It was so easy to get them to write almost anything.

Once I started getting fined by the NBA, the national door flew wide open.  At the time, sports media, not only believed they were journalists, they actually tried to be.  They wrote stories. They tried to add some depth of coverage to even the simplest or stupidest of topics, say working at a Dairy Queen because I had gotten fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for saying the head of NBA officiating (who still works for the NBA btw), could not manage a DQ.  Media back then was incredulous that I would say the things I did.

It made for a lot of fun battles with them.  If they challenged me based on some nebulous opinion they held, I would challenge them right back.  The give and take was fun for me. Entertaining for some and amazing at brand building for me as well.

Over time media and the media changed.  I started this blog in 2004 particularly to respond to the media. Here is my first blog challenging Kevin Blackistone, here is me ripping the NYTimes 10 years ago this week . The good old days.

Around 2010 social media really started to take off and have an impact on reporting. In particular Twitter changed the sports media game.  Scoops were no longer delivered in the next newscast or web update.  Trolling for clicks was no longer enough.  You had to break stories on twitter.

The problem for political media is that they have not changed with the times. They are getting used and abused by Donald Trump in a way only those who truly understand Headline Porn, like the sports media, truly appreciate.

Donald can talk for hours and say nothing of true substance. But every few sentences he is going to spout out Headline Porn that is going to fit in 140 characters or so and unquestionably have to be discussed by “The Political Shows”. I’m not sure he realizes he is doing it. Im not sure who he reflects the most, Rodman or Hilton, but he is following in their footsteps.  There are certain things that when a celebrity says them, the media has to cover.

Donald is a never ending source of Headline Porn .  The value for Donald in this coverage isnt so much that the viewers of “the shows” become Trump supporters. Its the fact that the Porn becomes the focal point of all discussions and even when its not, its the squeaking springs lurking in the background. He prevents other candidates and “the shows” from being able to seriously discuss issues by overwhelming them. And I don’t think he even realizes it.

So where is he getting his support from ?

Mathew Ingram once had a brilliant line: “If the news is important it will find me”. Today that means it will find its way into your Facebook feed or an email/Instagram meme you get. That’s it.  

Regular people don’t spend time a year in advance analyzing political issues. Regular people don’t even know who Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are.  Now if one of them started dating Rhianna or Adelle, that would all change.  You know how much political substance finds its way into your Facebook feed ? None in my case. How about yours  ? None there either I would bet.

But what I do see on FB feeds is screaming headlines and the inane chatter that follows it.  Political attitudes are determined far more by instagram/email memes and short videos on facebook than anything written or broadcast anywhere in traditional media.  Its the “facebookization” of headline porn.  Gain attention. Watch your friends click like or comment with in depth answers like “wow”. ” I can see that” or better yet “this could be the only way” or “my 1 year old may depend on it “, then make up your mind, for now, about who you like for President

Until the next meme comes along.

I said back in july that what Donald Trump says is irrelevant . Its how he says it that matters.  I said back then that Donald Trump has changed politics forever.  He obviously has.

Donald Trump unwittingly introduced Headline Porn  into the political process. Facebook turned it into poll respondents for him.

Whether or not it will turn them into voters remains to be seen.  But Headline Porn is here to stay.

Think Marco Rubio could start a rumor about an affair with Rhianna and Ted Cruz could start a rumor about an affair with Beyonce and a face off with Jay Z? Now that would propel them to the top of the polls for sure !

Have any follow up questions ?  Just ask me on CyberDust (http://www.cyberdust.com) at blogmaverick





27 thoughts on “HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton and Rhianna

  1. Pingback: 1 – HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton and Rhianna – explodingads

  2. Pingback: 1 – HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton and Rhianna

  3. Looks like headline porn is here to stay. Who knows?! This concept might influence the next generation of media businesses to return back to the ‘matured’ style of news reporting.

    Comment by Prosper B. Wealth -

  4. “Donald can talk for hours and say nothing of true substance.” Yep. That’s my problem with him. All flash, no content.

    Comment by Tony Raymond (@tonyraymond1) -

  5. HeadlinePorn is what makes the world go round over at http://www.popbender.com

    Comment by PopBender -

  6. Great blog post! But what you fail to mention is that ‘headline porn’ is *ALL* that is reported by MSM and others, and therefore *ALL* that is heard by the left, and lo-info voters. (Those poor folks who hear, rarely verify, and LOVE to spew what they hear *AS* fact *AS* truth. ..over and over and over again. And when faced with fact or reality, will not only defend that headline porn they heard, but will go get their friends to help defend what they think they heard. -And that’s ok. It’s entertaining for the rest of us to watch. “Will it equate to poll #’s?” Ahh, what you also fail to mention is that *while* MSM, others, and lo-info voters are reading the reported headline porn, DJT supporters are the folks actually attending his events, listening to the entire Trump statement and entire Trump speeches. And when we miss a speech, proactively seek out feed of the speech to ensure we stay informed of what WAS and WAS NOT said. We are in no way passive or uninformed. We know exactly what we want and what were doing. The left sure knows what they’re doing. Try a search on, “Donald Trump punches man in Ohio” and sure enough you’ll find a story reported on abcnews.com citing that DJT assaulted a man after a speech in Ohio on x date. I was shocked to read that. And since I refuse to take the word of ANY single outlet as fact without verification, I did a little research for myself. On the date in question, DJT was in Iowa giving a speech. He hadn’t been in Ohio the prior 8 weeks. So I commented to that effect, in the comments section of that story..my comment laid dormant as, “pending approval” upwards of a week. I checked the story daily as a multitude of other derogatory comments against Trump were approved.. mine, still pending. Until such a day abcnews not only approved my comment, but first revised my own words to, “oh, how horrible!” That is NOT the ABC news with whom *I* grew up. Sadly for our nation, many will research nothing. Many hear words and therefore believe. And when they hear the same words repeatedly, incorporate whatever they hear as fact. My boycott on the liars list just keeps growing.. ABC, CNN, MSNBC, HUFFPOS, FOX.

    Comment by anfoooey -

  7. If you’re not familiar with it, a really interesting series from Scott Adams on his blog. He refers to it as the Master Persuader series. It basically lays out an outline of how Mr. Trump has managed his campaign to date used his negotiating and persuasion skills. Really interesting read. Here’s the foundation for the series – http://blog.dilbert.com/post/126589300371/clown-genius. The articles hhave been coming at a fairly regualr basis for the past few months.


    Comment by Ed Dempsey (@edempsey) -

  8. Interesting blog article. I agree that Trump knows exactly how to use media, he’s been a pro at it for years, he’ll even tell you that! While he’s making fun of them! But, when it comes to Trump supporters, I hate to say, I think you’re wrong. The reason Trump has gained, and will continue to gain, supporters is because he has no agenda, “regular folks” can identify with him, and he says what blue collar people are already feeling, thinking, and saying themselves. If the upper class believes he his just a passing phenomenon, they are horribly mistaken. I will also agree with you that if Cruz leaked a story about Beyoncé and “Z” he would be on top of the pile… but it would only increase his scope of “fame”, it would earn him no more votes, in fact he would probably lose that which he has. It would earn him place on the “wonderwall” and that’s it. To say Trump only says insignificant nonsense is just borderline ignorant of what’s really happening, respectfully. He’s saying what is clearly obvious and what every one else just wishes they could get away with saying. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they can’t say it themselves, lest they lose all of their sponsors. Another interesting fact of Trump-anism is that he doesn’t make his political decisions based on money… another connector with people that don’t have any themselves and are tired of the puppet show of the wealthy, again, respectfully. Here’s an idea for a reality show; you know the undercover boss? Someone should do a reality show where undercover wealthy listen to blue-collar people and learn to connect with the mass majority. A lot would be uncovered. But, rather, like you said, headline porn wants to stick with the travesties of homosexuality, trans-gender, dog and cat lovers, pagans, atheists, of whom the mass majority can’t, and don’t want to, relate to. I’ve seen all the comments too. I’ve read the frustration, I’ve read the hopelessness, I’ve read the anger and disbelief of another mass Islamic murder fest while the media is reporting on global warming and another homosexual couple that has been denied their rights again. As for Headline porn and those who know how to use it… more power to you. I agree, though, newsfeeds and Twitter accounts are going to take a greater role in shaping media coverage, which is far more scarier than any big name, big branded superstar!

    Comment by Matt Nichols (@MattNic32642761) -

  9. Pingback: Mark Cuban: Thoughts on HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump & the America Political System

  10. “So where is he getting his support from ?”

    The media is the message.

    Trump’s message is embedded in “how” it is delivered. As was Obama’s when he beat Clinton in 2008. In sound bite, 140 character politics you get your message across by “how you deliver it” and not by the substance of what you say.

    Comment by Uno (@unoveski) -

  11. I think Donald Trump is hilarious, he really does play the media like a fiddle. Any one of the things he’s said would’ve sunk a professional politician but people don’t see him as a politician, they seem him as reality TV and in that world he’s winning. So much fun to watch.

    Comment by Jim Wang -

  12. Richard great comment. If I could stop drinking the Charlie Mingus eggnog I’d add to your comments. For now, my 1st comment to my focus group when Mr. T announced was : Folks, watch for reaction to him because “we the people” are wicked pissed off.

    Comment by chiara62 -

  13. Mark,

    Your analysis of the evolution of Media Porn is right on and very insightful. I however not agree with your assessment of why Trump is the Republican front runner. I have followed politics for decades and have been constantly frustrated by the standard politically rehearse sound bites that fundamentally say nothing. For instance, the immigration issues has existed for a long time and with all the rhetoric nothing is done no matter which party is in power. Along comes Trump and, in over simplistic terms, puts the issue front and center along with a stated solution. That got the attention of the “common person” … finally someone who might actually do something. In addition his not being blessed by the “establishment” has a lot to do with his support. The media porn aside I believe his support primarily comes from those who have felt betrayed by the establishment no matter what party they represent.

    Comment by Richard Couron -

  14. Just an fyi:

    Cruz is eligible to run for potus.
    Google “Cruz eligibility” and look for the article from Harvardlawreview.org

    Sorry, could not post the link directly.

    Comment by chiara62 -

  15. Thank you so much for the useful information.

    Comment by basheerorsala -

  16. Now thats funny…thanks


    Comment by markrittmayer -

  17. “Donald can talk for hours and say nothing of true substance. But every few sentences he is going to spout out Headline Porn…”

    Mr. Trump is an embarrassment to the political process and campaign for the Presidency, 2015-2016. Can you imagine him as President of these United States, speaking to Congress after telling them they are “stupid”? Having a fire-side chat with the American People? Dealing with his ‘friend’, Mr. Putin?

    It was always my belief, as many, that he would fall out long ago; yet, he grows stronger with his rants to the people that liked him on television, and have followed him into the political mainstream. Mr. Trump keeps getting more cancerous.

    I’m not a fan of Hilary either. Ssssoooo, I do have a problem if the top front-runners for President make it to the final ballot on election day…

    For me, a senior citizen of 67, I will never-ever have the opportunity to vote for a Senior Elder Statesman whom I can look up to, as that opportunity is behind me. And, this election, for me, will be like others in my lifetime, wherein I had to choose between the lesser evil.

    Good-bye Mr. Trump; there is no way in HELL that you could secure my vote, much less the numbers to win over the Elector College to your side, if you run for President in the general election,

    Please get out now, before you become a LOSER !!!

    Comment by James Rosenberg -

  18. Very true. Throw up a video of Rubio or Cruz doing the whip after a debate and they will get some organic reach :). Those guys are too ‘Dole’ to get votes (pun intended). Have any of the presidential camps come to you for PR ideas? You could charge millions and write a book about it.

    Comment by Michael McCutcheon -

  19. Mr. Cuban,

    I have complete respect for you as a business mogul, but please, please work on your writing skills. Your blogs sound not quite as intelligent as you are. If I didn’t “see” you on TV, I would never match your persona with your writing. I find your blogs interesting (even if our opinions differ), but painful to read. So, don’t think I’m a “hater”, just wanting/wishing more for you–if you wish to keep your readers interested.

    Thank you, Colleen

    Sent from my iPhone


    Comment by Colleen -

  20. Mark, thanks for he thoughts! You do a great job branding yourself, too. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Rick Ellis -

  21. Hate tell you but he knows exactly what he is doing and most of what he says is planned in advance to do just that – grab headlines. Any press is good press.


    Comment by Carl -

  22. Does that mean Mr. Trump you and your supporters
    also believe Mr. Cruz should be disqualified from the
    U.S. Presidency? Mr Cuz was in fact born in Canada
    (out side the U.S. Unlike President Obama who was
    born in Hawaii) Mr. Cruz even held a Canadian
    Passport until 2014. Also, Mr. Cruz’s father was from
    yes right

    Comment by PULSA GRATIS -

  23. Pingback: HeadlinePorn, Donald Trump, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton and Rhianna | Social2Direct

  24. You know what would tie the republican presidential race in a knot? Someone should ask Mr. Donald Trump on nation wide TV: Mr. Trump you fought for almost a year saying that because President Obama was born in Kenya (even though it has been proven that he was born in Hawaii) and that because his father was from Kenya (even though his mother was clearly a U.S citizen) that he should be disqualified from the U.S. Presidency. It has also been polled that 90% of Mr. Trump’s supports still believe that about President Obama, and thus believe his presidency is illegal.

    Does that mean Mr. Trump you and your supporters also believe Mr. Cruz should be disqualified from the U.S. Presidency? Mr Cuz was in fact born in Canada (out side the U.S. Unlike President Obama who was born in Hawaii) Mr. Cruz even held a Canadian Passport until 2014. Also, Mr. Cruz’s father was from Cuba. Tell us, other than his race, what makes President Obama disqualified to be the U.S. President and doesn’t make Senator Cruz disqualified from the office of the U.S. Presidency? Where is Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham on Senator Cruz’s being disqualified to be the U.S. President? I have not hear a single person question it?

    Comment by Ellis McVea (@Ninoem1) -

  25. In California, a petition was created that forced porn stars to wear condoms for their videos. The Porn industry felt betrayed, the same people that watched their product was now going to force them to do things a different way even though those same people would probably rather watch porn with no condoms.
    Donald Trump may soon get his come-uppance so to speak. The day may soon come when Donald Trump holds a press conference and the media has moved on leaving Donald Trump to wonder what changed. The media only has to win once. The media truly gets to have its cake and then eat it to.

    Comment by Alessandro Machi -

  26. Cuban is the most well rounded man in the world and… the perfect president.

    Comment by Coop (@sdccoop) -

  27. Trump is a brand name. He cannot be bought by GOP investors and special interest. Trump was out in front before he started running for POTUS. This time he has matured and is serious because he is investing in himself to repair the damage done by our worthless administration. Don’t blame Trump for Headline Porn, blame the ignorant youth who now run the Main Stream Media. New 50 years ago news used to be actual news. Presently, news is molded by young, unseasoned, fresh out of college inexperienced hyperbole. When we get adults back into the news business, the Headline Porn will go away.

    Comment by cda (@pullmanwash) -

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