And throughout the 9 o'clock hour (Eastern), as Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and other speakers made the case for a Trump presidency, the candidate was talking golf with David Feherty on the Golf Channel.
Journalists were more than a little surprised by the programming decisions.
I'm watching Trump talk about Turnberry on the Golf Channel. Hope nothing important is happening at his party's convention.— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) July 19, 2016
Trump is doing a call-in intvu right now on O'Reilly, counter-programming his own convention.— David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) July 19, 2016
Trump is a marketing genius, right? Maybe he knows what he's doing. Maybe the viewers tuning in to "Feherty" wouldn't have watched the GOP convention anyway, and Trump was therefore expanding his total audience, not cannibalizing it.
Still, wouldn't it have made more sense to call in to O'Reilly on some other night or arranged for the Golf Channel to air the taped interview during a different week — like say, last week, during the British Open (broadcast by NBC and the Golf Channel) or during the Olympic golf tournament (also on NBC and the Golf Channel) next month?
CNN's Brian Stelter made a good point about the O'Reilly interview, specifically:
Fox News viewers may also have been surprised to see their favored network skipping the Benghazi speakers, since the network has spent more time focusing on the attack — and Hillary Clinton's response to it — than any other news network.
Then again, if Trump's strategy is to get as much exposure on as many channels as he can at one time, he achieved his goal on Monday night. And, if nothing else, he proved once again that he is not afraid to break political rules.