https://nymag.com/daily/intelligence...ia-empire.html

Yes this proposed idea is at play here.

For a brief moment in late October 2016, when Hillary Clinton was surfing on a six-point national lead over Donald Trump and James Comey had yet to dive-bomb the presidential race, the talk of the political class was a set of curious reports suggesting that after losing embarrassingly, Trump could soon pursue his own TV network. The chatter grew loud enough that, just two weeks before Election Day, the candidate had to start publicly fending off rumors about his aspirations of a media venture, for fear that his supporters would lose interest in him just as early voting was getting underway.

“No, I have no interest in Trump TV — I hear it all over the place, I hear it,” he announced to one Cincinnati radio host, clearly reveling in the speculation but straining to get the attention back to the election at hand. “I have a tremendous fan base, I mean, we have a tremendous base, we have the most incredible people. But I just don’t have any interest in that.”

Denials aside, it made some kind of sense. Here was a screw-the-system, longtime student and manipulator of the press who’d just upended one massive institution (a political party) turning his attention to another that he’d spent years rhetorically ripping to shreds (the mass media), just as everyone finally — after all these decades — knew, and would never forget, his name.

The calculation still works. But Donald Trump isn’t the 2016 candidate who’s got a mini-media empire with a dedicated following all figured out. It’s Bernie Sanders.

The Vermont senator, who’s been comparing corporate television programming to drugs and accusing it of creating a “nation of morons” since at least 1979 — and musing to friends about creating an alternative news outlet for at least as long — has spent the last year and a half building something close to a small network out of his office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.