Fault Lines

The Trump Show

A look at the blurred lines between Donald Trump, reality TV star and Donald Trump, President of the United States.

From his long, unwieldy press conferences to the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice in prime time, Donald Trump delivers on spectacle.

He's an authentic fake, I think he really is. He has taken the role on so much that Donald Trump is always playing Donald Trump.

by Dan McAdams, psychology professor, Northwestern University

There is conflict, there is humiliation, and there is supreme confidence – dramatic elements pulled straight out of a reality TV playbook that for Trump has been years in the making. The Apprentice, a show fronted and co-produced by Donald Trump, established him as a gospel of success, despite being plagued by bankruptcy and scandal.

Building on this image, and through similar projects, Trump has arguably become a brand unto himself, endearing himself to a segment of the American public that supported him all the way to the White House.

Now in the early days of his presidency, the showmanship continues, as 24-hour news channels race to cover his every move. Is Donald Trump in his own reality show? And what does it mean for the United States?

Josh Rushing explores Trump’s reality TV rise from a C-list New York celebrity to the most powerful office in the world.