Behold, the fearsome line graph of Donald Trump’s television mentions over the past seven days

By Dan Raile , written on December 15, 2015

From The Politics Desk

Behold, the fearsome line graph of Donald Trump’s television mentions over the past seven days. Notice its shape – that of a Great White Shark’s dorsal fin, swimming into the past.

The graph below was created by the GDELT Project, using Internet Archive data (the Archive has been quietly sucking up every second of American TV since the year 2000.)

That smudge of other color at the bottom of the graph represents the TV mentions of every other presidential candidate last week. Here’s what that looks like up close (it’s a clusterfuck, with Ted Cruz in the saddle):

Please keep in mind that Donald Trump has spent, at last count, $0.00 on televised campaign ads, which are included in this data set. This is what the marketing people call earned media.

Here we have a breakdown on where Trump has been earning that media:

Call his comments what you will – outrageous, offensive, vulgar, fascist – but they are TV gold. If you bought advertising alongside news programs last week, you were paying for Trumped-up eyeballs. (On a side note, the Internet Archive shows an eightfold increase of use of the words ‘fascist’ and ‘fascism’ on TV since October.)

Trump’s backward sharkfin of domination also shows up in some other advertising-based media, like Twitter mentions:

The startling part of this chart is that of the 425k tweets mentioning Hillary Clinton in this time period, apparently only 19k did not also mention Trump. If you’re beginning to panic, here’s a Google Analytics chart for some perspective.

Early last week, global searches for Donald Trump exceeded those for Jesus and Pizza – and, not shown, Adele, Islam, Apple Inc., and Star Wars. Over the weekend, though, every one of those other search terms rebounded and overtook Trump. Adele and Star Wars have risen to levels Trump has never come near.

So while Trump has managed to dwarf the media exposure of the rest of the candidate field, and has briefly attained the heights of gods, corporations, pop and pizza, he’s only human.

Cold comfort, maybe, but just enough to allow for a slight relaxation of our facial muscles. Outrage fatigue is dangerous, and we have long road ahead.