Also: 'The Three Hikers' Sheds Light on Iran's Hostage Strategy
It doesn’t just seem like Donald Trump is taking up all the oxygen among 2016 presidential candidates. He is.
On the latest PopPolitics podcast on SiriusXM, Josh Ginsburg, CEO of media analytics firm Zignal Labs, talks about research they have done for The Washington Post showing that the mogul/candidate commanded 48% of all media coverage of candidates in the first week of July.
That has big implications for candidates trying to make it into the first GOP presidential debate on Aug. 6, in which Fox News says that it will include the top ten candidates, determined by an average of three major polls. Trump has been particularly adept at dominating Twitter conversation, Ginsburg says, and although a majority of his coverage is negative, notoriety may be enough to help make it into the debate. His dominance of coverage may affect the ability of other candidates to break through and establish name recognition at a key moment.
Campaigns “are always about, ‘How do you break through?'” Ginsburg says. “But it is a really interesting question about how candidates are going to have to use totally different tactics to break through, and is that good for democracy or not?”
For a time this week, Bernie Sanders was commanding more Twitter mentions than Hillary Clinton, according to Zignal Labs. Ginsburg talks about how Sanders, all but ignored when he announced his presidential bid, broke through with a combination of television, social media and traditional media.
“It is a really smart use of the medium,” he says.
‘The Three Hikers’: Iran’s Hostage Strategy
Natalie Avital’s new documentary “The Three Hikers” is the story of Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer, who were detained at the Iranian border with Kurdistan in 2009, igniting a two-year long ordeal to win their release.
The movie sheds light on the detainment of other Americans in the country, like Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran who has been held for almost a year.
Avital says that “the reason they were held, the reason they got stuck, was because of the ongoing political problems we were facing in those countries.”
The movie, which premiered at AFI Docs last month, explains why they were hiking along the border, how they survived in a notorious Iranian prison for political detainees and how their families called attention to their plight while delicately pursuing all forms of diplomatic channels to secure their release.
Avital talks about what impact the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program might have on the potential release of other U.S. detainees in that country.
Present Realities, Past Veneration
David Cohen of Variety and Nikki Schwab of U.S. News talk about how corporations increasingly are severing ties with figures like Donald Trump or any association with the confederate flag. Though their past associations might be an embarrassment, their swift action actually might be helping the brand.
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel 124.