Our obsession with uncovering the identity of Melania Trump

Melania Trump is best known as the Slovenian supermodel wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and for famously plagiarising Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention.  Yet Melania is considered by the media as somewhat of an enigmatic figure, choosing to stay at home rather than parade the campaign trail with her husband. Despite her mystique and preference for privacy, she has been swept up in the chaos sparked by many of her husband’s scandalous feuds and controversial remarks. Most recently, defending her husband against leaked footage from 2005 where he boasted that because of his celebrity status he could grope and kiss women without their consent.  Melania’s response to the vulgar discussion that saw many Republicans denounce their support for Trump was that it was “boy talk” and that “he was … egged on to say dirty and bad stuff.” The fixation with exposing the clandestine personality of the potential First Lady, who is Spartan with her words and content with maintaining her private life in the Trump Tower, has led to the rising media storm that has encircled Melania since her husband rose in the polls.


In the quest to uncover the character of the next potential First Lady of the United States, various publications have strived to expose what they believe to be the real Melania Trump to their readership. One article by the The New Yorker in particular echoes the obsession with unearthing Melania’s past and familiarising the world with her personality, asking in its headline, ‘Who Is Melania Trump?’.  The article is written by Lauren Collins and presents a fantastical narrative of a young, beautiful, promising Slovenian woman in desperate pursuit of the “American dream”, suggesting that Donald Trump was her ticket out of communist Yugoslavia.  The article draws on the mysteriousness of Melania, lamenting, “Her story is so vacuous as to almost require the imagination to spackle its holes.” With not much information to go on, the author constructs a narrative arch of Melania as a formidable and aspirational woman, longing to exchange her humble town life for a more glamorous existence. The author achieves this by juxtaposing Melania’s modest beginnings to the excessive wealth that awaited her as the wife of a multi-millionaire businessman.


“She was born in Novo Mesto, in what was then Yugoslavia, in 1970, and raised in a Communist apartment block in Sevnica, a pretty riverside town where a smuggled Coke was a major treat.

Now Melania, who once lived a quiet life in the Zeckendorf Towers, on Union Square, lives a quiet life in the Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue. House rules require that guests don surgical booties, so as not to scuff the marble floors.”


The extravagance of Melania’s life in New York is harped on throughout the article to present a sort of ‘rags to riches’ narrative. This story angle serves as an explanation of Melania’s motives for remaining in a marriage with a man 24 years her senior, who is loathed passionately by many worldwide. Yet the author does not call for her audience to pity Melania, and crafts a characterisation of her that is cold, robotic and callous, asserting that she is both “un-American” and has “no affinity for her homeland”. The article presents a character assassination of Melania where she is described as “aspirational, playing ice queen rather than soccer mom”, arguing “If we take the office of First Lady seriously, then it’s worth trying to figure out who Melania is as a person, versus a product to be placed.”


The author uses “we” to unite herself with her readership, which she assumes is the American people. She writes in a persuasive tone, attempting to convince the reader that it is critical that the nation unearth Melania’s personality, the claim being that Melania is rebuffing her responsibility as a prospective First Lady to gain conference with the nation. The author’s negative construction of Melania as a reluctant participant in the campaign and as a sheer “product” lacking personality, is solidified through the comparisons to other First Ladies such as Michelle Obama.


“We marvelled at Michelle’s arms, because it seemed that they could be ours, if only we were willing to work as hard as she did, but you don’t hear anyone (other than her husband) talking about Melania’s legs.”


The author presents a superficial comparison of Melania to Michelle that is purely based upon physicality. She argues that Melania does not measure up to the same standard as First Lady, Michelle Obama, by contrasting their physical attributes. However, the author then contradicts her own emphasis on Melania’s physical attributes by criticising Trump for reducing Melania to a sexual object in their “inegalitarian” marriage.


“Her husband seems to define her largely by her physical advantages, which confer upon him an aura of sexual potency. ‘Where’s my supermodel?’ he yelled from the stage, at a town-hall meeting at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1999, shortly after ushering Melania onto the Howard Stern show to discuss the couple’s ‘incredible sex’ and her lack of cellulite.”


As the quote above demonstrates, the author thrusts doubt upon Melania’s decorum as a prospective First Lady by including quotes by Donald Trump where he overtly sexualises her physical advantages.  This serves as a warning to readers that Melania is incapable to fill the role of First Lady as her depth of character is ignored by her husband and is deemed unimportant, locked away from the public eye. The author also compares Melania to Donald Trump in order to turn the reader against Melania and paint a negative image of her character. This suggests that the article is intended for those who are unsupportive of Trump becoming president. The author attempts to lessen Melania’s likeability by portraying her relationship with her husband, arguing that Donald Trump’s crude and aggressive rhetoric has rubbed off on Melania. The underlying warrant cautions the reader that just as Donald is not fit to be president, Melania is not fit to fulfil the role as First Lady of the United States.


Yet Melania appears to have internalised many aspects of Donald’s culture: his ahistoricism; his unblinking gall; his false dichotomies between murderous scofflaws and deserving citizens, women who ask for nothing and nagging wives. Like Donald, Melania doesn’t drink… She has taken on her husband’s signature pout, in a connubial version of people who grow to look like their dogs.”


These comparisons are largely speculative and are derived from the author’s observations of the couple, rather than on a factual basis. The suggestion that the author concedes to is that Melania, the model, has been branded by her husband and mirrors many of his unflattering qualities. This is a contrast to the independent woman portrayed earlier in the piece who pursued her own interests, compared to the meagre characterisation placed upon the married Melania. Seemingly, the author conveys the opinion that Melania has shed her past self to fit into Donald’s American world and become his wife.


This article from The New Yorker leans on the assumption that a reader is bewildered by Melania Trump and is interested in her true identity. It relies mainly on evaluational claims rather than facts to create a compelling narrative about Melania that is derived from the author’s interpretations of her upbringing, marriage and career. The author is consistent in her traditional and patriotic standpoint that deems the role of the First Lady as quintessential to the US presidency, presenting a negative characterisation of Melania where she is painted as “cold” and “un-American”.


The New York Post presents a slightly different take on Melania, where she is offered to readers in an erotic light, as the so-called sex symbol of the Republican campaign. The hyper-sexualisation that is glued to Melania’s image perpetrates a sense of shame about her past dealings as a naked model, distracting from her personality as readers are directed to focus merely on her physicality. The New York Post released a naked photo of Melania as a 25-year-old model on the cover of their July issue, sparking controversy and a barrage of criticism. The provocative headline read ‘Ogle Office’ and the caption, “You’ve never seen a potential First Lady like this!” Many questioned the relevance of this image and argued that it was placed out of context, considering the image is over 20 years old and its original intention was to be sold to a European audience who may hold sexuality in a vastly different light to Americans. The appeal to comparison with previous First Ladies in the caption reveals the underlying worldview of the publisher who suggests that it is taboo and unprofessional for a potential First Lady to have posed naked in this manner.


The Ogle Office front page by The New York Post, 2016

The spread included other shots of Melania in erotic, canted positions which the magazine censored, indicating that the average reader would find the images too graphic and confronting for everyday consumption. The images were accompanied by an interview with the photographer who commented “I am completely against this world, and I don’t understand why the girls f- -k with old guys to afford a Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès bags…The fashion industry has become the biggest pimp ever.”


An image of Melania Trump (then Melania Knass) taken from The New York Post spread


Another image in The New York Post spread from the 1996 photo shoot


The final image from The New York Post spread which was originally shot for Max Magazine

These quotes were presented wildly out of context, the photographer describing his general experiences with the fashion industry, rather than targeting Melania directly who he said in a separate article was “a true professional… always smiling, with a very pleasant personality and was polite and very well educated”. The fact that the publisher chose this particular quote to complement the seductive images of Melania misconstrued the photographer’s statement, suggesting that Melania “pimped” herself out by marrying Donald Trump. The piece renders her in a negative light, as a trophy wife and “gold digger” who has sold herself out for fame and money. There is no factual basis for this claim and it is merely evaluative, where a nude image from 20 years earlier is depicted as a palpable signal that Melania is morally inept. This reveals the publication’s worldview, where the naked female body is seen as scandalous and uncouth, especially considering the prestigious and morally-sound position that the First Lady is idyllically expected to represent. The images are arranged and captioned in a manner where audience shock and discomfort is not just anticipated, it is a blatant expectation, as they ‘ogle’ the image which carries flagrant overtones of slut-shaming and hyper-sexualisation.


The media places a great emphasis on Melania’s history as an immigrant and foreigner, casting doubt on whether she is an American citizen and how she obtained the highly sought after H1B visa. An article by St. Louis Dispatch titled ‘Melania Trump’s ‘Extraordinary Ability’ To Gain Special Immigration Status’ accused her of being unfairly granted a visa because of her relationship with Donald Trump, a well-connected businessman.


The modelling profession will never require bending immigration rules so that our country doesn’t get out-modelled by foreign competitors.

The only reason this needs clarification is because Melania Trump, who could become America’s next first lady, somehow finagled a coveted H1B visa in 2000 (the same year she began appearing in public with Donald Trump) under the guise of being a model.”


This accusation interrogates the premise that Melania Trump was awarded an immigration visa based on her “extraordinary ability” as a model. The article’s warrant is that an “underfed” model shouldn’t be awarded a visa before an engineer, scientist or someone in the high-tech field. It also doubts the talents of Melania and implies that she could not have achieved the successful visa outcome without someone working behind-the-scenes to assist her. However, these claims are not supported by evidence and are somewhat impetuous, consisting of sheer speculation. The claims present unsupported conclusions, as article has gaps in its information, refraining from defining what constitutes as “extraordinary ability”, how Melania failed to qualify for this specification and finally, the number of visa applications granted that year and how many were denied.


The article reads as if it was written as a smear on Donald Trump, who is notorious for his anti-immigration policies, arguing that his views are hypocritical as his wife is an immigrant herself.


“Trump lives and breathes by a double standard on immigration in which it’s perfectly fine to bend the rules when it suits his needs. When it’s other people’s lives, families and staffs on the verge of being split up, he shrugs his shoulders and pronounces, ‘Get ‘em outta here’.”


In this quote Melania is an invisible actor with the sole focus resting on Trump who is assumed guilty and the sole individual responsible for “bending immigration rules”. This article is clearly positioned towards a reader that possesses anti-Trump sentiments and who does not require great convincing in order to label Trump a hypocrite. Melania’s foreign background is manipulated to attack Trump as she is portrayed as a passive and compliant partner who is an extension of Trump rather than a separate individual who holds her own vices and sense of accountability.


A copious portion of what has been written about Melania Trump paints her in a negative light. She is viewed, first and foremost, as Donald Trump’s wife, a Slovenian supermodel with an elusive past who has climbed her way to recognition. The quest to piece together Melania’s character has been sparked by her reluctance to appear on the campaign trail and her preference for privacy. These three articles speculated on various aspects of Melania, constructing narratives about her identity drawing on her foreignness, marriage and mere observations of her character. Melania has been hyper-sexualised, framed as un-American and presented as a trophy wife who opportunistically married Donald Trump to gain American citizenship and a percentage of his hefty fortune. Often she is compared to previous First Ladies to argue that her lack of modesty is not compatible with the role of the First Lady, who is viewed as an icon of American femininity and class.  Yet the mystery remains unsolved, as little is known about Melania, the articles showboating the manic pursuit to uncover the personality of the potential First Lady of the United States. The questions remains, who is the real Melania Trump? Is she the immigrant who fraudulently was awarded a visa, an erogenous model, or a young woman from a modest town who stopped at nothing to achieve her American dream, or a combination of the three? An astute reader may be sceptical as to whether the articles are disingenuous in their attempt to unearth the real Melania Trump. In fact the bigger question remains unanswered as to whether these articles borrow from a political agenda, acting to injure the presidential campaign of her husband, the infamous Donald Trump.

Eden Gillespie, MDIA2002, F12A, z5059936

For: The Columbia Review

Words: 2495

Trumped: Republican Nominee Donald Trump vs. CNN, FOX News and John Oliver


“Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long.” Hunter S. Thompson

It is no secret that journalism is an unbiased discipline. Every journalist, although claiming objectivism, will have their own political agenda. In the lead up to the U.S. election, citizens are lost in a sea of information.

In comparing the reporting styles of Cable News Network (CNN), FOX News and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver of Donald Trump it is evident that all have their own agenda. The characterisations and evaluation of Trump through each network exemplify their political stance in an attempt to sway public opinion.

A report conducted by the PEW Research Centre in 2012 indicated that CNN had a 50% Democrat following. FOX News stood at a 60% Republican viewership and in the same report The Daily Show, the original beginnings of John Oliver, sat with a 45% Democrat support and 42% Independent. All sources evidently suggest that all entities are of different political standing.

Using Trump as a case study this article intends to explore the reporting of the election of all three different media entities with different political viewership. It will investigate what visual and language techniques they use in order to position their audiences to see Trump in a negative light in order to attempt to stop the electing of Trump as president. It will do so by looking into the reporting of events such as Trump’s self-branding, his immigration policies and his sexist comments.

TRUMP: “The cornerstone of his brand” – John Oliver

Gamson (2011, pp. 1066) describes self-branding as creating and marketing oneself without industry support. Trump has previously been described as the “human logo” (Linnett, 2003). It is no secret that, although outlandish, many of his business ventures from designer water titled Trump Ice and the infamous Trump Steak have plastered his name all over world.

CNN as a news conglomerate attempts to present the news as objectively as possible. However, it is evident in the presentation of news about Trump that they use tone, and sources to assist their characterisation of Trump as unfit for candidacy.

In the article “Donald Trump’s brand is ‘plummeting,’ biographer says,” the title itself uses a direct source from the biographer to insist on the article’s legitimacy. On top of having a strong reference, the article quotes Mark Cuban, a well-known successful billionaire, in stating that all Trump business ventures as “toxic and unemployable.” They also insert an image of Cuban’s tweet also defaming the nominee.


Additional to the visual of the tweet, they have inserted the clip of the biographer discussing Trump’s brand and how it will plummet. The article also discusses Trump’s sexual assault allegations and remarks, which was not completely necessary to the article itself. Although appearing objective, the article uses what appear to be credible sources using harsh language to describe Trump. Although minor details, they all come together to sit with the audience’s understanding of his brand as an unsuccessful and under a lot of fire due to sexual assault charges.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was born out of Oliver’s minor reporter role on the parody news programme The Daily Show, where many of the fans followed Oliver in his new venture. Although parody and from subjective stand points, both these shows are a legitimate sources of political news for many viewers, using comedy to entice their younger audience (PEW research centre stating that 39% of the Daily Show viewership was aged 18-29, 36% at 30-49, and so forth), but with a strong set of sources and guests to maintain their legitimacy.

Oliver positions his audience to view Trump’s self-branding schemes as unsuccessful, which in the minds of many of his supporters is one viewed as luxurious and successful. Oliver uses scripting and his performance skills to create this view in his “Donald Trump” report.


Within the scripting there is heavy use of similes to create humour. For instance:

“… he has spent decades turning his name into a brand. Synonymous with success and quality. And he has made himself the mascot for that brand like Ronald McDonald or Chef Boyardee.”


By comparing him to affordable brands he lowers the perception of Trump being a luxurious brand. He also lists all the unsuccessful business ventures Trump has invested in. The key factor in getting his message across is his performance as Oliver lists the investments, states what happened to them and then makes a humorous remark about why the company was unsuccessful. Including Trump Steaks:


“And not only can you buy them anymore, but why did he sell it at the Sharper Image? That is a weird choice.”

And Trump Mortgage Company, a company that Trump announced would start up in 2006, which was just before the Global Financial Crisis. This particular example Oliver uses characterizes Trump’s business skills as horrible as it is evidence of his inability to make sound business decisions.


Oliver characterises Trump as an unsuccessful businessman, he does this in order to both teach the audience that Trump isn’t as glorious as he makes himself to be, but as well as appeasing his audience and ensuring that all perspectives are seen of Trump before his election.

Using different techniques, CNN and Oliver report Trump’s self-branding scheme as unsuccessful, by creating this image, audiences can lose trust in his campaign and therefore choose not to vote for him.

“The greatest wall you’ve ever seen”: Trump and Immigration Policy

Azari (2016, p. 678) implies that Fox News plays heavily into the Republican Party network assisting in the party’s goals. It is evident though that due to the feud with news anchor Megyn Kelly, the network was “going after Trump, acting in concert with the preferences of other party elites” (Azari, p. 678), however they were unsuccessful in preventing Trump from winning the nomination. So the network has opted for other means of ensuring he isn’t elected. Particular to Trump’s immigration policy the network has exposed readers to Trump’s flaws.

Within the article “Team Trump tries to define immigration policy by contrasting Clinton’s plan,” Joseph Weber positions his readers to view Trump’s immigration policy as unclear. The article does this by pointing out his flaws and by using other sources to clarify his policy.

For instance, he notes Trump’s less severe approach in his “wall” policy due to his need for the minority vote. He also quotes both Trump’s spokeswoman and vice president nominee attempting to justify Trump’s policy. Having the vice president nominee confirming policy details:

“What you heard him describe there, in his usual plainspoken, American way, was a mechanism, not a policy.”

In order to create trust with the public it is a required skilled, as the nominee of the Republican Party, to be clear on his own policy, this creates the image of him being vague and uncertain about important policies that impact not just American society but the world. By outsourcing his information of Trump’s policy and pointing out his flaws, Weber has characterised Trump as being reliant on his team to inform the media of his policy.

Oliver’s “The Wall” report like his original Trump piece positions his audience to view the proposed immigration policy in a humorous light. Within the segment, Oliver’s crew heavily relies on a combination of effectively sourcing other news reports and editing with a sharp comedic timing. Within the introduction of Trump’s wall policy, seventeen seconds of four clips of Trump speaking about his wall was edited together. The clips used all featured Trump self-branding the policy as the “Trump” wall, adding his own flair to the policy and characterising him as narcissistic.




Oliver evaluates his policy choices by using these sourced clips, as the basis for explaining the policy in terms of budgeting. Backing up his position by using all other sources of information to amplify his credibility, such as the Washington Post, which covers this topic with a professional construction economist who creates a rough budget for the wall, which exceeds Trump’s proposed budget exemplifying the illegitimacy of the policy.

The use of credible sources combined with a quick punchy editing style with perfected comedic timing, effectively demonstrate the inconsistencies in Trump’s policy talk. By positioning his viewers to see the flaws, Oliver can potentially sway people to vote (if choosing to vote) against Trump benefitting his neutral to left leaning political agenda.

By both reports exemplifying Donald Trump’s flaws in his strongest policy along with the need for guidance in his policy it is evident that he is characterised and evaluated as an unsuitable president.

“Grab them by the p***y”: Trump and sexual harassment claims

Progressively throughout Trump’s campaign, women have progressively been declaring sexual harassment and sexual misconduct claims against Trump. The campaign had not been shaken by these claims until a recording of Trump in 2005 was exposed, stating that:

“…when you’re a star you can do anything. Grab them by the p***y.”

This was highly controversial, as before this, all of the sexual harassment and sexual misconduct accusations were just claims. This was evidence of Trump’s privileged mentality, in which his fame allows him to touch females without consent.

Since the incident, CNN have incorporated this characteristic into most of their articles, positioning viewers to see Trump as both sexist and immoral. Within the article “Trump: Clinton is behind sexual assault allegations,” reporter Daniella Diaz shapes the article to implying that Hilary Clinton is the victim in the debates.


The article is topped with an edited down video of the debate itself, it is edited so it continuously targets Clinton and her campaign having Trump noting, 7 times, that she was the one organizing the women to speak up about the sexual allegations. The video depicts Clinton as a victim as her reactions are visible, her performance creates sympathy as it feels as though she is holding back emotionally lashing out. The video also does not include her response, making her appear as a silent victim. The article, however, finishes off with Clinton’s response:

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

Although this may be a choice in order to keep audiences interested by not having long clips, the piecing of the article allows for Clinton to appear to be a victim but with the addition her quote, also viewed to be fighting for the people. By characterizing Clinton as a victim, it implies that Trump is the culprit. CNN leave their audience understanding there is clear negative press on Trump that he then shifts the blame over to Clinton, victimizing her legitimacy as a presidential candidate.

On the other hand, Fox News’ approach involved not mentioning Clinton at all, potentially due to their predominantly Republican viewership. In the article “Trump slams ‘corrupt’ media, as more women make sexual assault claims,” also uses a video clip, along with listing credible sources to imply that his sexual assault claims are not to be taken so lightly.


The video attached to the article has a footer flashing between three titles “Trump: this whole election is being rigged,” “Trump: Only thing Clinton has going is the media,” and “Trump: Claims against me are horrible lies.” The language of the video both in its footer and Trump’s speech is quite provocative and bound to increase ratings. In comparing CNN’s video footage of the debate, the choice of using a video from one of Trump’s rallies and speaking to his supporters about the incident is specific to the goals of Fox News in creating an article that grabs their audience. Trump’s performance is captivating and charismatic, and as the video plays automatically it grab’s viewer’s attention. As well as grabbing the attention of their audience, the video features clips of Trump claiming that the media is deceiving them about the sexual assault claim. The article juxtaposes this by listing all the recognized claims as sent out to reputable media conglomerates such as the Washington Post, the Times, and so forth. This creates the implication that Trump may be creating conspiracies to dispute the claims.

Finishing off the article with Michelle Obama, a prominent female in politics, opposing his behavior. Along with Barack Obama too opposing Trump’s behavior:

“…Trump was determined to ‘drag this election as low as he can possibly go’ and warned that ‘democracy is on the ballot’ in November.”

By listing the sources and juxtaposing it with the Obamas’ opinions of the sexual assault remarks scandal, the article creates the image of Trump as the culprit of the sexual assault claims.

Although both news entities lean completely opposite in political viewership, both use similar techniques with the editing and sourcing of their video footage along with their choice of quotes to source. The same techniques are used to characterize Trump as a criminal. This benefits both parties as it is evident that both media companies wish for their audiences to see Trump as an unsuitable president.

In most cases, traditional media conglomerates will position their audience with their intended audience’s perspective in order to maintain their ratings or following. The reason for this is to maintain revenue. Although passion for journalism and politics does effect the overall role of journalists underlying everything is revenue, without revenue the companies would not exist. All three entities in this article are basing political agendas on their viewers, in this unstable economy it is unlikely any of the reporters of the companies would attempt to sway their viewers any other way.

Although all three come from different political agendas, all three different forms of journalism characterise and evaluate Trump’s behaviour has unorthodox and not fit for presidency through choices of sources, editing and language used between the different mediums of television, online media and online articles. Although every platform agrees on this, his following is still strong. Scholars have suggested that this is due to his use of “hybrid media campaigning,” (Wells et al. 2016) which is a combination of having previously been a prominent figure in popular media; being more available for press conferences in comparison to his other Republican counterparts; and being more open to using social media without a politically correct filter. His “hybrid media” campaign has set him apart from his other competitors as he has had the ability to connect with the working class in his appearance of being a “blue collar billionaire,” (Wells et al. 2016, p. 670).

John Oliver is very aware of Trump’s approach of understanding that “any press is good press,” by attempting to ignore his campaign for the first couple of months. However, he also notes that reporting on Trump is no longer avoidable due to his position as the front nominee for the Republican Party. So instead of avoiding the topic all three conglomerates choose to position their viewers to see the flaws in his candidacy. Although framing their reports to criticize Trump’s motivations as a candidate, it also proves that Trump’s method of exposing himself in every way (whether it be good or bad) has been effective in his campaign.

More research into different media entities, with different political leanings, and their approach to reporting the election is required in order to understand completely how the media landscape characterises and evaluates Trump’s policy, scandals and overall personality would assist in a broader understanding of how journalism can manipulate voter’s choices.

This article itself may have a political agenda. It’s up to you to decide if you believe it.


(words 2603)



References list

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Brainy quote, 2016. Journalism quotes, viewed 20 oct 2016, <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/journalism.html>.

Diaz, 2016. ‘Trump: Clinton is behind sexual assault allegations,’ CNN Politics, viewed 24 October 2016, <http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/19/politics/donald-trump-sexual-allegations-hillary-clinton-presidential-debate/>.

Disis, 2016. ‘Donald Trump’s brand is ‘plummeting,’ biographer says,’ CNN Money, viewed 25 October 2016, <http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/16/media/donald-trump-brand/>.

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Gamson, 2011. ‘The Unwatched Life Is Not Worth Living: The Elevation of the Ordinary in Celebrity Culture’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America PMLA, vol. 126, no. 4, pp. 1061-1069.

Linnett, 2003. ‘Reconstructing the Trump brand,’ Advertising Age, vol. 74, no. 33, pp. 65-66.

Oliver, 2016. ‘Donald Trump,’ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, viewed 23 October 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ>.

Oliver, 2016. ‘The Wall,’ Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, viewed 23 October 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU8dCYocuyI>.

Kohut, Doherty, Dimock & Keeter, 2012. ‘In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable,’ PEW Research Center, viewed 24 Oct 2016, <http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/section-4-demographics-and-political-views-of-news-audiences/>.

Weber, 2016. ‘Team Trump tries to define immigration policy by contrasting Clinton’s plan,’ FOX News Politics, viewed 22 Oct 2016, <http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/08/29/team-trump-tries-to-define-immigration-policy-by-contrasting-clintons-plan.html>.

Wells et al, 2016. ‘How Trump Drove Coverage to the Nomination: Hybrid Media Campaigning,’ Political Communication, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 669-676.