President Trump knows ratings.
And he knows that Roseanne’s got ‘em.
It’s no shock, therefore, that Trump called up Roseanne Barr to congratulate her on the success of her revamped sitcom, which did incredible business on Sunday night, earning some 18.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. On Wednesday night, Trump called up Barr, who supports Trump in real life and on the show. Barr said it was “sweet” and that Trump was an old friend.
Speaking in Ohio, Trump bragged about Roseanne’s popularity, using the show’s ratings as a proxy for his own popular appeal: “Look at her ratings. They were unbelievable, over 18 million people and it was about us. … The fake news hasn’t figured it out yet … and when they do, they’ll become much less fake. It may take a while, but it’s happening.”
Trump isn’t totally wrong. Deadline found that viewers from the heartland turned on the show in huge numbers. And Roseanne promises more pro-Trump fireworks on Twitter:
Now, Roseanne isn’t a conservative, and the members of her television family aren’t either — the first two episodes of the show revolved around her grandson dressing in girls’ clothing. But both Trump and Roseanne recognize that there’s a vast untapped market of Americans who feel scorned by Hollywood — and they both recognize that even an ounce of decency toward those people will be rewarded at the box office and at the ballot box. It’s not about ideological consistency — both Trump and Barr have been all over the political map throughout their lives. It’s about treating red state Americans as human beings rather than stereotypes.
That’s what the Hollywood Left — and Hillary Clinton — have never understood. It’s not that the Right wants their approval. It’s that the Right doesn’t want to be characterized as benighted and evil. Roseanne and Trump were both cultural figures who aren’t buying into that characterization. And they’re winning because of it.