Lobbyists have a new tactic for wielding influence in Washington—buying ads on Trump’s favorite TV shows

Rough and rougher.
Rough and rougher.
Image: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
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“President Trump, I hear you watch the morning shows,” says an Afghanistan War veteran who lost his leg in combat, in a new ad for the liberal political-action committee Vote Vets.

The 30-second spot premiered today during MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a show the US president reportedly watches regularly (paywall) and occasionally tweets about. The veteran group picked the program for the launch specifically to get its ad “in front of [Trump’s] face,” it said in a statement.

In the commercial, the vet, who spends his mornings doing barbell squats on his remaining leg, pans the US president’s immigration ban and proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act that, the ad says, would cost many veterans their health insurance.

“That’s not the American I sacrificed for,” the man says. “You want to be a legitimate president, sir? Then act like one.”

Vote Vets, which plans to buy more ad time in shows and networks the president watches, joins other advertisers, including big banks, major pharmaceutical companies, and lobbyists, that are turning to TV to get the ear of the new US president, a voracious consumer of television.

Ad rates for shows that Trump has been known to watch are soaring, Politico reported. According to the publication, ad rates for Morning Joe have doubled since the election, and rates for The O’Reilly Factor and other primetime Fox News programs are up about 50%.

“Instead of lobbying through the usual channels, it’s like speaking directly into the president’s ear,” one consultant from Washington DC told Politico.

Trump regularly posts about media on his Twitter feed. The consultant who spoke to Politico added that some companies—such as Vote Vet—want to get a rise, or tweet, out of Trump, while others are placing ads to get on the president’s good side. In at least one instance, Politico reported, an ad was was placed to persuade Trump to tweet against a competitor. It’s unclear whether the strategy worked.

MSNBC and Fox News did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment.