How Trump’s Cabinet stacks up on IMDb references (Hint: really well) – Dallas News

To celebrate Rex Tillerson’s Secretary of State confirmation, President Donald Trump tweeted something very Donald-esque: “He will be a star!”

If that seems like an odd shout-out to give our top diplomat, remember that “star” is one of Trump’s favorite words. It’s how he described himself to Billy Bush on the Access Hollywood bus, it’s in the title of the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, and it just might inform his thinking about cabinet appointments, too. After all, before Rick Perry was nominated for Secretary of Energy, his last job was on Dancing with the Stars.

Many political experts seem to divvy Trump’s cabinet into a Venn diagram with three overlapping circles: there’s the military brass, the conservative ideologues and the business tycoons. But when I read the cabinet list, I think they might be overlooking a fourth category. To my amateur eye, it seems the Trump cabinet has an unusually high number of media businessmen and onscreen stars.

To test that hunch, I called David Robinson, a data scientist at Stack Overflow. I asked him to compare the Internet Movie Database listings of President Trump’s cabinet appointees with the IMDb listings of President Barack Obama’s first term cabinet appointees.

Before taking office, Obama cabinet appointees made 273 television appearances (Hillary Clinton accounted for 214 of them). The Trump cabinet, on the other hand, has racked up 633 IMDb credits – more than double the Obama list.

“Many of the picks may seem kind of ‘anti-establishment’ compared with conventional political picks, but they make total sense if you understand the world of conservative media,” Reece Peck, a conservative television scholar whose book on Fox News will be published this year, told me. “They’re major players in that establishment.”

Ben Carson may be a Washington outsider, but he has 143 IMDb credits. The HUD Secretary nominee has been an official Fox News correspondent since 2013.

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