NASHUA, N.H. -- Donald Trump lost in Iowa, but that has not tamped down the outsized worldwide attention this New York billionaire is getting from a curious international audience.
The day after his second-place finish in Iowa, Trump’s photo was on the cover of newspapers from Seoul, South Korea to Prague, Czech Republic.
In Sweden, viewers who tuned into Expressen were treated to hours upon hours of live coverage via cell phone, as news reporter Anna-Sofie Naslund skipped the vagaries of an Iowa caucus and now New Hampshire, to instead talk about the reality TV star turned candidate.
“Trump’s a character,” she says.
“We’ve seen him on his reality show in Sweden, so he’s sort of a celebrity. I guess that celebrity has made people back home way more interested in the American election. It’s because he’s an entertainer, you know.”
Alex Lai, with the United Daily News of Taiwan says Trump plays well with his audience too because while Americans may believe an outspoken, un-PC candidate like “The Donald” is unique, the electorate in Taipei has just gone through a similar political experience.
“This Trump phenomenon is actually universal,” says Lai. “In 2014 we got a newly elected mayor in Taipei. The way our mayor talked, the way he acted during the campaign is just like Mr. Trump.”
International coverage of American politics is nothing new. The person who sits in the most powerful seat of the most powerful nation in the world is always much talked and written about.
Campaigns organize events and then try to limit which media gets credentials. Part of that is to ensure physical space as too many cameras and reporters would crowd out supporters. But one journalist wonders if it is also an attempt to control Trump’s exposure in the Muslim world.
American Sam Corum, a photographer with the state-run Anadolu-Agency in Turkey says that the Trump campaign has repeatedly denied his requests for media credentials . Corum says he’s never been given an explanation but he notes Turkey is a majority Muslim country and Trump “ticks people off with what he says. It rubs people the wrong way.”
Corum says, “Some people are looking at Trump and laughing while some people in Turkey are looking at Trump fearfully.”