So are the American people getting played?

One could make that argument, if they study the way things have rolled out, that, indeed, this is a massive work, meant for ratings.

Specifically, President Trump is tossing his old pals, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski a bone for their show, “Morning Joe.”

Let’s examine what we know.

To begin with, Scarborough and Brzezinski haven’t always been so critical of Trump. They, like every other network, couldn’t cover him enough in the lead up to the election.

During the primary, they treated him as if he were already president.

This behavior went on beyond the election, and for whatever shock there may have been when Trump walked away with the win, it wasn’t such a shock that Scarborough and Brzezinski were unwilling to spend New Year’s Eve at Trump’s private Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago.

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They could have gone anywhere, presumably, but they chose to hang out with Trump – the same man they’re “feuding” with, now.

Somewhere along the way, things devolved and both sides began taking shots.

And it makes for great TV.

After Trump’s hateful attack on Scarborough, and particularly Brzezinski last week, the MSNBC co-hosts cancelled a holiday vacation to address the Twitter attack on their Friday show.

According to the Associated Press, it was a savvy move, as it gave them a ratings record.

The Nielsen company said Wednesday that 1.66 million people watched the MSNBC morning show the day after the tweets. That narrowly beat the show’s previous record, which came the day after Trump was elected last year.

Trump, in denouncing the show last week, wrote that Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a facelift” when he saw them around the New Year.

Friday’s “Morning Joe” proved more popular than Trump’s favorite morning show, “Fox & Friends.” Even Trump tweeted that he watched “Morning Joe” on Friday.

Even Trump watched.

So why did he watch?

I’ve been told I overthink things, and that may be true. I believe very strongly in giving attention to the fine details.

They loved him. They hated him. He hated them back, to the point that he launches an attack that was pointless and made no sense to anyone. They plan a dramatic segment to address the issue, and they get record ratings.

Meanwhile, Trump is being heralded a hero by his loyalists, even as he does his part to add to their ratings by watching, himself.

I’ve watched enough WWE (WCW was better) to know about the whole “heel” versus “face” dynamic.

Don’t believe that’s what’s going on?

Then why did CNN just run in with a folding chair?