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"Fear" by Bob Woodward on a Barnes & Noble shelf. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Aboard Air Force One recently, an aide was showing President Trump detailed data, complete with graphics and fine print. Usually the president prefers top lines and the big picture. This time, he was going deeper. The topic of the commander-in-chief's attention: cable news ratings, with a focus on specific shows that are booming.

The big picture: Cable news is setting records, books are hot again, newspapers are racking up the digital subscriptions and an op-ed (!) is a hot gossip topic — all because of the national obsession with "The Trump Show."

  • Trump and the media, for all his attacks and despite the cultural chasm between them, just can't quit each other.

Throughout the 20 months of the Trump presidency, news executives have been expecting Trump fatigue to eventually set in. Not only is there not a single sign of it, we're experiencing the opposite — a rising Trump fever.

  • Viewers and readers, lovers and haters, are addicted to Trump.

The Trump boom is fueling both old and new media:

  • Not so long after old-school publications fretted about financial survival, digital subscriptions are booming at The New York Times ($99 million in the second quarter, a 20% jump from a year earlier), The Washington Post and The New Yorker — fueled by Trump fascination and extraordinary journalism for historic times.
  • An AP headline after Michael Cohen's plea and Paul Manafort's conviction: "A bad week for Trump means a good week for Rachel Maddow." Typical of the daily ratings entries on TVNewser: MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow was No. 1 on all of cable TV, drawing a solid 3.5 million viewers ... Fox News held steady at No. 1 in total viewers."
  • Simon & Schuster says Bob Woodward's "Fear" sold 750,000 all-format copies (including preorders) on Tuesday — the largest first-day sale for any title in company history. At the Barnes & Noble near Axios HQ, a table full of "Fear" was gone in a day.
  • That follows 2 million in global sales for Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury."
  • The anonymous N.Y. Times op-ed, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," has drawn 14.5 million page views and sparked a week-long whodunit.

Be smart: News organizations know they have a Trump bubble — that whenever the 46th president arrives, they could have an audience crash. But they'll worry about that then. For now, they're adding staff and products, to cover the story of a lifetime and to feed an insatiable appetite for Trump.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.