Trump’s campaign has been the equivalent of a rorschach test for the media. And this entire spectacle is the logical conclusion of covering an 18-month to 2-year election cycle like it’s football or wrestling. To summarize the coverage:
This is awesome, ratings are sky-high! > Trump is a joke > Trump is a hotheaded, thin-skinned blowhard > Trump’s supporters are ignorant racists > his supporters who have voted with the GOP against their interests for years are now throwing the GOP under the bus > Trump is crazy > geez, I guess globalization really did screw some Americans, let’s help those people > Trump doesn’t really want to be President, he just wants the publicity > OMG Trump is the presumptive nominee > Let’s shake this country up >Trump is a narcissist > Trump is mentally unstable > OMG he’s the Republican nominee > Trump is dangerously unstable and shouldn’t get near the nuclear codes.
ALL of this is true, to some degree. More importantly, ALL of it was in plain sight, if not glaringly obvious. The pieces were there to put together. All we needed was someone to cover this story from a reasonably unbiased position. Not elitist, not anti-intellectual, not GOP, not Republican.
Instead we got all of that. Many media outlets and journalists picked a position and held tight to it, regardless of what happened. Many have flip-flopped all over the place as the story has evolved.
Worse, from the start I’ve seen stories intended to beat up and/or smear whoever, or whatever group, the author decided was to blame for Trump’s success.
And worst of all — we’ve had daily coverage of things said and done by, for, and against Trump that were in no way actual news, but were great for ratings and page views. The same reason your local TV news reports on so many house fires, for pete’s sake.
The story of Donald Trump’s Presidential candidacy has needed holistic, steady-handed explication and analysis more than any other story in our lifetimes, if not ever. If anyone gave this story — not Trump himself, but the story — the respect that it and the American public deserved, someone point me to that coverage, because I missed it. And I am not alone.