Media surge to cover Trump’s media surge

The media have turned their attention to Donald Trump in recent weeks, and now columnists are in turn opining on Trump coverage itself.

On the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, political scientist John Sides wrote in his article “Why is Trump surging? Blame the media,” that “the answer is simple: Trump is surging in the polls because the news media has consistently focused on him since he announced his candidacy on June 16.” This attention alone has propped up his poll numbers, Sides says, but the “discovery phase” won’t last. The next phase will be “scrutiny from the news media, aided and abetted by the competing candidates.”

Last week, the Huffington Post announced it would cease covering Trump’s sideshow as politics, instead filing it under entertainment. “We won’t take the bait,” they said. Then Trump took a swipe at John McCain’s war hero status. The media cacophony became louder. In response, Huffington Post compiled a list of 162 people asked to comment on Trump’s latest bait.

Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert took a different tack, explaining “How the media missed the Donald Trump surge.” Boehlert says Trump’s ascension should surprise no one who’s paid attention to the radicalization of the right in recent years. “Yet during most of that span, the D.C. media stoically pretended the GOP hadn’t taken an ugly, radical turn. And that’s why so many seem baffled by Trump’s rise.”