Trump's Enablers

To what Rand Cooper has posted below on what Trump is doing to the Republican Party, add what he is doing to the media.

Nate Silver of 538 has surveyed the media coverage of Trump since he entered the Republican primary on June 16. If you've been following the campaign you suspect, and now you have proof, that Trump has gotten more coverage than any of his opponents, and received $1.9 billion in TV time alone. Silver parses out the events, the statements and the duration of media coverage that brought Trump this motherlode of free advertising. Quite Fascinating.

In his conclusion, Silver adds to this ignominy of getting "ads" on the cheap what Trump has done to the media itself.

1. "With his ability to make news any time he wants with a tweet, news conference or conveniently placed leak, Trump has challenged news organizations’ editorial prerogative."

2. "Trump also challenges the media’s notion of what it means to be “objective.” Among other things, Trump has frequently invoked misogyny and racism; he has frequently lied, and he has repeatedly encouraged violence against political protesters. As far as we’re concerned at FiveThirtyEight, these are matters of fact and not opinion and to describe them otherwise would make our reporting less objective. Other news outlets will bend over backward to avoid describing them in those terms, however."

3. "Trump has hacked the system and exposed the weaknesses in American political institutions. He’s uncovered profound flaws in the Republican Party. He’s demonstrated that third-rail issues like racism and nationalism can still be a potent political force. He’s exploited the media’s goodwill and taken advantage of the lack of trust the American public has in journalism."   Have a read: "How Trump Hacked the Media."

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

Please email comments to letters@commonwealmagazine.org and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

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