"Trump’s entire career, by way of contrast, gloried in scandal. During the 2016 campaign he contradicted himself constantly, said and did repugnant things, and did not care a whit."

Has nothing to do with trump. Has everything to do with how elected repubs and the media handled trump. 'Access Hollywood' tape would an example. Hours after it breaks:

“Drop the Podesta emails immediately,” Stone instructed, seeking to “balance the news cycle” after the release of the Access Hollywood tape. Thirty-two minutes later, WikiLeaks followed through.


Access Hollywood tape disappears under the waves in a few hours. The media, the narrative setters, decided that.

Study: Hillary Clinton’s emails got as much front-page coverage in 6 days as policy did in 69


If you heard about this during the 2016 election you are one of the few:

FinCEN Fines Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort $10 Million for Significant and Long Standing Anti-Money Laundering Violations


Haberman: Just trump being trump.

And on and on. Elected repubs kept their mouths shut. Reporters: I emailed Mcconnell spokesman but have not yet received a response.... Meanwhile reporters are hiding in the rope line at Clinton events and asking nonsense questions even repubs would be embarrassed to ask.

Andrea Mitchell on Clinton 'Email Scandal': Have you apologized enough?

Al Franken, Andrew Cuomo. Rightly or wrongly held accountable by their party. Both Franken and Cuomo, their aids, family and friends hounded by the press. Meanwhile Haberman: Just trump being trump, Mcconnell spokesman gets an email from a reporter...

So it went and so it goes.

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Again, blame the American people. Specifically, the Republicans in this country. Franken was wrongly pressured to resign by his party. The press could hound Trump a ton (they did plenty) and Republicans would simply love Trump more.

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No. We the American people know what they are told. Throughout the 2016 election we were lied to. Blame the liars, the media. We the people only know what we are told. When we are told lies, by omission, on purpose, by use of 'anonymous sources' that's all we know:

The report shows that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Donald Trump in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump’s rise in the polls. Trump’s coverage was positive in tone—he received far more “good press” than “bad press.” The volume and tone of the coverage helped propel Trump to the top of Republican polls.


For her part, Hillary Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate. In 11 of the 12 months, her “bad news” outpaced her “good news,” usually by a wide margin, contributing to the increase in her unfavorable poll ratings in 2015.


The general election period continued the pattern (see Figure 5). Week after week, Trump got more press attention than did Clinton. Overall, Trump received 15 percent more coverage than she did. Trump also had more opportunities to define Clinton than she had to define him. When a candidate was seen in the news talking about Clinton, the voice was typically Trump’s and not hers. Yet when the talk was about Trump, he was again more likely to be the voice behind the message.


Clinton’s coverage differed markedly from Trump’s. As noted previously, she received significantly less news attention than Trump during the convention period. The mix of her coverage also differed from his (see Figure 9). Horse race topics—polls and projections—were a somewhat larger part of her coverage while the substance of her campaign got significantly less coverage. Her policy and issue positions received only a third of the coverage afforded Trump’s—a mere 4 percent versus his 13 percent.

A major difference between Trump and Clinton’s coverage was that she had a news category entirely of her own—the emails that she sent and received as secretary of state. Clinton’s emails accounted for 8 percent of her news coverage during the conventions—twice the amount of all of her policy positions combined. Alleged scandals from Clinton’s past accounted for an additional 3 percent of her coverage. A full tenth of Clinton’s coverage, in one form or another, revolved around allegations of wrongdoing.


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I also think the sheer volume of corruption and incompetence in the Trump Administration and given lying was the rule rather than exception resulted in a range of news stories being lost in the shuffle.

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The "sugar high" analogy has another and more fundamental aspect: If Trump had not had years as a TV celebrity he would never have had the slightest chance of becoming POTUS. Simple name recognition, along with more than a little secret admiration for his obnoxious character, made it possible and could do so again.

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It did it once. “Again” is, while possible, less likely. Recall that viewership for “the Apprentice” steadily dropped over time. Trump isn’t going to be able to reinvent himself and enough people do tire of the same-old same-old schtick over time.

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I think you both offer some interesting takes, but to boil it down to a base level, the model of journalist as instrument to truth and information can only result in an uncomfortable conflict with journalist as gatekeeper of truth and information for their own further profit. While none of us can, it would be interesting if we could know how much of this information would have been available in real time were media outlets to ban the publishing of books by employees for say, 10 years post-story. And for the record, this isn't Haberman specific.

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