The Huffington Post won’t give Donald Trump’s campaign for president coverage in its political section, Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim and Editorial Director Danny Shea wrote in a brief on Friday.
Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait.
Earlier this month, Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone wrote “The Media Just Can’t Stop Obsessing Over Donald Trump.” Calderone, a senior media reporter, wrote about the pattern that has emerged as the press covers Trump, which is basically a. outrageous claim by Trump, b. coverage of outrageous claim by media, c. asking other politicos about outrageous claim, then d. covering politicos reactions.
It’s not that Trump’s comments are a non-story. From a business perspective, there’s been significant fallout as companies such as Univision, NBC, Macy’s and Serta have severed ties with Trump. One can also argue that he should be taken seriously given his high national poll numbers, even if they are presumably the result of better name recognition than his competitors. And clearly, immigration is an important issue to tackle this election cycle.
But the weeks-long media discussion has focused more on rehashing Trump’s comments, and covering new responses to them, than on the intricacies of immigration policy.
Also in July, Politico’s media reporter Dylan Byers wrote “Donald Trump, clickbait.” Byers wrote about the dilemma journalists face while covering Trump and why many outlets are covering him as a viable candidate.
“In my view, making decisions solely according to who may win the nomination is the worst way to cover a presidential election,” said Steven Ginsberg, senior politics editor at The Washington Post, which has been covering Trump aggressively for several months. “A whole lot happens on the way to the nomination and you can’t explain what’s happening with the candidates or the country without being on top of all of it.”
That is the view Trump’s office holds as well: “Mr. Trump is deserving of all the coverage that he is receiving,” Trump spokesman Michael Cohen said. “Those that question his qualifications are probably unqualified to be journalists themselves. The fact is, Mr. Trump has built a $10 billion-plus empire, employs thousands of people, has worked with many leaders around the globe successfully and is considered one of the best negotiators in history. These are all qualifications essential to being a great president.”
Trump is still leading GOP polls.