Although many of us journalists have derided Trump, the truth is that he generally outsmarted us (with many exceptions, for there truly have been serious efforts to pin him down and to investigate Trump University and his various business failings). He manipulated television by offering outrageous statements that drew ever more cameras — without facing enough skeptical follow-up questions.
It’s not that we shouldn’t have covered Trump’s craziness, but that we should have aggressively provided context in the form of fact checks and robust examination of policy proposals. A candidate claiming that his business acumen will enable him to manage America deserved much more scrutiny of his bankruptcies and mediocre investing.
All politicians spin, of course. But all in all, I’ve never met a national politician in the U.S. who is so ill informed, evasive, puerile and deceptive as Trump.
Nicholas Kristof, “My Shared Shame: The Media Made Trump”, The New York Times (27 March 2016), SR11.