We're being played by Donald Trump, folks.
At least CNN and MSNBC aren't habitually interrupting their day for live coverage every time the so-called president holds a rally. But we still cover everything he says to the detriment of really important stories, says Ezra Klein:
Ezra Klein took his first real vacation in 15 years (I believe it) and noticed when he got back how, in sharp relief, Trump rallies change the subject from what we really should be talking about.
EZRA KLEIN: The experience of coming back [from two weeks off]is having somebody shouting in your ear all of the time. Like, having Donald Trump follow you around on Twitter and on the news and everywhere. Look at this thing I did! Look at it! That's terrible. Why did you do that? I was trying to work on this thing about the economy, but -- yeah, look at this other one! And it's up to us to decide whether to look. But it is our choice. Right? We chose not to cover these things when other presidents did them. These kinds of speeches and rallies in the same way. Because we found them boring. We don't find Trump boring. He activates something visceral and human in us, right? It's not boring -- I always say the way Donald Trump behaves would make you worried if it was behavior you saw in your spouse or friend or neighbor.
Ezra's right, and it's why Crooks and Liars has taken the policy of asking the question: "Is covering ANYTHING Donald Trump does giving him free media?" before we post about it.
Policies and issues matter. Mocking him is okay. But covering his lies verbatim because it's "news"? No. Not ever.
Ezra Klein on the Reliable Sources Podcast (extended interview)