Early on in Janice Min‘s cover interview of Donald Trump for sister publication The Hollywood Reporter, she delivers the most on-the-money line to describe our bottomless fascination with the man.
After being called in to a conference room to witness Trump signing a deal staged with his signature excess, after watching him reduce a woman to her appearance, Min writes, “Slightly to my horror, I realize I have a smile on my face the whole time, both out of sheer disbelief in what he is willing to say in front of others, no less a journalist who’s about to interview him, and because he is … fun.”
He belongs where the Huffington Post has been steadfastly committed to keeping him–the entertainment section, but HuffPost is largely alone on this.
Every Trump interview becomes a cause célèbre, the mere news that it is happening deserving of coverage: who has been allowed to ask questions; under what conditions; who is still being cut off from the opportunity to have Trump describe how great he in ridiculous superlatives (“I have one of the great memories of all time”), or how spectacular he is for the interviewer’s ratings or clicks?
The fun continues when the interview comes out, generating a special subset of Trump-interview-based aggregation in which the original interview is transmogrified with annotations, organized into salient sections, or simply culled for the money quotes.
Move on to the next interview and the cycle repeats.
If you deconstruct it, the Trump media loop is exactly that–a GIF that you come across and watch for far too long, hypnotized by its endless repetition. Eventually, you have to tell yourself to look away, close it down, lest you remain in entertainment purgatory forever.
We’d like to think that eventually, this is exactly what people will do.