Politico’s Dylan Byers distills the problem of Donald Trump as political media’s guilty pleasure in one choice paragraph.
The dilemma facing CNN is one facing every political media outlet: How much coverage should be given to a notoriously self-aggrandizing business mogul and reality television star who, despite reporters’ contention that he can’t win his party’s nomination, is drawing an enormous audience by offering the media sensational quotes and highly clickable fodder.
We’re guilty here. So, so guilty. But in just one day of Trump news, look at the swirl of action that follows (or is generated by) this candidate in a race where so many stick to the safety of boilerplate speeches and behavior:
- His empire continues to bleed partners and supporters, with chef José Andrés the latest to cut and run in the deep fallout from Trump’s June 16 remarks about Mexican immigrants. The restaurant Andrés was planning to open in a new Trump International Hotel inside the Old Post Office Pavilion in DC is no longer happening. “As a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status,” Andrés said in a statement explaining his decision to back out of the deal.
- Of course, that announcement was met with the threat of a lawsuit by the Trump family. (How many lawsuits are we up to, anyway?)
- In spite of major organizations like Univision, Macy’s and NBC cutting ties with Trump, all linked to his anti-immigration comments, the candidate, in an interview with NBC’s Katy Tur, claimed, in spectacular fashion, that he would “win the Latino vote.” “I have a great relationship with the Mexican people. I have many people working for me–you can look at the job in Washington–I have many legal immigrants working with me. And many of them come from Mexico. They love me, I love them,” he said in the run-up to that claim.
And that’s the thing about clickbait: whether you’re on the creating or receiving end, it’s pretty irresistible.