Trump's unapologetic style utterly confounds modern media institutions. What's going on here?

This OP is more a reflection on the nature of modern media than the POTUS election specifically so I am putting it here. If a mod feels it needs to be moved go ahead.

Personally (IMO) it seems clear that Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz) are not Presidential timber but here we are with them leading the GOP pack. One of the signature points of Trump’s campaigning is his refusal to apologize or take back anything. The media had gotten so used to missteps like this being the death knell for public figures they thought that each time he said something crude or intolerant or racist it would be his candidacy’s death knell but he keeps gaining strength.

The media whirls it’s arms furiously with each new offense expecting something … an apology, falling on his sword, repudiation by the GOP base, a lightning strike… but nothing happens in terms of his popularity. His posture baffles them because public figures are expected to be cringingly apologetic for the tiniest missteps. Analyzing this phenomena has (it seems) practically become a full time job for confused and frustrated pundits and media personalities.

Is this phenomenon a pushback to the modern offenderati culture where no matter what you say someone will take offense and call for your head? Has modern media, in being offended at almost everything, lost the capacity to be taken seriously when someone really does something obnoxious? Has the modern media in overusing the outrage engine lost it’s moral gravitas and ability to shame? Is the GOP base simply far more deeply racist than anyone dared admit before, and as long as he’s goring the right oxen, regardless of how obnoxiously he goes about it, he’s going to be fine?

What’s happening here?

It’s a little of all of this, but in the context of “the media” it’s clear that Trump’s popularity is in his complete rejection of political correctness and the media’s continual hand-wringing that he won’t temper his behavior is not ever going to hurt his popularity among his supporters.

News media fail, I think!

They turned news into infotainment, he who says the stupidest thing gets the most coverage. Hence Sarah Palin and now, The Donald. They shifted their focus from informing and analyzing to getting ratings. I think that’s mostly to blame for this.

They trained the audience to crave amusement over information, in some ways. The Glen Beck’s and Rush Limbaugh’s have the loudest voices it seems like. With only minimal, soft spoken push back from the left wing media.

My question is where is the new news outlet that dares to fill the gap and lead us back to informed, well balanced news analysis? Why isn’t there several springing to life as we speak? It seems like that’s what we need the very most, to me.

Without question. Notice how much of the story is about who asks the questions that won’t be answered at a debate? All those millions of dollars candidates will spend on campaigning will go mostly to television advertising. This is all hype to sell commercials on the reality show Who Wants To Be the President?.

Because he’s a playing it as a wrestling villain. not a political candidate. He’s giving audiences the spectacle they crave, and it’s working.

His popularity is an illusion. He’s got, what, 30-40% of self identifying Republicans, who themselves are 30-40% of the electorate. At best he’s got 10-20% of potential voters. If every voter turns out, his defeat will be epic and historic. But of course not every voter will turn out. Depending on which groups a depressed or not otherwise motivated, his vote percentage may turn out higher than what he might have otherwise got.

That’s still more than any other has got.

They fear him because he speaks power to truth.

That’s why he’s called “teflon Don”. A sizable portion of Americans are in love with his self-made man image.

Not news media fail - people fail. The media didn’t train people to want infotainment - infotainment shows got more eyeballs. The one channel full of crap for political purposes has the highest ratings.
Do you want the media to refuse to cover a newsmaker just because nearly every word he says is a lie? And the media is making it quite clear that Trump is lying.

The media didn’t create the bigoted cockroaches of the right who have scampered out of the baseboards in response to Trump’s clarion call. Mainstream Republicans just hinted, Trump brays. Blame a good chunk of the right for making this seem legitimate - and then being surprised at what has happened.

I don’t think the media has expected apologies, et al from Trump for the last several months. Now when he does something, it’s more “Will this be the thing to drop his numbers? Many other things haven’t”.

Prior to that, the media expected to see negative effects because they were basing it off numerous campaigns in the past. Now the narrative is more about a portion of the GOP base so fed up with stuff that they don’t even care if you say McCain wasn’t a war hero or FOX anchors are terrible or we should track Muslim immigrants or whatever.

That’s more than any other Republican has got.

Note that, while only 39% of Republicans polled recently pick Trump as their 1st choice, another 28% pick Cruz or Carson. Those of us who correctly consider Rubio and Huckabee to be grotesquely unqualified agree that 79% of Republicans polled want someone bizarrely unqualified to be the President. (This 79% doesn’t even include Paul’s 4% or the 5% too disillusioned to answer the poll.) Only 11% picked Bush, Christie, Kasich, Graham, Pataki or Santorum – the closest thing the GOP has to competent candidates. :eek:

We’re watching history, folks. The GOP almost appears to have gone beyond mere implosion to the rite of self-immolation.

Answering Astro’s eloquent post:

[E] All of the above.

he’s a troll, and doesn’t really expect to win. he just wants to make as much noise as possible, and if he can have some influence on the outcome of the 2016 election, so much the better.

the press has no idea how to handle that.

Bizarrely unqualified or grotesquely unqualified? Wow, tough choice.

Since Trump came into the public consciousness in the 80’s, he’s been treated by the media as a celebrity and he’s used to that. He’s never been subjected to “opposition research” and held accountable for what he’s said. Bluster worked for him as a celeb, so that’s what he’s doing now. And the media has been slow to switch gears and hand him over to the serious political reporters.

The one traditional way that party bosses would keep candidates in line would be through discouraging doners. The guy is using his own money.

The American voters are sick and tired of Politics As Usual, and looking for a breath of fresh air, even FOUL fresh air. The Tea Party had a modicum of success, but were too timid to break through to total success, and bowed to brow-beating from the media. Trump, due to his freedom from needing donors, is ALL IN with his breaking of icons, and is therefor resonating with disaffected voters. He may be a pinhead, but he is a pinhead with a solid fan base.

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” – George Orwell (allegedly)

I don’t agree. Because news channels shouldn’t be about getting the most eyeballs. They may have to generate a profit, but there’s no need to become big multimedia companies.

Of course people like being entertained more than getting real news. That’s like blaming people for wanting to play games instead of going to school.

/\ this

As of November, around 90% of his campaign’s funding was from donors. (If he ever has to spend like a normal candidate, that might change. Right now it’s an extremely cheap campaign that relies on outrage-induced free media.)