This part of a series where I hypothesise how Donald Trump came to be elected.
During the Republican primaries, I think the media saw Donald Trump as boon.
Not seen as a serious contender, I think he was seen as a good source of interesting soundbites that would draw viewers and sell advertising. Trump was always saying something crazy, such as attacking one of the other Republicans, which the media would then pick up and make the focus of the news that night.
Essentially – the media the fed the troll – giving the air of attention to the person saying the most outlandish stuff.
This has been part of an ongoing trend of dumbing down in the media. I think the media have got lazy and instead of providing intelligent, informed news, they’ve been providing the public with news that the public wants to see. This is reflected in the clear trend of soundbites getting shorter. A provocative Donald Trump insult is a more attention grabbing sound bite that an informed policy outline can fit in nine seconds.
Addendum: The public is also to blame. The media produces inflammatory content, because that’s what the public chooses to view. If the public were more discerning with what they choose to watch or click, the media would be more incentivised to produce more intelligent content.