How Does Donald Trump’s War on the Press End?

Donald Trump’s relationship with the political press is similar to that of a shark’s with its cadre of pilot fish: symbiotic. In the same way that the little entrepreneurial fish clears the predator of parasites, the press provides Trump with the lifeblood of publicity and attention without which he would wither away. In turn, media is afforded the essential sustenance of viewers, listeners, readers, and clicks. The news environment in August is about as barren as is the open water, and both the press and the pilot fish have adapted to it so as to eke out a subsistence living. Trump’s rapport with the press differs, however, in one substantial way from that of these two famously mutualist sea creatures. If it were a perfect comparison, every so often the shark would lean over and mercilessly consume one of its passengers. There is risk in this strategy. The mutually beneficial compact is not a suicide pact. When faced with sufficiently adverse conditions for long enough, even the pilot fish would be forced to adapt. Similar, there are a handful of signs that suggest the media’s love affair with the celebrity Republican candidate is headed for a rocky patch. 

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How Does Donald Trump’s War on the Press End?

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