Donald Trump has got the media’s number. Big time. They have no idea how to cover him effectively. They are still living in a world where every word uttered by a politician is presumed to be carefully chosen and should be scrutinized as indicating what the person is going to do.
But Trump is different. His words are not chosen to indicate policy, they are chosen to make sure he gets lots of press. What he says and what he does are dramatically different. He is not going to lock Hillary Clinton up, he is not going to build a wall that Mexico pays for, he is not draining the swamp (in fact, he’s just swapping out alligators for crocodiles), etc.
His supporters know this. They like the sentiments, but discount all of his ‘actionables’. The media have not figured it out yet. On the one hand, they have a duty to report everything that Trump says. On the other hand, they should be putting that into context, but the outrageousness of what he says overrides their ability to do this. Having spent 20 years in the entertainment industry, Trump understands how to manipulate the media.
It is possible that as Trump settles into the day to day of the presidency that the media will figure it out, but I would bet that Trump is able to keep them off balance. He is a different model of politician, and it will take a different model of media to report on him effectively.