Welcome to Semafor Media, where we keep coming back to Donald Trump.
What is it with the American media and Trump? We have, since the 2016 election, been wringing our hands over how he hacked our airwaves and our attention. Then platforms — from Facebook to CNN and even to Fox — banned him or stepped back. As Semafor’s Dave Weigel has noticed, even his most extreme policy pronouncements are often (unwisely, we think) mostly ignored.
So why do journalists of all sorts — as you can read in Max and Shelby’s piece below — remain drawn to Trump, in a way they are not to, say, Ron DeSantis — or Joe Biden?
I believe the answer lies in part in an observation Timothy Crouse made of campaign journalism in the 1970s: This is “a business populated largely by shy egomaniacs.”
One thing you can say about Trump: He gives journalists the attention they, shyly, crave. He’s shopping, as Max scoops, for another town hall. He fulminates, attacks, and undermines the profession — but then, at least he’s watching, reading, reminding us that we exist. Sorry, everyone!
Scroll down: Our intel section is full of scoops, including labor stress at Vice and Insider, a big Messenger hire, Republican debate chatter, Cannes murmurs, and Lachlan Murdoch’s new boat.
Max and I will be in Cannes producing a daily newsletter from the annual ad industry blowout next month. Please send shocking ad industry scoops and insights, as well as vital logistical tips and invitations, to justify this hardship posting. And sign up here!