Donald Trump

Does Donald Trump News Belong in the Entertainment Section?

The Huffington Post's decision to dump Trump news among "stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette" proves controversial.


Todd Krainin

Today The Huffington Post announced that it would no longer file news related to 2016 presidential "sideshow" Donald Trump under its politics vertical, instead relegating it to the entertainment section. "After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won't report on Trump's campaign as part of The Huffington Post's political coverage," wrote Ryan Grim, the site's Washington bureau chief, and Editorial Director Danny Shea. 

"Our reason is simple," they continued. "Trump's campaign is a sideshow. We won't take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you'll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette." 

On Friday morning, The Huffington Post broadcast the decision on the front page of the site: 

screenshot/The Huffington Post

With all due disregard for the seriousness of Trump's ambitions or potential—and 75 percent of respondents in a recent nationwide poll agree that the man Matt Welch has deemed "the Idiocracy candidate" is not a serious presidential contender—is this really the right call?

Ignominious as Trump's candidacy may be, he also led the GOP pack in a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll and the latest poll from Fox News. Among a not insignificant number of voters, Trump is very much a serous candidate, or at least more appealing than more realistic options like Jeb Bush or Sen. Rand Paul. That alone is political news. (If Kim Kardashian were polling at 17 percent among likely GOP voters, that would seem politically relevant, too.)

Journalists of various political persuasions have been critical of The Huffington Post's decision. "Whoa this is crazy. He's an actual candidate. He's polling second," offered The New York TimesFarhad Manjoo on Twitter. At Poynter's MediaWire blog, James Warren called the decision "especially dubious in an era where the nexus of entertainment and politics is often quite obvious and growing." 

"ok that huffpo post triumphantly declaring trump a sideshow & not real political news discounts the fact that it is actually political news," Asawin Suebsaeng of The Daily Beast tweeted. "i wish we could discount all candidacies we think are ridiculous and dump them in the entertainment section, but that's not how this works". 

"If Trump were still polling at 1 or 2 percent and reporters were covering his every utterance for clicks, okay. But he's near the top," echoed Washington Examiner Politics Editor Jim Antle. "Trump is a particularly extreme manifestation of the political-entertainment complex, but he's not the only example." 

"What The Huffington Post is really saying here…is that the opinions of thousands of Americans don't matter to them," tweeted The Daily Beast political reporter Olivia Nuzzi. "It is not up to The Huffington Post or any other publication to decide which candidates are legitimate." 

"Whatever you think of Trump coverage, refusing to cover him at all means ignoring a major GOP storyline. Disagree," wrote Snapchat news head Peter Hamby

Perhaps the most asute take, however, comes from Mother Jones reporter Max J. Rosenthal: "You all realize this HuffPost/Trump announcement is just a wildly successful PR/traffic stunt in itself, right?"

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  1. Why would a lefty outfit like HuffPo want to curtail reporting on the joke candidate who could sink their rivals’ chances in 2016?

    1. conspicuous, huffy self-importance?

    2. And a chance to send the right signals.

    3. He belongs on the comics page. Especially because of that dead rodent on his head.

  2. Reason Pumps Trump Dump, Readership Slumps

  3. Wow, Reason, shows us on the doll where Trump touched you?

    1. “‘….t’ain’t here, ‘t’ain’t there….”

      “Sooooooo – in the taint. Got it.”

  4. I think this just plays right into his hands. His fat, sweaty, bankruptcy-lovin’ hands..


    /Ernst Stavro Trump

  5. That’s actually the most rational thing I’ve heard in regards to Trump, who the media insists on treating like the most viable of all candidates for the GOP. Which NO ONE believes, especially not Trump. It’s a publicity/vanity campaign conducted by a known and licensed clown.

    1. As opposed to all the other clowns running for President.

      1. That’s true. Clinton is no better. But the difference is, she’s not entertaining. She’s just repulsive.

    2. a known and licensed clown

      You misspelled “class act”, ProL

    3. I am not sure he is not actually running. He’s got such a huge ego.

  6. Jon Stewart and Bill Maher are comedians and entertainers and their opinions are given serious weight by the Huffington Post and its readership as political commentary. I find Trump to be an obnoxious jackass that will inevitably burn out by the first debate, but he’s still a political story.

    A more constructive take on his rise would be to seriously question the value of national polls, especially after the UK debacle. It’s particularly stupid since national polls are meaningless when candidates are trying to win individual states.

  7. Straw-haired baboon clown
    Huffington says is a joke
    Pot calls kettle black

    1. excellent!

  8. “Our reason is simple,” they continued. “Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.”

    I’m awaiting similar proclamations about Bernie “one deodorant” Sanders and Fauxcahontas.

  9. With all due disregard for the seriousness of Trump’s ambitions or potential?and 75 percent of respondents in a recent nationwide poll agree that the man Matt Welch has deemed “the Idiocracy candidate” is not a serious presidential contender?is this really the right call?

    Harrumph. Just another instance of 10th-dimensional social signalling. Elizabeth wants to appear objective and journalistic by showing off how even though she thinks Trump is a joke, she still thinks people should do serious reporting on him.

    1. This is getting so meta I just can’t keep up. WAY beyond my IQ, this stuff!

    2. It’s like social signaling-ception!

      Yokel yokel yokel, cosmozz, queers, and Messicans bad!

    3. Trump is a joke, but I thought Matt was was off suggesting that he was somehow worse than everyone else. There’s another Republican that wants to use the army to compel congressional action. There’s an unindicted felon on the loose. There’s a socialist. There’s a retarded man.

      Trump is a clown, no doubt, but he’s not the worst or even the stupidest candidate.

      1. Reminds me of the whole Palin is stupid thing. You mean compared to the rest of Washington? How do you determine whom to call the stupid one?

        1. Or when the meme went around about her inexperience, ignoring entirely that she had better experience than the Democrats’ presidential candidate. Not that I love Palin–I don’t–but still.

  10. Beware of what you wish for.

    This reminds me of the story of Brer Rabbit pleading not to be thrown into the briar patch. Trump will get a whole lot more readers in his quest in the entertainment section of any newspaper or web site than he would in the politics or news sections. There is a real possibility that he will be our next president, which is fine with me. He won’t be any worse than any other the others who have a reasonable possibility of being nominated and elected.

  11. I could not care less what Huffpo does. When I want frothing, semi-histrionic Trumpfotainment I come here to Reason. This is, what, the 40th Trump related article this week?

    1. But is it frothing and semi-histrionic enough? NOT FOR ME!

      1. You know Nikki, you really should just tell ENB to pull the tennis-ball-sized anal bead string out of your ass if it’s making you that uncomfortable.

        1. I’m not sure what your talking about but if there is going to be any lesbian bead string action I want to be there or at least get pics.

  12. I can’t say whether or not coverage of Trump is better categorized in the entertainment section of HuffPo, but it’s nice to see ENB reporting within her field of expertise.

    1. But I didn’t see a single thing in this column about vaginas!

    1. I think I told you before. He’s Leonid Brezhnev and Ted Koppel’s love child.

      1. You may be right. But whate if Donald, the self-made man, self-made in every sense, out of nowhere, penniless, parentless, tie-less. Actually, he was the son of a gas-station mechanic at some forsaken crossroads in Ohio, and he had left home at the age of twelve to make his own way ? but I’ve always thought of him as if he had come into the world like Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, who sprang forth from Jupiter’s head, fully grown and fully armed.

  13. Can anyone give me the low down on the Nikki/ENB feud? Or am I better off not caring? I’m just mildly curious about the psycho ex girlfriend behavior.

    1. Probably better of not caring. I assume Nikki got a whiff of someone else’s feud with ENB and has been riding that bandwagon ever since.

    2. Nikki seems actually to have lost it with complete and utter butthurt. Shame to see, really. Another Bo.

  14. Trump is the political face of that 17% of the GOP that supports him. He himself is little more than a sideshow freak at the circus – BUT.

    That 17% of the GOP that supports him. That’s a lot of people and I’d honestly like to see some serious honest non-agenda-driven non-condescending about who they are and what they really believe/want. I don’t however think that journalists are capable of that nowadays. Far easier to just focus on the candidates – polls – horserace – money. All the top-down CRAP that tends to force people into believing that they themselves are nothing more than a Skinner pigeon.

    1. What’s the difference between the support bases of two different centrists? Minor little things at best, meanwhile the common theme is a lack of governing philosophy beyond partisan talking points like “jobs”, “immigrants” or “abortion”.

      1. Well if you consider regular folks nothing more than ‘support bases’ for a candidate; then you’ve kind of defined a situation where the only thing that matters is candidates. Which means they set the agenda – and turn everything into precisely those sound bite talking points.

        For once, I would like to see an ‘election’ story that isn’t about candidates at all. Not about their polling numbers, their stance on ‘issues’. NOTHING about them at all. Election stories that center on candidates inevitably create the perception that elections are about nothing more than some powerful charismatic riding in on a white horse to save the day. THAT perception about elections is what infantilizes things

  15. I’m no fan of Trump — he’s an economic moron, for one thing. However, when anyone polls as well as he does, it is legitimate news. I thought Ron Paul, even with his low numbers, deserved better respect from news organizations. Now, whether or not you consider HuffPost a legitimate news source, that’s a different question……..

    But following HuffPost’s reasoning (or rationalization) leads to trouble because labeling a poll-leader as irrelevant is subjective at best, and if this were to become a valid process with the media, we’ll have various news organizations declaring various future candidates as entertainment and some of that, inevitably, will be ideologically biased.

    1. Libertarian — You say Trump is “an economic moron.” So how many billions of dollars have you made? You must be the biggest moron of them all, eh?

      The Democrats and Progressive Republicans such as Rove, Graham, McCain, Krauthammer, Will are scared to death of Trump because he’s the only candidate who can’t be bought. That’s why I LOVE him!

      1. Progressive Republicans such as Rove, Graham, … , Krauthammer

        Um, it’s Friday so Imma gonna give you a break and attribute this to drunkenness.

      2. Trump hasn’t made billions of dollars. He inherited most of his money and has been bankrupt multiple times.

        1. hamilton — Come on, try to at least use that thing you call a brain for something besides sitting on. Is that all you’ve got? Do you even know what a progressive is?

        2. Harold — Obviously Trump did make billions of dollars because he’s filed bankruptcy multiple times and TODAY he is worth 10 billion dollars. Duh! Get your shit together.

  16. Plenty of other outlets are covering the Donald as politics. Sounds like the free market at work. Find something substantive to talk about.

  17. Huffington post is an entertainment site. Not serious news. Ariana Huffington is at first right wing zealot now left wing zealot. A moron either side.

  18. Sounds like a pretty solid game to me dude.

  19. “is this really the right call?”
    Lizzie describing the color of dog shit. Who knew she cared?

  20. when huffington post or any other media outlets can make the entire whitehouse shut the f-ck up, or any other candidate can make the entire media shut the hell up….be sure and let us know.

    dont tell anybody reason magazine – but he might just be a hell of alot smarter than you think…….
    and honestly – mccain shouldnt be able to defend himself right – but we missed your article objecting to the american public being able to defend themselves thanks to people like mccain.

    mccain is like a water buffalo in the cross hairs of a lion.
    the sad part isnt that cruz and paul arent commenting on mccain – there not capitalizing on the only opportunity they may have to walk through that gaping fkng obvious whole being plowed right into these liberal fkn wack jobs.
    5 guys together on the inside are stronger than ten guys working separately…or as a libertarian maybe were the dumbasses.

  21. Who in the fuck reads the HP anyway.

    I bet they put him back in the political section once he’s president.

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