As media magnet, Trump is “yooge”

Call it a “sideshow” if you wish — and Huffington Post has done just that — but the phenomenon that is Donald Trump looks more and more like the act playing out in the center ring. At least for now.

Trump is the undisputed king of coverage when it comes to media treatment of the 2016 presidential race. So much so that the Globe‘s Matt Viser this morning declares, “Donald Trump has found his running mate: the media.”

He’s everywhere you turn on TV (soon to include Saturday Night Live, which he’s now due to host next month). He’s had his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone — and The New York Times Magazine. He’s had almost as many mentions on Twitter from August 1 through October 13 as his closest six presidential rivals combined, Viser reports.

It hardly seems to matter that a good share of the attention highlights aspects of Trump buffoonery. When it comes to Twitter, Trump invited questions one day last month. But only a tiny fraction of 50,000 tweets that poured in using the #AskTrump over the first few hours were posing serious questions, reported the Huffington Post, which says “the gambit totally backfired.”

The HuffPo piece then helpfully showed a sample of the less-than-serious tweets. One asked, “if you dig under your hair, down thru the scalp, underneath the skull, is there just a bunch of orange chicken from Panda Express.” (It was good for 311 retweets.)

“Would you describe your racism as opportunistic or deep-seated?” asked another, which was good for 108 retweets.

It’s safe to say Trump doesn’t seem the least fazed by such moments.

Huffington Post sought to contain Trump by announcing in July that it would corral its coverage of him in its Entertainment section, not viewing his candidacy as being a legitimate undertaking meriting coverage under its Politics tab. “Our reason is simple,” wrote HuffPo editors. “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.”

And find those stories their readers have. The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reported last month that the Entertainment section was gaining at the apparent expense of Politics traffic, which he said was down.

Viser acknowledges in his story that in pondering the question of Trump’s incredible media draw he was now adding to the candidate’s outsized grab at coverage. And Trump makes no bones about pointing that out.

Was possible for him to be overexposed, Viser asked Trump in a phone interview yesterday.

“I don’t know,” said Trump. “I can’t answer that question. It’s never happened before. I’ve always had more saturation than anybody else, no matter what I did. I don’t work at it, as you understand. I didn’t call you, you called me. You understand?”

MICHAEL JONAS

 

BEACON HILL

Gov. Charlie Baker, a staunch advocate of the referendum process, signed a petition to place a question on the ballot to legalize marijuana, though he said he’s undecided on the issue. (Greater Boston) He also filed legislation to deal with the opioid crisis, and dishes out some criticism at doctors for their prescribing methods. (The Sun)

The choice of a new head of the Boston convention center is presenting a political headache for Baker, writes the Globe‘s Frank Phillips, with lots of support for veteran Democratic hand Tom Keady, a choice that could anger Republicans.

Sources say that Sen. Dan Wolf, a Harwich Democrat, who was on track to run for governor until he was derailed by an Ethics Commission kerfuffle, will not run for re-election. (Cape Cod TImes)

The Globe reports that former House speaker Tom Finneran‘s payout would total as much as $225,000 if the recent court ruling stands that said he’s entitled to his state pension, despite his conviction for lying under oath in a federal case regarding House redistricting. You knew this was coming: Howie Carr has something to say about the matter — and it’s not friendly toward “Felon Finneran.” (Boston Herald)

State revenue projections drop by $145 million, which may force the Baker administration to consider some budget cuts. (State House News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

The effort to recall Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera is bogged down in bureaucratic and court crossfire, but the jockeying is interesting to follow. (Eagle-Tribune)

Dartmouth Police Chief Timothy Lee, who has been out on leave since his service gun went missing two years ago, has filed suit against the town for refusing to pay him work-related injury benefits from the stress he said he has suffered. (Standard-Times)

While residents of some urban neighborhoods continue to worry about reckless gangbangers shooting off guns, the crisis in one tony Brookline neighborhood centers around an escaped cockatoo who won’t stop shooting off his mouth. (Boston Globe)

CASINOS

Revenue at the state’s one operating gambling facility, the Plainridge slots hall, dropped significantly in September. (Boston Globe)

The Springfield City Council president wants a “better deal” from MGM Springfield in the wake of its decision to build a more modest hotel complex than it had originally planned. (MassLive)

In a conference call with financial analysts, Steve Wynn goes easy on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and unloads on Chinese officials. (CommonWealth)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

For only the third time in the last 40 years, Social Security recipients will not receive a bump in monthly benefits after officials determined the cost-of-living expenses did not rise, mainly because of depressed gas prices which affect seniors far less than others. (U.S. News & World Report)

ELECTIONS

Hillary Clinton has $33 million in her campaign warchest, more dough than any other candidate running for president. (Time)

The head of a drug company getting blistered for its steep price hikes donates to Bernie Sanders‘s campaign as part of an odd gambit to secure a meeting with the candidate, but gets told Sanders doesn’t want his stinkin’ money and won’t meet with him, either. (Stat)

Joan Vennochi takes a run at Sanders-style democratic socialism, bemoaning the idea that he’s pulling the Democratic party towards a vision of the country as one that “forever needs to pour more taxpayer resources into rescuing people from economic crisis.” (Boston Globe)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Nevada tells DraftKings to get out of Dodge. (Boston Business Journal) The Nevada ruling could have an impact on an appeal by New Jersey which is seeking to allow sports betting in the state’s casinos. The move comes over objections by professional leagues who claim it could impair the integrity of their games, even though they invest in fantasy sports companies. (New York Times)

A tire recycling facility in New Bedford is manned almost entirely by indigenous Mayans from Guatemala who, after years of low wages and no benefits, vote to join a union. (WBUR)

Attorney General Maura Healey argues that the opioid epidemic and the flight of young people are having a negative effect on the Cape economy.

Need to learn how to navigate the real world? Mass Mutual’s Society of Grownups will teach you how to be a grownup. (Boston Business Journal)

EDUCATION

Across Massachusetts, there is a rich-poor divide in high school sports. (CommonWealth)

The Billerica Town Meeting rejects a bid to move away from Common Core educational standards. (The Sun)

Dante Ramos has an insightful distillation of the state of ed reform: The Obama-Duncan approach has been set back on its heels, but its focus on accountability and openness to charter schools is now defining the terms of debate at the state level. (Boston Globe)

All 800 students at Raynham Middle School were reported absent Wednesday when a school employee mistakenly hit a button that sent an automated call to everyone’s parents telling them their child wasn’t in school. (The Enterprise)

A member of the Haverhill School Committee creates a stir by suggesting members should be docked $400 from their stipends for each meeting they miss beyond one. (Eagle-Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION

Cabbies are starting to default on medallion loans. Is this an Uber effect? (CommonWealth)

Kitty Dukakis pens an op-ed calling on the MBTA to maintain its ban on alcohol advertising. (Boston Globe)

The MetroWest Daily News wants the Legislature to take on distracted driving.

The nearly identical sister ship of the cargo carrier El Faro which sank during Hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 onboard including several from Massachusetts, had been ordered to remain in dock just three months earlier until the company repaired its deteriorating lifeboat mechanisms, according to Coast Guard records. (New York Times)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The debate over energy in general, and solar in particular, is getting down to the nitty gritty. Here’s a primer on what you need to know. (CommonWealth)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan disputes charges she bullied a medical examiner to rule a child’s death was a result of shaken baby syndrome and insists she has a good relationship with the coroner’s office. (Greater Boston)

A Stonehill College student who threatened to shoot up the Easton campus was arrested after he painted a swastika in a school bathroom. (The Enterprise)

Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn, appointed to the post earlier this year to replace Sam Sutter, who became Fall River mayor, likes the job so much he announced he’ll run for a full term next year. (Herald News)

A serial con man faces new charges in Salem. (Boston Herald)

MEDIA

The Boston Globe does buyouts and layoffs even as owner John Henry is expanding staff in other journalistic ventures. (Poynter)

The Washington Post website says it reached an all-time high of nearly 60 million unique visitors during September.