Voters trump media predictions

There’s nothing those in the media like reading and writing more than “we got it wrong” stories, provided they have company. And in the case of Donald Trump, there are plenty of people on the mea culpa highway.

Trump has been dallying around the fringes of presidential politics for a few years now, first hobnobbing with whatever candidate paid homage to his towers, then getting attention as the leading spokesman among the aluminum hat birther crowd who insist President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim softening up the country for an Islamic takeover.

So when Trump announced last year he was going all-in on running for the Republican nomination, there was no shortage of people in the media delighted at the entertainment prospect while at the same time dismissive of the orange-haired billionaire as nothing more than a reality show creation of his own making. The Huffington Post even declared they would relegate coverage of his campaign to their entertainment section.

Ha! We (author raises hand) were wrong, wrong, wrong. Hugely wrong, as one presidential candidate would say. Since Trump tromped on Ted Cruz and John Kasich in Tuesday’s Indiana primary, forcing his last two roadblocks to the nomination out, there has been a stream of apology and rationalizations running across legacy and digital media. The focus is where the pundit class went off the rails, but the subtext is, don’t blame us because we don’t know why we were wrong.

Many are pointing to reliance on polls that showed a soft underbelly in Trump’s support as well as his historically high negatives. Blend it with his stream of consciousness utterances (immigration, his awesomeness, abortion, his awesomeness, schoolyard taunts, his awesomeness, etc.) and it was hard to see him being anything more than a celebrity candidate looking to solidify the brand. There was never anyone like him before who succeeded so why should it be different this year, asked those who know.

Well, nearly 10.8 million votes later, with several states remaining including California, Trump is set to set a record for total votes in a presidential primary season.

Dan Kennedy says the media needs to treat Trump differently, eschewing the usual “he said/she said” coverage and call Trump out for his outlandish pronouncements. But, by dismissing his candidacy all along, that’s pretty much what many have done.

In the end, maybe those who read political tea leaves for a living think too highly of their position and mission.

“But in the end, you have to point the finger at national political journalism, which has too often lost sight of its primary directives in this election season: to help readers and viewers make sense of the presidential chaos; to reduce the confusion, not add to it; to resist the urge to put ratings, clicks and ad sales above the imperative of getting it right,” Jim Rutenberg wrote in his Mediator column in the New York Times.

Or, perhaps voters will begin looking at political journalism the same way many of us view Trump: for entertainment value not to be taken seriously.




Massachusetts tax revenues lagged projections in April, leaving the state with a $260 million shortfall with just two months left in the fiscal year. (Associated Press)

A report from state Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office finds the state Retirement Board issued $676,000 to dead pensioners. (Masslive)


The taxpayer-funded contract for an outside lawyer advising the city of Boston on issues related to allegations of union strong-arming has been boosted from $50,000 to $200,000. (Boston Globe)

A Townsend woman is grateful that her husband survived an attack by their 225-pound potbellied pig, but is bereft over the fact that Boss, the porcine predator, will be euthanized. (Boston Herald)

Frederick Eppinger Jr., the outgoing CEO of Hanover Insurance in Worcester, says he is incredibly bullish on the city. (Telegram & Gazette)

A Gloucester Times editorial calls for a new library in Gloucester.

A divided Dover decides to move ahead with a controversial bicycle rail trail. (WBUR)


George Carney, owner of the Brockton Fairgrounds, will pursue holding thoroughbred races at the site now that a casino has been rejected by the state. (The Enterprise)


The US Justice Department says North Carolina’s controversial transgender law violates civil rights and cannot be enforced. (NPR)

The New York Times looks at the phenomenon of toddlers accidently firing guns and killing themselves or parents in the wake of four such incidents in one week last month.


Bernie Sanders says he has no intention of quitting the Democratic contest, even though some say his continued presence is hurting all-but-certain nominee Hillary Clinton’s chances in November. (Boston Globe) Former Democratic National Committee chair Steve Grossman, an insider’s insider and strong Clinton supporter, nonetheless says insiders have too much say in the party’s nominating process through the superdelegate slots awarded to party bigwigs. (Boston Herald)

Clinton releases a brutal anti-Trump ad that merely quotes what Republicans have to say about him. (Mother Jones) Joan Vennochi picks up on the significance of the early Clinton assault, saying it signals that she won’t be “a hapless Michael Dukakis” or “swiftboated like John Kerry.” (Boston Globe)

Eric Fehrnstrom “helpfully” warns Hillary Clinton against tapping Elizabeth Warren as her running-mate, which was never going to happen anyway, by explaining how Warren’s claimed Native American ancestry would immediately come front and center again. (Boston Globe)

Even with Donald Trump now the all but certain nominee of his party, Gov. Charlie Baker says he won’t be voting for Trump (or Clinton for that matter). (Boston Globe) The state Republican Party chair, Kirsten Hughes, on the other hand, says the Mass. GOP will support “our Republican presidential nominee.” (Politico) Neither George H.W. Bush nor George W. will vote for Trump. (Texas Tribune)  Central Massachusetts Republicans who supported other Republican candidates in the primaries say they will support Trump. (Telegram & Gazette)

Massachusetts Republican candidates are expected to compete in 40 percent of the legislative races this year. (State House News)

Hampden County Sheriff Mike Ashe Jr. endorses one of his key employees, Nick Cocchi, as his successor. (Masslive)


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unveiling new rules restoring consumers’ rights to bring class action suits against financial firms in areas such as bank accounts, credit cards, and loans that contracts had restricted to arbitration settlement only. (New York Times)

A group of investors plans to buy the Portland franchise in the American Hockey League and move it to Springfield. (Masslive)

Home Depot in Somerset pulled some flower seeds from the shelves that contain a chemical similar to LSD after local police said several students got sick from eating the seeds in an attempt to get high. (Herald News)

A federal Appeals Court in Boston upheld a decision that a tech company that provides calling services that can alter voices and caller ID numbers is not liable for sexually harassing and threatening calls made by a couple to a Quincy woman. (Patriot Ledger)


Reports detail alleged beatings and intimidation at the Eagleton School in Great Barrington. (Berkshire Eagle)

Students at four Boston public schools may have drunk lead-tainted water from fountains mistakenly turned out before tests were completed. (Boston Globe)

Some North Quincy High School parents are questioning the selection process after school officials hired a School Committee member as the girls basketball coach. (Patriot Ledger)

Boston teachers, parents, and students protest budget cuts. (Boston Globe)


The state sends onsite monitors to oversee improvements that have been ordered at four psychiatric hospitals owned by Arbour Health System. (Boston Globe)

A study published in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal, claims medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. (Greater Boston)


A movement is underway in Boston to join neighboring communities that have banned plastic bags. (Dorchester Reporter)

It’s really unclear which category this goes under, but anytime former House speaker Tom Finneran shares seasonal musings that incorporate springtime mating rituals of birds and recall the “compromised” position in which former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller was said to have shuffled off this mortal coil it’s worth flagging. (GoLocal Worcester) (In a bit of table-turning, however, we lowly reporters must call King Tom out for sensationalizing an already juicy tale; Rocky was long out of office at the time of his demise so did not meet his maker in the governor’s mansion.)


Veteran WBZ radio traffic reporter Scott Eck announces she is transgender and will now be known as Kristen Eck. (Boston Globe)