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In struggle to cover Trump, the media has started writing about itself
GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is famous for not answering direct questions or offering specific policy plans. To get to his character, the media has resorted to writing first-person accounts about the trials of covering Trump. - photo by Chandra Johnson
GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump doesn't have the greatest relationship with the media.

Since announcing his plans to run for the White House last summer, Trump has had numerous fallings-out with Fox News that led him to famously skip a Fox-hosted debate in Iowa. Multiple journalists have been injured at or kicked out of his rallies, and in one instance Trump openly mocked a disabled journalist and a Time Magazine reporter who merely asked him about his profanity on the campaign trail. Trump's preference for phone interviews with the press over in-person appearances has led to NBC's "Meet the Press" refusing to give Trump air time if he refuses to come into the studio.

Trump is also notorious for not answering direct questions about policy proposals, his most common refrain simply being "Believe me."

The struggle of covering Trump has led to an interesting new approach where the media has chosen to cover itself covering Trump. Should a media outlet be lucky enough to get a one-on-one with Trump or within 10 yards of him, a new trend has emerged: The first-person account of a Trump exchange.

One notable example of this was Slate's bleak cover story about the reporters tasked with following Trump on the campaign trail.

"Covering a Trump event is like watching a 1970s Black Flag concert from inside a shark cage," Slate's Seth Stevenson wrote. "Asking policy questions is like throwing a rock down a bottomless well...Most policy queries simply go unanswered. When a response does come back, its rarely sufficient."

Another example is Trump's recent visit with The Washington Post's editorial board, in which Trump dodged direct policy questions, lied about his popularity among Hispanic voters and then called a female reporter "beautiful." What resulted was the female reporter's first-person article about Trump's demeanor, since his responses to questions were hardly revealing.

Faced with an uncooperative candidate, even high-profile outlets, like The Washington Post, resort to recording their own impressions to get to some sort of information about the GOP's top contender for the presidency.

"Planning out how to question Trump in a way that was illuminating was like planning for asymmetrical warfare against an opponent who doesnt follow the same rules as you do. Who doesnt believe in rules," The Post reported. "Who thinks that rules won't help make America great again."
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