The mainstream media has been providing wall-to-wall coverage of embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore — not surprising since allegations against Moore seem to surface regularly since last Thursday. But they haven't found even a moment, in 24 hours of coverage, to devote to Sen. Bob Menendez — a New Jersey Democrat who is actually on trial for corruption — the first corruption trial of a sitting U.S. Senator in more than three decades.
The explanation is probably obvious: Menendez hasn't gotten coverage because Menendez votes with the correct party, and Democrats have been notoriously reticent to condemn the legislator — accused of everything from improper use of office to actual bribery — and haven't said whether they'd boot him from Congress if he ends up convicted.
But MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell has another theory: his network and others aren't covering Menendez because Donald Trump is just so darn awful.
No, seriously. Speaking to CBS host Dom Giordano, O'Donnell said that Trump has "changed" the news media, and made it next to impossible to cover anything that isn't about Donald Trump.
If we had anyone else in the White House, if we had any other president in the White House, any other of the Republicans that were running for president, never mind, have Hillary Clinton as president, the Menendez trial would be a very big item in all of our coverage.
But this is what Donald Trump has done to coverage; the trying to keep up with everything the president is generating on a given day is just overwhelming. Now you have a special prosecutor and that is more important case than the Menendez case. If it not were for the special prosecutor’s investigation and the congressional investigations and the Trump presidency, Menendez coverage would be much higher.
That's right: Democrats, and left-leaning media aren't covering Bob Menendez because Donald Trump keeps tweeting and making ridiculous cultural gaffes while abroad in Asia. Otherwise, O'Donnell and others would totally be on the case, because the Menendez trial is super important. Just not as important as whether Donald Trump ate a hamburger from a fast food restaurant in Tokyo rather than dine on fine $600-per-plate exclusive sushi, like President Obama did.
They did, however have time to air a discussion with Reza Aslan on whether God is human, an hour-long documentary about a famous chef, a touching photographic retrospective of the Obama Administration, and an interview with Denis O'Leary about possible celebrities who could replace Donald Trump.
All top priorities, clearly.