Politico -- like other journalism outlets -- has no concept of reality. None. It is all about spinning narratives that paints them as perfect. Their latest delusional rambling dressed up as a "special report" has a the same blinders journalists have had since November 2016:
Trump thrives in areas that lack traditional news outlets
Relentless use of social media and partisan outlets helped him swamp Clinton and exceed Romney’s performance in places lacking trusted local news media.
Yes, of course. If those yokels only had a "trusted local news source", they would have been properly indoctrinated with the correct propaganda and the Great Unwashed would have followed the decree issued by the people who are given the right to do everyone's thinking.
Are you serious?
Journalism squandered their "trusted" status long before that. I even wrote a book about it in 2005.
Social media took off because it was a real Information Emancipation. People were liberated from the shackles of the old guard gate-keepers. They had no choice but to get their information from the press. They had no choice but to rely on the press to tell their stories.
Social media changed the landscape. People wanted the freedom to speak their piece without getting edited.
If journalism had the sensitivity to understand that deep truth, they would have reflected on their deficiencies, and realized the rigs in the system gave them a platform -- not that they were actually an essential service.
Then they would have seen how to change their methods and mandates. There would be experimentation and empiricism.
But that isn't what happened.
Just one angry temper tantrum after another with propaganda campaign after manipulative propaganda campaign how people need journalism.
And people are not buying it.
They are still a dead profession.
People do not need stories telling them to go crawling back to journalism. That's not news.
Trump won because people were sending a message to journalism: stop meddling. Stop telling us what to think and what to do.
In other words, shove off.
Journalists want things to go back to the old ways, and that ship has sailed.
You cannot unring a bell.
And dreck like this "special report" is not going to make it happen.
You lost the war.
You completely lost the war.
Trump saw it, and he took advantage of it.
He saw what you still do not have the courage, sensitivity, morality, or the intelligence to see.