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Why Americans are so tired of Trump news

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News consumers are positively exhausted. 

At least that’s the consensus of a solid majority of those polled by Pew earlier this year, with almost seven in 10 Americans declaring they are worn out from news fatigue — particularly Republicans. 

{mosads}According to the study, 77 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents “feel worn out over how much news there is,” compared to 61 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. 

Fatigue, exhaustion … this all may be leading to pure numbness by those watching the news or reading it on their phones. It doesn’t help that on a daily and even hourly basis, particularly on cable news, we have pundits posing as anchors declaring the apocalypse is upon us as it pertains to the Trump presidency and the Russia investigation, which may need to be changed to “The Campaign Finance Investigation” at this point, considering the recent major goal-post move. 

Outside the bubbles of the political media capitals of New York and Washington, it seems most people don’t really understand what’s been going on lately with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen. All have or will be sentenced. All did illegal things, both in terms of personal finances or, in Flynn’s case, lying to the FBI. All were once tied to the president in varying degrees, with Cohen arguably being the closest, given how long he was Trump’s employee. 

But something we’re not hearing much about is collusion with Russia by Trump associates or, most importantly, knowledge of collusion by Trump himself during the 2016 campaign, a topic to which more than a few cable-news hosts have dedicated a significant chunk of their programs over the past two years. 

In the public’s eyes — outside of rabid partisans who want Trump gone regardless of the infraction, such as for hush-money payments to two women before the election — proof of collusion is the whole and only ballgame, even if collusion itself isn’t a crime on the law books. Because if impeachment is based on lying about paying off women for sex and/or campaign-finance violations, the best advice is to go back and study what happened when Republicans overplayed their hands in 1998 in impeaching Bill Clinton.
According to Gallup, Clinton’s poll numbers jumped to 73 percent approval, post-impeachment, because most folks didn’t see his crime of committing perjury, as it pertained to his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, as an impeachable offense.  
So when you hear about the beginning of the end for Trump because of things that seemingly have nothing to do with collusion, keep the 1998 Clinton story in mind. Also, keep in mind that we’ve been hearing about the beginning of the end for Trump for a long time: 

“Is this the beginning of the end of Trump? A vise is plainly closing on our 45th President, one that he is tightening himself” — NY Daily News, May 2017 

“The beginning of the end of the Trump presidency” — Boston Globe, Aug. 21, 2018

“Is This the Beginning of the End for Trump?” — New York Times, Dec. 7, 2018

For those of you keeping score at home, “Beginning of the End” is actually a thing dating back to the campaign as well:

“The Beginning of the End of Donald Trump” — Time magazine, April 2016

“The beginning of Trump’s end” — Chicago Sun-Times, June 2016 
“Is this the beginning of the end for Donald Trump?” — Washington Post, August 2016
You get the idea. It’s been a long beginning with seemingly no end of Trump. And when the public hears the same cliches over and over again — which also include “we’re facing a constitutional crisis,” or “this is worse than Watergate” — those soaring declarations tend to lose their impact. 

But don’t take my word for it, just look at the polls. Trump is an immovable object steadily polling in the mid-40s, which is right around the percentage of the vote he was elected with (46.1 percent) while winning the electoral college against Hillary Clinton, 304 to 232. 

{mossecondads}One would think that the news around Manafort (who was found guilty of eight federal crimes) or Flynn (who lied to federal agents about discussions with a Russian ambassador during the Trump transition) or Cohen (sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress) would drive the president’s numbers into the 30s heading into the 2019-2020 campaign season. 

Yet, despite all the hyperbole, all the ominous warnings, Trump stays where he’s been for most of 2018 — which is anywhere from 5 to 8 points above his lowest approval polling point of 37.1, one year ago.
Americans should take a break during Christmas week and give themselves a rest from anything political, anything to do with Trump. Put down the phone. Turn off the computer. Because, once 2019 begins, the 2020 election does as well — which will make 2018 look like one long, slow news day. 
Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill and host of “What America’s Thinking.”
Tags Bill Clinton Donald Trump Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Concha media Paul Manafort polls press White House

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