It’s not uncommon for political experts to use the term “politician’s best friend” when speaking about journalists and analysts, since in most cases, they are people who face much less fire and scrutiny than politicians themselves. But this year’s special U.S. House election in Florida — now labeled a full-blown “Trump district” for the special election in October — is changing the way that some analysts view political coverage overall.
Ben Smith, the editor of BuzzFeed and author of two books about journalism in an increasingly partisan world, uses the term in a piece for the Atlantic magazine about the primary election that saw former Trump aide Rick Scott win the Republican nomination for governor.
Smith writes that journalism in general has become “the ultimate spectator sport of a bitterly divided country” — and Scott and his “can-do Republican” campaign proved that by taking a seat in the state legislature after only six years of official duty in it.
But Smith is also particularly frustrated that “few journalists considered a congressional special election in a Florida stronghold of Trump to be anything more than ordinary. ‘[T]he Trump of the tropics’ won in a district Trump won in 2016 and both parties, along with a general public, seemingly hadn’t much noticed.”
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