Implicit in this, of course, is the notion that the truth of an attack is entirely subordinate to whether or not that attack works.
This is how a "post-truth" politics is developed. Tactics uber alles. And Trump's constant presence on our airwaves isn't due to "his ability to garner" free airtime, or some magical Jedi mind-tricks that only he possesses. It's due to conscious decisions by various important people in the electric teevee business to use a larval dictator to boost their ratings. Conscious decisions, therefore, made without conscience.
I have a dreadful feeling that going forward, the coverage of He, Trump will consist in large part of the elite political media dodging blame for their part in his rise. Not that anybody predicted this three years ago or anything.
Let me go a bit further. We have already seen and will continue to see critical (in both senses) coverage of the GOP candidate seriously hindered because journalists are working around the role their publications played in the process. You simply can't have a thorough discussion of the rise of Trump without mentioning the decline of journalism.