Weeks before Election Day, President Trump is back on the campaign trail with his signature rallies---now mostly held outdoors with masks present and called "peaceful protests" by Trump and his supporters. But unlike 2016 when Trump rallies were often covered extensively by the news media, this year's rallies are being largely ignored save for some coverage on Fox News. Mainstream media outlets cite concerns over coronavirus as their reason for cutting back on coverage of Trump rallies, but those outlets have regularly had reporters stationed on crowded city streets covering massive protests in recent months.
The coronavirus excuse aside, there is likely a good reason for the decreased media coverage of Trump rallies. "He is effective in these venues, and his performance in these venues is basically a counter narrative to what you see on the daily news," says Streiff, writer and editor at RedState.com. "I think (the media) realize how effective he is, they realize how many people log in to watch him, and that's not good for their greater agenda."
The mainstream media has also taken to shaming Trump and his supporters for holding these rallies in the midst of the pandemic...the head of the White House Correspondents Association even described last weekend's indoor rally in Henderson, Nevada as a "potentially hazardous situation" for journalists.
Streiff argues the left and the media have a double standard when it comes to coronavirus. "In Nevada, you can go to the casinos but you can't go to church, you can go to a riot but you can't go to a political rally, and you basically see things like that everywhere," he says.
Millions still tune in for Trump's rallies online, on social media, or on C-SPAN. But when it comes to mainstream media coverage, the president should expect the cold shoulder through Election Day. "I think Trump is going to find his rallies continue to get less and less coverage, other than 'bad orange man not wearing mask putting others at risk,'" says Streiff.