Whatever else we might glean from Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, it has exposed the limitations of the national news media and illustrated Trump's ability to exploit those limitations on his way to the GOP nomination. In particular, Trump has manipulated a number of institutional characteristics of the post-network-era news media in order to garner massive amounts of free publicity. And while much of that publicity is negative-as when Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough angrily cut to commercial during one of their interviews-this negative attention actually allowed Trump to define himself against the establishment scolds who criticized him. Thus, Trump capitalized on three features of cable news: (1) its dependence on ratings and Trump's ability to deliver higher ratings, (2) its role as a gatekeeper associated with reinforcing Washington political norms, and (3) a fragmented media environment in which viewers are increasingly skeptical of political media. For these reasons, I found the recent Morning Joe interview with film director and liberal activist Rob Reiner to be simultaneously insightful and frustrating. Reiner pinpoints many of the problems that enabled Trumpiness-the echoes of Colbert's concept of truthiness" are intentional here-to exist. In particular, Reiner is attentive to the ways in which news divisions increasingly came to rely on higher ratings when they were redefined as profit centers. He also points to Morning Joe's self-proclaimed role as a "news show of record," a status that should confer on them the ability to influence or "dictate" (to use Willie Geist's somewhat sarcastic formulation) how people should vote. However, because Trump's campaign is based upon a populist anti-politics built upon resentment, this institutional authority no longer holds. In fact, the clubby insiderism of Morning Joe helped to reinforce Trump's status as an "outsider" despite his status as a wealthy real estate mogul and reality TV star. As a result, Reiner's argument falls apart when he demands that cable hosts challenge Trump with facts, to confront him on his false assertions. While it remains urgent-and essential-to remain vigilant to the racist discourses that permeate the Trump campaign, Trump has exploited these attacks in order to construct a narrative of personal victimhood, one that has placed him just one, admittedly very large, step away from the presidency. ?