FBI Director James Comey has informed Congress of the discovery of emails related to the Hillary Clinton investigation and Republicans are jumping up and down with joy. What they fail to appreciate is that the American people have heard far too much about the story and will be inclined to tune it out.
Team Trump is doing backflips over news that the FBI found some emails related to the Clinton probe. With the election slipping away from Republicans, it’s understandable that they plan to go all in on this development. And the national media, hungry for a new twist in the election, will do the same.
The real question is how the American people feel about it.
600 DAYS OF EMAIL COVERAGE (yes, we counted). The American people are sick and tired of the story.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) October 28, 2016
Our team went back and looked at coverage since the story broke in March, 2015. We found that the emails have been mentioned in the major news media virtually every single day since then, 600 in total. This exceeds coverage of Watergate, Mitt Romney’s 47% comment, Kerry’s swiftboating, Donald Trump’s countless transgressions, and every other major political story of the modern era.
The news reporting is vastly disproportional to the importance of the story. Polls show that the majority of Americans are tired of hearing about this issue, one that doesn’t directly affect their daily lives. So no matter how ecstatic Trump may be, he isn’t factoring in email fatigue.
Or maybe he is.
This nugget was buried in an August 24 New York Times story:
Mr. Trump said he could not “spend more than five minutes talking about [Clinton’s] emails at my rallies, because people will lose interest, and you have to talk about other things to keep their attention.”