When news breaks that is superficially bad for Trump, conservative reporters are now as likely as — maybe more likely than! — liberal reporters to immediately to treat the bad-for-Trump news credulously rather than skeptically.
Lots of times, this may be the right way for everyone to react to Trump controversies. But it’s not the way conservatives would have treated nominees from Reagan to Romney. And while the influence of conservative elites is often overstated, their fierce opposition to Trump will absolutely affect the way Trump is perceived over the course of the campaign.
With a different nominee, potentially even including some of Trump’s rivals in this year’s primaries, House Speaker Paul Ryan would be regarded as a traitor for refusing to immediately endorse. Ryan would get the Chuck Hagel treatment. Instead Ryan is the hero in this morality tale and Trump is the goat.