He was rarely covered as if he was one of the biggest business failures in America, even in the era when, per the IRS data just reported by The New York Times, “year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer,” and Trump’s “core business losses in 1990 and 1991—more than $250 million each year—were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.”
And no matter how many times he’d been caught being dishonest before, many treated his subsequent claims with the same presumption of legitimacy normally extended to people without a long track record of self-serving mendacity. Archives of media organizations contain countless examples.
To end their grifter-enabling complicity, America’s media institutions should now set the record straight: Each TV station, newspaper, and magazine that broadcast or published ‘80s and ‘90s coverage of Trump that misled its audience as to his wealth or success should revisit its claims in light of the new information unearthed by the New York Times, publishing updates and corrections. It won’t be easy at these resource-starved institutions, but they owe it to their readers.