The media may be liberal, but they are not stupid. They know exactly what they are doing. And even though it appears for all the world that they are attacking Trump and hating Trump, they know good and well that what they are doing is helping him get the GOP nomination. Trump is operating a famously shoestring operation, campaign-wise; but he can afford to because he has received billions of dollars in in-kind donations from the press.

The media’s obsession with Trump’s campaign has been well documented by this point. A good barometer of the media’s obsession with Trump is that the President gave an allegedly major address from the Oval Office on Sunday night, and for the next three days the media spent ten times more time discussing Trump’s Muslim immigration proposal than the President’s speech (even though Trump’s comments were three days old by the time the President gave his speech).

Relative to his fellow Republican Presidential contenders, Trump also gets an undeservedly outsized amount of media coverage. As a guy who consistently polls between 22-30% of the Republican electorate, you might expect Trump to get 22-30% of the media coverage – or maybe as much as 50% since Trump is a celebrity. However, MRC studies regularly show Trump garnering 80% or more of the media coverage in a given time period.

Trump’s supporters might retort that well over half the coverage Trump gets from the press is negative (probably closer to 80 or 90%), and that it’s therefore absurd to claim that the media is trying to help Trump win. However, if you watch the tone of the media coverage lately, you find more and more members of the media admitting out loud what both Trump and most members of the media have known for a long time: when the media attacks Trump, his poll numbers rise.

Trump’s entire campaign at this point is a cynical gambit to turn negative attention from the deservedly despised “mainstream media” into adulation from conservatives – and the gambit is working. Back in early November, when Trump briefly lost the lead to Ben Carson, it was almost exclusively due to the fact that the media had stopped paying attention to him because he had stopped saying outlandish things. He criticized [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]’s attendance in the Senate, he questioned Ben Carson’s narrative, and he stayed on message – you know, he acted like a normal candidate, and the media stopped slamming him.

So what does Trump do? Well, he goes out and says we oughta really have a registry of Muslims in this country. Then for an encore he says there were thousands and thousands of them cheering in the streets of New Jersey when the towers fell and it was on the news.

Cue inevitable media freakout.

Instead of backing down, when confronted, he actually makes fun of a disabled reporter’s disability.

Cue inevitable intensification of the media freakout.

Then when he feels like the furor over that is dying down, he says we really ought to ban all Muslims from immigrating to this country, and further prevent Muslim citizens who want to leave for vacation from ever returning.

Trump realizes that it does not matter what the media attacks him for, or whether the media’s attacks have merit or not. Trump could have sex with a dead goat on videotape and as long as the media attacked him for it, his poll numbers would improve. If Trump won’t be penalized in the polls for mocking a disabled person’s disability, there’s basically nothing he can do in terms of being attacked by the media that will work.

Trump knows it, and what’s more, the media knows it. They are openly admitting it now whenever they bash Trump. And they are doing it on purpose.

Now, I am not saying that the crazy things Trump says and does do not merit media coverage; clearly they do. But every time the media criticizes Trump they intentionally go too far to push supporters back into his camp.

If the American media did not exist, Donald Trump would have to invent them, just so he could automatically generate momentum for his campaign every time it flags.