I spent last week ignoring President Trump. Although I am ordinarily a politics junkie, I didn’t read, watch or listen to a single story about anything having to do with our 45th president.
What I missed, by many accounts, was one of the strangest and most unpredictable weeks of news in modern political history. Among other things, there was the resignation of the national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, and an “Oprah Winfrey Show” tape that led to the downfall of the nominee for secretary of labor, Andrew F. Puzder.
It wasn’t my aim to stick my head in the sand. I did not quit the news. Instead, I spent as much time as I normally do online (all my waking hours), but shifted most of my energy to looking for Trump-free zones.
My point: I wanted to see what I could learn about the modern news media by looking at how thoroughly Mr. Trump had subsumed it. In one way, my experiment failed: I could find almost no Trump-free part of the press.
But as the week wore on, I discovered several truths about our digital media ecosystem. Coverage of Mr. Trump may eclipse that of any single human being ever. The reasons have as much to do with him as the way social media amplifies every big story until it swallows the world. And as important as covering the president may be, I began to wonder if we were overdosing on Trump news, to the exclusion of everything else.