While the story itself is essentially true, it is the narrative bend that rings hollow, and it will be the underlying current of Trump's media coverage for 2020.
It is a fiction of "Trump the Underdog." And of "Trump the man whose own hubris is what kseps him from true greatness."
There will be profiles documenting Trump's loneliness and his fears of loss.
But it will all be bullshit.
The things they will write and report on will have had always been true, but they will be told differently.
Trump, mob criminal, will be recast as a tragic hero.
It will all be subterfuge.
Because one thing is absolutely certain, "Trump the Demagogue" cannot win, at least not fairly.
From the notably muted reaction to Mueller's deeply unsettling report to decisions by many Democrats not to pursue impeachment, the normalization train arrived on cue.
But humanizing Trump is essential to any story, any pathway, that leads him back to the White House for the next four years.
He will never be capable of empathy or sympathy, and he will never even understand the concepts. Unless he applies them to himself.
And Trump lives to write his own fictions.
1. @realDonaldTrump is the most dishonest person to ever hold American public office at any level.
2. Trump leads an actual criminal enterprise with provable connections to some of the most notorious and dangerous people on Earth.
4. Trump will do or say anything to win. He would probably assassinate a family member if he believed he could gain enough sympathy.
6. There is still every chance that Trump will act to circumnavigate the next election. He might very well make sure that if we do not vote for him, we will not vote at all. That's not hyperbole.
8. Donald Trump DID actually conspire with a foreign adversary to steal the 2016 US presidential election.
10. Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin's puppet.
11. Donald Trump is not the legitimate President of the United States.