US election: Understanding media addiction to Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower Image copyright Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump attacked reporters during a news conference at Trump Tower, calling one reporter "sleazy"

Co-dependency is commonly defined as "an emotional and behavioural condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship".

Another term for it is "relationship addiction". People form and persist with relationships "that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive".

Sitting in the atrium of Trump Tower on Tuesday, as Donald Trump harangued the press - well, you know where I'm going. For all the abuse, for all the belittlement, we as reporters show no sign of ending our relationship addiction with Donald Trump.

Much of our cravenness is easily explained. It stems from the record-breaking television ratings that Trump has generated and, just as important these days, millions of online hits.

A human headline, he more than satisfies the viral requirements of our new media age. At a time when media organisations are struggling still to monetise online news content, and to make the painful shift from print to digital, along comes the ultimate clickbait candidate, a layer of golden eggs.

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US election: The man hurting Clinton in her fight with Trump

Bill and Hillary Clinton Image copyright Getty Images

Adding another unanticipated sidebar to this topsy-turvy election, Kenneth Starr has lavished praise on Bill Clinton, citing his "genuine empathy for human beings", calling him "the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation" and commending his post-presidential philanthropy, which he noted was Carteresque in its benevolence.

Starr, a former independent counsel, was the author of what's probably the most expensive piece of pornography ever published, the Starr Report which chronicled, in graphic sexual detail, Bill Clinton's affair with a 21-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

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US election: Will normal rules ultimately apply?

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

Voters everywhere are in a mutinous mood. They seem hell-bent on defying conventional wisdom and making a mockery of orthodox punditry. They do not want to be bound by customary rules or behavioural norms.

That rebellious spirit has been glaringly evident during this American election season. It is seen most obviously in the rise of Donald Trump, the failure of establishment conservatives like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, the time it has taken Hillary Clinton to close the deal, and the unexpectedly strong showing of her rival, Bernie Sanders, who won in Indiana this week.

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Have New York's struggles shaped the Trump campaign?

Media captionDonald Trump is expected to is expected to win by a big margin in New York.

His name is emblazoned all over the city. On luxury condominiums, high-rise residential buildings, office blocks and hotels, and at some of New York's most prestigious addresses, Fifth Avenue, Wall Street, Park Avenue, the United Nations Plaza and even the ice rink in Central Park.

TRUMP, often spelt out in gold capital letters in a font called Stymie Bold, is ubiquitous.

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UN secretary-general: The other New York race

New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York City Image copyright AFP
Image caption The turn of the year will mark the beginning of the new UN secretary general's term

As the hoopla of the presidential campaign comes to New York, featuring the political all-stars seeking to become the world's most powerful leader, another race is also under way in the city - a contest of the largely obscure.

It involves candidates hoping to become the world's most prominent diplomat.

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Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the 'None of the Above' era in politics

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

As the world looks on askance at the freakishness of the US presidential election, it is worth bearing in mind that a large number of Americans feel much the same sense of unease.

To outside eyes, the rise of Donald Trump especially looks like the ultimate "Only in America" story, but many of his compatriots wish it was a "Not in America" phenomenon.

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How did Obama and Cameron fall out?

Obama and Cameron looking in opposite directions Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Seeing things differently - President Obama expressed frustrations with British foreign policy

Barack Obama has revealed his frustration with aspects of Britain's foreign policy under David Cameron. What does it mean for US-UK relations?

Last week was the 70th anniversary of the speech in which Winston Churchill coined the phrase "special relationship" (an oration at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, which, incidentally, also lodged "iron curtain" in the diplomatic lexicon). In the intervening decades, Downing Street has obsessed about its status. These are the most sacred words in British diplomacy. Maintaining an intimate friendship with Washington has been the bedrock of post-war British foreign policy.

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Could Trump's vulgarity cost him the nomination?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets reporters in the spin room following a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan Image copyright Getty Images

Stray penises have long been a problem for presidential aspirants, but ordinarily candidates try to conceal the evidence rather than boast about the dimensions of their manhood.

Donald Trump's decision to do so in a televised debate last Thursday, in response to childish taunts from Marco Rubio that the size of his stubby fingers was indicative of other bodily endowments, may well come to be regarded as a turning point in the race - the moment when his bawdy, frat boy boastfulness impeded his path to the Republican nomination.

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Why we should have seen Trump coming

Chris Christie and Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

On Super Tuesday Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party should come even closer, and like stiff-collared executives in some wood-panelled boardroom trying belatedly to fight off a corporate raid, the GOP high command seems incapable of stopping him.

For them, Super Tuesday could become Black Tuesday. Friday must have been gloomy enough, when Chris Christie, supposedly a card-carrying member of the establishment, kissed Donald Trump's hands and gave this political outsider his endorsement.

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The crisis of US governability

Justice Antonin Scalia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Justice Scalia's death has pushed Washington politics into overdrive

As a case study in Washington dysfunction, the battle over who should fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Antonin Scalia is hard to better.

It brings into collision the three branches of the US government, the executive, the legislative and the judicial. It exposes the extreme partisanship that has become the hallmark of Washington politics.

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