Donald Trump has gorged on media coverage, justified by press mavens on the grounds that he’s a major force in the Republican presidential primary. So we’ve been treated to nonstop coverage of his birther gibberish, then the gloating over pulling the president into the tabloid world in which Trump reigns supreme and then his mindless pronouncements on policy issues for which he has no proposed policies. (We’re being drubbed by OPEC and China? Fine, but he offers less substantive analysis and fewer policy suggestions than a mediocre talk radio show.)

But what justification is there for the continued media circus now that he’s “accomplished” his goal of mainstreaming birther coverage? (Chris Matthews, however, is still going strong on his coverage, confirming that the left is far more interested in the wacko conspirators than the right is.) Pundits and cable news producers tell us that Trump is “news” because he’s “soared” to the top of the polls. That the polls are a function almost exclusively of name recognition and that Trump has had nonstop coverage don’t seem to matter. And speaking of which, after all of that, the polls (meaningless as they are) show him only tied with a candidate not likely to run (Mike Huckabee) and statistically tied with a candidate with a fatal flaw (authorship of ObamaCare-lite.)

The media swarm that followed Sarah Palin’s every move eventually moved on, reluctantly recognizing that she really wasn’t the leader of the GOP and wasn’t all that popular (as a presidential contender) with Republican voters. They’ve now glommed onto Trump, who’s less serious, less prepared, less credentialed and less likely to be president than Palin. How long before they pack the circus tent and find the next act?