The Trump Bump

How covering Trump has changed the careers of some of journalism’s hottest names

Illustrations by Daniel Fishel

Katy Tur

NBC News correspondent embedded with the Trump campaign and author of Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

“I often wake up and wonder, Is this real life?


Sopan Deb

Culture reporter for The New York Times, former embed with Trump’s presidential campaign for CBS News

“Without covering the Trump campaign, I would not be at The New York Times. This Times job is the best I’ll ever have in my life . . . . As a result of covering the campaign,
I get to do cool stuff. The other day I went to watch Groundhog Day: The Musical with Bill Murray.”

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ICYMI: “I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Megyn Kelly asking her to not run that show”


David Fahrenthold

Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Trump Foundation

“I’ve been a journalist for 17 years. And I’ve [been] kind of a mascot for journalism this past year. I’ve gotten to go to graduation speeches, talk to groups of young people. And it’s been great to see people get interested, be inspired. [It’s allowed me] to be an advocate and hopefully express to people why this job is so important.”


Sam Sanders

Former reporter with NPR’s election unit and co-host of NPR’s Politics Podcast. Now host and reporter of It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders.

“As much as Donald Trump says that he hates the press corps, he’s been really good for a lot of us. A lot of us got promotions out of this. Some folks got book deals. Some newsrooms have had record revenue levels. My career skyrocketed in large part due to the energy around this election, which was caused in large part by Donald Trump. I host my own show at NPR now that’s soon going to be on the radio. I think had I not had that year-and-a-half covering the election and covering Trump, it would’ve taken me 10 years to get here. Whether he knows it or not, he fast-tracked my career.”


Ann Telnaes

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post

“Because of my feelings about him and what he’s doing to the country, I channel that into my drawings. I go with it. The best drawings are when you get into the zone, and I do that a lot more now. Before, it was easy to get distracted. Now I just go with my feeling.”


Ashley Parker

White House reporter for The Washington Post who previously covered the Trump campaign for The New York Times. Her reaction at one press briefing also became a meme.

“The baseline rule as a reporter is you never want to be part of the story, and I think that in the general scope of things, it was harmless. It was fun to see how everyone from my mom, who’s not even on social media, to ex-boyfriends from high school, were recognizing what’s apparently a familiar face I make . . . . My high school boyfriend called me and said, ‘I remember that face when I asked you to prom.’ ”

ICYMI: You might’ve seen the Times‘s Weinstein story. But did you miss the bombshell published days after?


John Gizzi

White House Correspondent for Newsmax. Gizzi became a viral hit after flicking his glasses from his forehead to his nose at a press briefing.

“Whether I go grocery shopping or to church or out to dinner, people come up and say, ‘I saw you on Sean Spicer’ just as if they’ve said, ‘I saw you play a villain on CSI last week.’ There’s more interest in the press briefings than at anytime I can remember since televising [them] began.”


Tina Nguyen

Vanity Fair reporter and author of that Trump Grill restaurant review you read last winter

“I went on a Bumble date and the guy worked for a prominent late-night television show. I told him I worked for Vanity Fair and he went, ‘Oh my god, I loved that review they just did.’ I told him I actually did it and he went, ‘Holy crap, we were passing it around inside.’ After hearing that I kind of melted and thought, I don’t know if I can continue going on with this date. We went on a second date. It didn’t really go anywhere. But it is a date I will treasure forever.”


Olivia Nuzzi

Washington correspondent for New York magazine, covering the Trump administration. Known for her profiles of Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, and Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples.

“Right before the caucuses began, my father died. So it’s been difficult for me to have a perspective about how things changed [since] the election in my life, because I don’t know how much of it was because of the election or because of that enormous loss. That made it difficult to know, Do I feel differently about my life and my career because of where things are in journalism in general, or because of this catastrophic thing? I haven’t had time to do the therapy on that one to figure that out.”


Barry Blitt

Cartoonist and illustrator. Blitt has drawn several provocative New Yorker covers featuring Donald Trump.

“Maybe I’m a little more pessimistic. Or it takes me longer to get out of bed and face the day in the morning. Perhaps I snap at loved ones with little or no provocation, or take all my meals alone in my studio, refusing visitors and walling myself off from the world. But really, it’s mostly business as usual.”


Salena Zito

Columnist for The New York Post and The Washington Examiner, CNN contributor. Coined the “seriously, but not literally” explanation for Trump’s supporters.

“I’m still doing the same I’ve always done. I still take the back roads, but I just do it for a lot more people.”


Edel Rodriguez

Illustrated Trump covers for Time and Der Spiegel

“At times now, I feel like a voice for a lot of what’s going on and for people that maybe don’t know what to say or are afraid to say something. A lot of my work is being used at protests, as political art.”


Prachi Gupta

Now a senior reporter at Jezebel, she gained prominence for a Cosmopolitan interview with Ivanka Trump that focused on her father’s maternity leave and healthcare policies.

“The scariest thing that happened was someone tweeted a photo of my childhood home. It was a threat, basically like, ‘We know where you live.’ It was deleted not long after that person tweeted it, but it was scary enough that I contacted Hearst’s security team and lawyers. I was forwarding them all the emails and tweets. But it’s not like I got any death threats or rape threats, which I was surprised by, which is a bleak thing to say.”


Matt Bors

Syndicated political cartoonist and editor of The Nib

“There’s no checking out anymore. Everyone’s an anxiety-ridden news junkie now and outrageous news breaks constantly. Covering it is exhausting. Work is derailed and scrapped as new events plow over [it]. We’re just in a constant rolling crisis. I’m convinced we’re in hell.”


Lauren Duca

Author of Teen Vogue’s “Thigh-High Politics,” whose December 2016 column “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America” gained national attention

“My life has changed so dramatically, but the thing that is still incomprehensible is the way everything I say has come to represent progressivism or feminism . . . . It’s very strange to be appointed to this symbolic position that’s totally out of my control.”

ICYMI: He was excited to profile a controversial athlete. What happened next? Every journalist’s nightmare.

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Meg Dalton, Karen K. Ho, and Pete Vernon are the authors of this story. Meg Dalton and Karen K. Ho are CJR Delacorte Fellows. Pete Vernon is a CJR Staff Writer.