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Huffington Post to cover Trump as entertainment

Donald Trump
L.E. Baskow | Las Vegas Sun | Reuters
Donald Trump

The Huffington Post has decided to treat Donald Trump's presidential campaign like the Kardashian family's antics.

The popular news site announced Friday its decision to cover the billionaire businessman's bid for the 2016 Republican nomination in its entertainment, rather than its politics, section. As Trump's campaign progressed, The Huffington Post did not want to get "suckered," said Ryan Grim, the outlet's Washington bureau chief.

"It just became increasingly obvious to us that his campaign is not serious," Grim told CNBC.

The ever-boisterous Trump has gained ground in polling and garnered coverage amid a string of inflammatory statements on immigration, among other topics. He finished atop a recent Fox News poll of Republican primary voters, garnering the support of 18 percent of those surveyed.

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The Huffington Post decided to cover Trump as entertainment even as he attracts more support among some voters. However, Grim believes the support will prove fleeting as the shock and awe of Trump's campaign dissolves.

"Those votes will trade over to non-Trump candidates, rather than an entertainer masquerading as a politician," Grim said.

The Huffington Post—which is now a part of Verizon after it closed a more than $4 billion acquisition of AOL this year—showed "strong" reasoning with the decision, said Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.

"I think it's entirely legitimate to make an editorial statement about what belongs in political coverage," Gitlin said.

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He noted that, considering The Huffington Post's strong coverage of celebrities, it is reasonable to think Trump coverage would get more traffic on the entertainment than on its politics page.

Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment.