Although [Trump] has no intention of running, (the line will be, “I’ve changed the debate, now I leave it to others to carry the ball forward”) he’s creating chaos in the Republican field.

Shots in the Dark, April 28

Issues, including getting tough on China and other countries that are methodically and systematically taking advantage of the United States, were seldom mentioned before I brought them to the forefront of the country’s conversation. They are now being debated vigorously.

—From Trump’s statement announcing that he will not run.

(Note the conspicuous lack of reference to the birth-certificate “issue,” about which Trump was humiliated.)

Trump was never going to run—this was obvious from the start—but you have to give the man credit: He played the mainstream media like a fiddle. He bumped up ratings for his idiotic television show and landed himself a new $30 million-$50 million contract from NBC.

I wish that Trump had stayed in the race, however, because it would surely have contributed to the puncturing of America’s biggest blowhard. It was only the heightened spotlight on Trump that caused MSM reporters to get off their duffs and start doing some work, including reporting that he’d given more money to Democrats than to Republicans, that in his passion to build golf courses he illegally chopped down 400 trees along the Potomac (look at this horrifying picture), that he’s being sued by hundreds of people who were stupid enough to believe that just because his name was on a building, it meant something other than the fact that they were paying more than they would have otherwise.

“The last thing you ever expect is that somebody you revere will mislead you,” said Alex Davis, 38, who bought a $500,000 unit in Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale, a waterfront property that Mr. Trump described in marketing materials as “my latest development” and compared to the Trump tower on Central Park in Manhattan.

“There was no disclaimer that he was not the developer,” Mr. Davis said.

“Somebody you revere?”

It may be too late for Mr. Davis, who appears to have a serious values problem, but it doesn’t have to be for many other people exposed to Trump’s toxin.

Donald Trump is a boor and a blowhard. I don’t think anyone would disagree about that. But more important, he’s a bad person, and the consequences of his badness harm less powerful people and the environment, and merit more investigative reporting. Let’s hope the press doesn’t give up on Trump just because he’s not running for president. How much more dirt would the press find if it actually bothered to dig?