There are a number of reasons the mainstream news media refused him that praise even for policies they should have applauded. For starters, the media realized in 2015 that hating on Trump was really, really good for business. TV ratings for CNN and MSNBC went through the roof. With Google Analytics and social media, you know exactly what stories are getting clicks, and the anti-Trump stuff did so well it literally saved the New York Times, which was struggling for its existence.
This is why Trump’s name appears so often in the Times — every 250 words or so, even in places like the Food section. It’s because of the Times’ digital media business model. Like Facebook, the Times is selling its readers’ emotions to advertisers—literally. Look up “Project Feels.” The more the reader feels, the more likely they are to click on an ad. And just the name Trump makes affluent liberals see red.
In other words, digital media met an affluent liberal audience desperate to be told that the people they looked down on were evil racists and that we live in a white supremacy. So the New York Times, Vox, MSNBC, and CNN gave them what they wanted. And media companies went from being broke to making bank.
Trump will not go away because 1) despite his flaws he reaches a demographic no one else reaches and 2) the left will not want to give up the lucre of Trump click-bait.