• Trump’s Bypasses Media via Twitter — Irrelevant!

    July 13, 2017

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Trump

    Donald Trump discovered the Holy Grail of media relations: the ability with a 140-character tweet to ignore the Fourth Estate. This is brass-knuckled political power that at a minimum pushes the press another circulation drop closer to irrelevancy.

    Journalists meanwhile mockingly treat Trump’s tweets as examples of his oafishness, just as they did his bombastic stump style.

    More inchoate Trumpsplaining. Sad!

    But as the media missed the populist appeal of Donald Trump right up until election night pushed it into their faces, so are they missing the popular power he is wielding over them via social media. This is no joke, except maybe on the journalists whose credibility is already a laughing matter.

    While Obama claimed the title of first “internet president” by virtue of his online fund-raising, brilliant datamining, and seeding of the 24-hour news cycle, the bulk of his efforts were essentially repurposing technology to do things politicians have always done, albeit faster and better.

    Trump discovered something bigger online: he doesn’t really need much from journalists. Social media for Trump is not simply a display board to pin policy statements on, as others use it. Social media allows Trump to bypass everything and speak to individual citizens, and then force the traditional media to amplify what he says as part of its thirst for “content.” There really isn’t any news anymore when Trump has it on Twitter as his own scoop.

    The media is playing defense!

    And if the media ignores the tweets thinking they can starve the troll? The audience that advertisers depend on can just go read the tweets themselves (Twitter accepts advertising, too.) In a period where the credibility of the press is already in the toilet after many journalists epically failed to accurately and fairly report on the election, many viewers may prefer to go to the source anyway. Exactly how much reach outside its bubble does the media think it really has anymore?

    Oh well, there’s still weather and sports to report.

    Every president who’s left a record expressed some level of disdain for the media of his day. But no president previously could afford to ignore, or truly anger, the press. Influence, of course: presidents would leak juicy stuff to one reporter, cut off another, but at the end of the day the media and the president needed each other to do their respective jobs.

    A president-elect once upon a time would have had to be careful chiding a columnist for the New York Times, for fear of the editorial page. Trump treats reporters with contempt because in his mind, all they really do of value is retweet him.

    Trump has also mastered the dark art of internet logic. His tweets often read like the “Comments” section of some blog. Make a bold, unsupported statement that may or may not be true, then demand challengers provide proof you’re wrong. Dispute sources, not facts – X can’t be true because it was reported by a pro-Democrat outlet. Attack ad hominem. Then stand back and disavow what happens, up to and including death threats. All that bruised ego guardians-of-the-people stuff from the pundits? Label it just another example of media arrogance and elitism.

    The president-elect has also understood the value of moving beyond talking points. Express things in #ShortForm. No policy paper ever went viral.

    Social media Trump-style also offers an unprecedented ability to control the agenda at will, without requiring a sympathetic editor to run a puff piece like in the good old days. Should a troublesome story appear, a handful of bombastic tweets changes the conversation on Trump’s schedule. Trump isn’t communicating, he’s dueling. All in real, real time; Trump is no stranger to sending out 140 characters of white noise at 3 a.m.

    With its reliance on friends, followers, and sharing, social media also creates a personal bond among Trump and individual Americans, something not really experienced since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Depression-era fireside chats. As those radio broadcasts brought Roosevelt into the living room, Trump’s tweets put his policies, opinions, and rants into the same feed as Aunt Sally. That creates intimacy, and by association (who doesn’t like Aunt Sally?), may increase trust.

    And make no mistake about it; unlike most politicians’ robo-social media, Trump’s tweets come from Trump. It’s him talking to you. People write back in the first person, using the informal language of the web, and Trump retweets messages (and famously, videos) from his followers. The medium is the message and both are Trump. No other politician today can pull this off; it has to be real, organic, to work.

    This is a powerful tool. It played a significant role in the election. It allows Trump to choose how, when, or if, he wants to engage with the traditional media. Who can make the argument (perhaps in 140 characters) that pulling back is in his interest?


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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The guy is genius. Independents approval ratings of the bird brain are dropping faster than his bird brain droppings. Keep it up Mr. Presidense.

      07/13/17 9:08 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      You mean me spending $50K per year to attend the Columbia School of Journalism isn’t a good idea just so I can set up my own podcast for free in my basement? Who knew? Well, anyone who was paying attention. Goodbye “higher education” and good riddance. You’ve been obsolete since the 60s.

      07/13/17 9:12 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Good idea, Get your neighbor to do your next prostate exam.

      07/13/17 9:18 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: there is a great difference between liberal arts higher education and medical school. Do you want to go back and get a master’s degree in Journalism?

      07/13/17 9:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Won’t stop Queen HELL from trying (Very TRYING) ! :
      Can US try her, instead ?

      07/13/17 12:13 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Uma photo’s net please. TY.

      07/13/17 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      Why Trump Tweets

      A little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the collar of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter, right before the eyes of her screaming parents.

      The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings the girl to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly. A reporter has watched the whole event.

      The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, ‘Sir, this was the most gallant and bravest thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.

      The Harley rider replies, “‘why, it was nothing, really. The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.”

      The reporter says, ‘Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, you know, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page. So, what do you do for a living, and what political affiliation do you have?’

      The biker replies “I’m a U.S. Marine, a Republican and I voted for “Trump”. The journalist leaves. The following morning the biker buys the paper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page.


      07/13/17 1:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Granted there are some schools that are stealing the students money. Wharton stole hundreds of thousands from Trumpie. The guy is still an idiot.

      07/13/17 1:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      So THAT is where Trumpie got the idea for Trump University.

      07/13/17 1:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The One percent go to college to learn how to fuck the ignorant Mericans. Business 101: keep the mushrooms in the dark and Keep throwing shit on them.

      07/13/17 1:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Peter forgot to mention why Trumpie tweets: the majority of voters on the DUMBEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET have an attention span of a fruit fly.

      07/13/17 1:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Too funny…..

      But…. It does very Accurately explain why the media is not to be trustee….


      07/13/17 4:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Its a blue pill day.


      07/13/17 4:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      We can all agree that this Russian election ” fix”- ation is really a nothingburger. Everyone had their minds made up and nothing the Russians did or didnt do affected the outcome.

      However, now that the Trump clowns are running the circus, who is watching them so they dont sell the WH silverware? Trump is only in this for the money. He will, if he hasnt already done so, sell US out. This collusion is all about the Russian sanctions. Whether Putin is blackmailing the orange clown with the peepee tape or offering some incredible real estate deals as bribes, you can be sure they both will piss on US.

      07/13/17 5:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      You didn’t really just say that, did you????????????

      Ummmmmmmm…… Rumor has it…. That one….he’s a billionaire…..

      And two…… He’s serving without pay…… In fact donating it ….

      Besides….. Why would he want the cheap silver in the white house????….. He has gold stuff on his privately owned plane.


      07/14/17 8:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Comey’s late interference had much more influence on the outcome of the election- “sorry, nothing here after all.”

      Comey created the Trump frankenstein so it is fitting the FBI kills it.

      07/14/17 12:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Watching the Trumpies hang themselves, let this be a lesson for the Repugnican Party in their crusade to gut healthcare for their poor voters: give them enough rope. Allow the blue states to continue with Obamacare, Universalcare and the Red states can have Ted Cruzcare or whatever, even Gut Medicaid and deny service for preexisting conditions like pregnancy. As Half of the births in this thirdworld RED part of the country are now covered by Medicaid, the poor will either die or revolt when the dumbasses finally realize the Repugnican final solution.

      07/14/17 12:47 PM | Comment Link

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