Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Trump’s Tweets – Effective Communication Or National Embarrassment?
Patrick O’ Hannigan: On the question of whether President Trump’s tweets are an effective form of communication or a national embarrassment, I lean toward “effective communication,” but would also suggest that we embrace the power of “and.”
When people say that Trump’s tweets are an embarrassment, they usually mean that they’re undignified. That’s a valid point, but also a criticism that could be leveled against almost *everything* on Twitter. The platform encourages a “sound bite” mentality no matter who uses it.
If you muscle past limitations of Twitter itself and think about how the president uses it (to mock his enemies, rally his friends, and nudge public discourse along in unfiltered ways), you’re free to lament Trump’s sometimes-coarse sentiments. But if we take the measure of a nation by the foibles of its chief executive, then we’ve tripped over ourselves. The degradation of office is not new. I’d argue that when Barack Obama was president, he cheapened the presidency by sharing his NCAA basketball tournament picks with fawning reporters, and climbing on his high horse to increase racial tensions at every opportunity (Remember “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” and “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin”?). Similarly, Bill Clinton before him was wrong to respond to a silly question about whether he wore boxers or briefs.
“Trump is not the first to embarrass the presidency” is an admittedly lukewarm defense of his Twitter usage, but a remarkable thing about those Trumpian tweets is how many of them manage to irritate professional journalists, exposing progressive biases in ways that few other tools can (and the tweets are, in fact, tools — they’re part of the Trump brand).
Remember when the establishment media had kittens over “covfefe” and what that might mean? Whether the word was a typo, I don’t know, but it’s in the Urban Dictionary now, and Fox News recently reported that Georgia had banned that Trumpian coinage from appearing on vanity license plates. My favorite reaction came from a wag inspired enough to echo “Glengarry Glen Ross” in writing gleefully that — wait for it — “Covfefe is for closers!”
Rob Miller: First off, may I point out that WoW! anticipated Drudge on this question by a couple of days. Here are the results of his online poll as of this AM:
**DRUDGE POLL** SHOULD PRESIDENT TRUMP USE SOCIALS?
TWEET 77.77% (418,648 votes)
DELETE 22.23% (119,682 votes)
Total Votes: 538,330
Now, to the question at hand, President Trump’s Tweets. As far as I’m concerned, the only embarrassment involved is that of the Left and their trained seals in the media. Our president is playing them the way Jimi Hendrix used to play his Stratocaster guitars, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
President Trump is using social media in 4 distinct ways, all of them brilliant. First, he is using it to communicate directly with the American people, which means he no longer needs the Leftist media. At a time when they are deeply distrusted by almost 80% of the American people per the latest Gallup poll, President Trump, along with news sites like Drudge and Breitbart, has destroyed their ability to filter the news except among the True Believers.
Second, he is using it to organize and raise funds to prepare for 2018 and 2020.
Third, he is using it, especially the tweets to drive the news cycle wherever he wants. We saw a recent example of this when he spanked Leftist commentators Joe Scarbourough and Mika Brzezinski with a richly deserved tweet that took up all the headlines – while the House passed Kate’s Law mandating heavy jail sentences for illegal migrants who repeatedly enter the country after being deported as well as legislation cutting federal funds to sanctuary cities. The press, of course, concentrated of the attack on their own rather than the more important stuff. President Trump does this constantly, and the media always falls for it. To me, it’s like watching one Roadrunner cartoon after another.
And fourth? He’s letting the legacy media know that there’s a cost for their actions.
These corrupt swine mostly come from very similar effete, privileged backgrounds. They grow up in the same kind of neighborhoods, go to the same schools, have almost identical politics, frequently marry each other, socialize together and have similar ideas about their entitlements and priviliges. They really thought, until now, that they could openly lie, conspire among themselves ,insult, demean, libel and destroy not just ordinary people but any political figures they chose to as well as their families without any cost to themselves. And up to now. it has mostly worked.
They were so in their bubble, so certain they could do the same thing to Donald Trump and so anxious to get Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama’s third term in power that they overplayed their hand and got careless, exposing themselves. And they were so used to getting away with it that they actually expected to do destroy Donald Trump in the usual fashion without cost to themselves.
For one thing, Trump is a fighter. He’s half a Scot on his mother’s side, the country whose national emblem is the thistle and whose national motto, inscribed by the Stuarts in Latin on Scotland’s coat of arms is Nemo me impune lacessit ‘No one hurts me unharmed’ or in the Scot’s Gaelic, Cha togar m’ fhearg gun dìoladh (don’t ask me how I know stuff like this – long story).
And for another thing, President Trump realized early on how despised these self important talking heads were by most Americans and how tired we all were of their lies and contempt for most of America’s people. One of the hit songs at Trump’s rallies (and they resembled rock concerts in many ways) was to have the fans turn around and boo the Leftist media covering the events. That, and the savvy of alt-media guru Steve Bannon, who rebuilt Breitbart and clued the president in on exactly how to use the powerful alt media to his advantage.
The latest giggle is the Leftist media meme that President Trump is ‘fomenting violence’ against the media by his tweets reveling in their defeat.
This comes after they openly help foment the ‘resistance,’ in an attempt to bring down a sitting elected president, cheerfully published leaks of classified material, and celebrated a play simulating his murder and a photo shoot with a truly heartless woman holding up a bloody model of a severed Trump head that scared his young son Baron to death when it was shown on TV. It comes after they have all but accused him of treason, have attacked his wife and children and made news out of the fact that he and the GOP are murderers because people will die if ObamaCare is repealed and replaced. And it comes after we’ve seen that almost all of the politically motivated violence is coming from the Left – Antifa, the Resistance, #blacklivesmatter with their assaults on police and race rioting, even the actual attempted assassinations of Republican congressmen – rationalized and even egged on in some cases by these same media talking heads.
And now they’re suddenly afraid of violence being directed at them? Hilarious. Keep on keeping on, Mr. President. There might have been a few tweets I might not have sent or would have worded slightly differently, but overall it’s a killer tactic.
Don Surber: President Trump tweet attacked Psycho Joe and Crazy Mika for two reasons: 1. To watch the media members belittle themselves as they chase this around as if it were Watergate. 2. To distract media attention from the real issues.
Trump is accomplishing a lot under the radar. He has to go under the radar because the Democrats could kill a bill in the Senate by making it a controversy. All they need is three of the 10 RINOs in the Senate to block any legislation. No controversy means McCain cannot get a guest appearance on “Meet the Pres” out of it, so he will vote with the party. Ditto Lindsay Graham.
As for the media (clears throat) I’ve written two books on how Trump played the media to win the nomination (“Trump the Press”) and on how Trump played the media to win the nomination (“Trump the Establishment”).
He knows the media better than anyone. He cut his teeth in the media capital of the world, arm-wrestling George Steinbrenner for the sports fronts of Newsday, the Post, and the Daily News back when Trump owned the New Jersey Generals. He endured a very publicly near bankruptcy, and a divorce of the century. In short, he’s played bigger rooms than Washington.
And it shows.
Chuck Todd thinks he can embarrass Trump out of the White House?
Has Chuck Todd been munching lead paint chips?
Trump got elected after the Billy Bush tapes.
Speaking on behalf of most Trump supporters: We do not care.
Psycho Joe and Crazy Mika have been calling him crazy for over a year. Finally, the mongoose strikes back.
Better get her to the waaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance.
The bottom line is tweet attacks distract attention from proposals allowing them to get through Congress. The tweets also get the media to further discredit itself, which amuses Trump supporters no end.
Maybe Hasbro can come out with a Psycho Joe action figure.
Stately McDaniel Manor: President Trump’s tweets are, to actual Americans, as opposed to Americans in name only–AINOs–refreshing. I had the opportunity to watch Mr. Trump delivering a speech to a group of veterans, past and present, at Lincoln Center not an hour ago. I was struck by how relaxed and comfortable he was, and by how quickly he has improved at public speaking. In every way, he is better now than he was during the campaign. But how is this possible?
If the Media AINOs and the RINO/AINOs are right, Mr. Trump should be a shambling wreck. He’s constantly under attack from every direction. The Republican controlled Congress is barely functional, and plenty of them are determined to undermine him. Because AINOs can’t imagine anyone doing more than one thing at a time, and that taking a very long time, they’re stunned to see him producing prodigious work, and do their best to ignore and cover it up.
Mr. Trump took a few gentle swipes at the media during his speech, and the crowd was, to put it mildly, enthusiastic. They were Americans. When Mr. Trump lets a self-important media blow-dried pajamaboy, or a female anchor with more plastic surgery than many African nations see in a year have it, Americans rejoice. They know exactly how much the self-imagined elite hate them, and if Mr. Trump is a little coarse in expressing himself, hey, it’s a hard world out there, and Americans live in it. They’re a lot more worried about putting food on the table and braces on the kid’s teeth than being invited to the right Georgetown parties. AINOs want to rule the paradise they just know they can create if only there weren’t so many of those deplorable, stupid as shit Americans–as CNN has put it–mucking things up.
Does Mr. Trump occasionally say things in ways I wouldn’t? Who cares? During my police days, I occasionally said worse, not because it was reflective of my character or normal way of speaking, but because I worked among Americans, all kinds of Americans, and they don’t all speak the same way or relate well to people that don’t sound like them. That was OK then, and it’s OK now.
There is, of course, far more going on than the occasional tweet that might have given one’s great, great, great Grandmother the vapors. AINOs know–but won’t admit–Mr. Trump is a man used to working long, hard hours, and accomplishing great things. They know he surrounds himself with the same kinds of smart, driven, capable people, as demonstrated by his appointments. They know he is used to working with all kinds of Americans, and know he likes them, and they like him. They know Americans do not share their obsessive, deranged hatred for Mr. Trump. All of that scares them–badly.
They can see he is changing the way things are done in DC, and are scared to death about how deeply he is going to dig the rot out of the swamp. He really is rich, is proud of it, and doesn’t owe anyone anything, which makes him more dangerous than any president in memory. They know Americans don’t begrudge him that wealth, which threatens to wipe out one of their primary “hate the wealthy” narratives. Worse, he is determined to exert the full power of his office, but not in the manner of Barack Obama. He’s restoring the rule of law and the constitutional limits of government. They shudder at the thought.
Media AINOs are particularly horrified that he does not fear them or prostrate himself before them. He extends them no courtesies, and expects them to be, at the least, accurate and honest, and is unbowed and ruthless at calling them out when they are not, which seems to be more often than not these days.
Oh, but the tweets damage the dignity of the office! They lower the discourse of Washington! Right. Lower than Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades or Barack Obama’s wholesale trampling of the Constitution? The tweets are not the official policy pronouncements of the American government. Americans understand that. They’re Mr. Trump’s off the cuff commentary at people he believes are damaging America, and Americans, for the most part, agree, and they laugh, oh they laugh. Even those that don’t wholeheartedly agree could care less. They can tell the difference between letting off a bit of steam, and being diplomatic when it matters. The idea the unwashed of flyover country are laughing at them drives AINOs to distraction. How dare they!?
Mr. Trump is saying some of the things Americans shout at the TV. He’s giving voice to the things Americans would love to tell morally flexible politicians and smug media twerps. He’s doing precisely what Americans elected him to do.
And oh boy, oh boy, are they enjoying it.
Doug Hagin: Well, it is hardly a national embarrassment. It is well short of the embarrassment that our media is. He should use Twitter to go over the heads of Congress. But he should stop short of the grade school insults. Using Twitter to inform the public and to push his agenda is a great strategy. But, again, he should cease with the verbal BS But I will take a president who goes that route over one that is actively trying to “fundamentally transform” America any day!
Dave Schuler: Both. It aggravates those who have never liked him and wouldn’t vote for him under any circumstances and delights his supporters who see it as standing up to a bullying, prevaricating leftist press.
The concern would be that it alienates those who voted for Trump despite his coarseness and oafishness. It also won’t attract those who found his views better on the issues but couldn’t put up with the coarseness and oafishness. So far his base support of 39% is holding. As long as that’s the case, it puts him in no real danger.
What I don’t think that the folks at CNN and MSNBC appreciate is that their constant hectoring of Trump is hurting them worse than it is him. Every antagonistic exaggeration, contrived anonymous source, or unsupported allegation may push Trump down a notch but it pushes them down, too.
It’s like that old wisecrack about mud rasslin’ with a Ppig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it. While Trump is still not in any real danger, the liberal media may be. It won’t take a lot of successful libel suits to render them non-viable.
Bookworm Room: Why can’t the tweets be both? Yes, it is embarrassing to have our commander in chief get into fights with two sleazy, half-brained talk show hosts. Having said that, it needs to be done. First, all those Republican presidents who showed dignified silence in the face of savage press attacks were, in fact, savaged. The media hyenas didn’t see that dignity as a sign of strength; they saw it as weakness and doubled down on their attacks. Trump is crude, but he’s effective.
Second, the media ProgBots are incapable of keeping more than two things in their collective mind at more than one time, especially when one of those things is about them. In that case, the thing about them is all that they can think of. And while they’re obsessing about insults to those two sleazy, dimwitted talk show hosts, Trump is getting things done, lots and lots of useful things.
A short list of Trump’s accomplishments is forcing Europeans to step up to the EU obligations and making the German’s back down from their climate hysteria; simultaneously slimming down federal agencies while allowing those agents still employed to do their jobs — especially when the job is enforcing our existing immigration laws; unleashing the American economy by unleashing America’s capacity to produce fossil fuels; and allowing General Mattis to run the military like a military, rather than like an LGBTQRSTUV social justice experience. Given enough time, he’ll lower taxes. And if the GOPers would abandon their dignity and their animus, he’d get rid of Obamacare too.
Frankly, I’m at the point at which I would accept (although be disgusted by) President Trump doing a half-naked pole dance in the Oval Office if that would distract the media enough to allow the president to do his job. The media is the enemy and it needs to be tamed. And — and this is an important point — President Trump is not abusing the First Amendment when he attacks the media, because he’s not using the power of the government to silence them. (See, e.g., Turkey, Russia, Iran, or the entire Muslim Middle East for examples of government aggression towards media.) Instead, bless his heart, President Trump is using the power of his personality to fight the media at their own of hurling insults game.
You go, guy! That’s all I can say. You’re crude, rude, distracting . . . and very effective.
Laura Rambeau Lee: Regarding the latest Trump Twitter controversy, one question no one is asking is “did Mika and Joe go too far?” They have spent countless hours saying outrageous things about President Trump. Enough is enough! President Trump is using his Twitter posts to communicate directly with the American people and is effective in getting his message delivered free of the negativity and #FakeNews utilized by the main stream media. I am happy President Trump is savvy enough to use these new media tools to his advantage.
Well, there it is!
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