Yesterday, President Donald Trump tweeted a mock video of himself body-slamming CNN in a wrestling match. It was a perfect metaphor for the past week — which the president spent using Twitter to chokeslam the fake news media.
The media erupt in faux tears whenever the president lashes out on Twitter, and pundits demand that he stop tweeting. They’re full of advice: He should delete his account. He should hire swamp monsters to cleanse his tweets. He should hand over his smartphone.
But they’re wasting their breath. Asking President Trump not to tweet would be like asking Teddy Roosevelt to carry a smaller stick. Or advising Abraham Lincoln that it’s more concise to just say “eighty-seven years ago.” President Trump will tweet until his final day in office, and he’d be a fool not to.
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His personal Twitter page, @realdonaldtrump, is the most influential media outlet on earth. Period. It fuels the 24-hour news cycle. CNN covers President Trump’s Twitter as if it were the fourth branch of our government. For years, CNN pundit Chris Cilizza’s Twitter bio has read, “‘One of the dumber and least respected of the political pundits.’ — Donald Trump.” That’s not an accident. It’s not a funny little anecdote that gave Cillizza a good laugh. It’s the brand that he chose, and in terms of marketing effectiveness, it absolutely outshines “Opinion writer at CNN.”
Trump tweeted the insult in response to an article Cillizza posted in which he informed his readers that Donald Trump would never be president. Cillizza — in his trademark I’m-smarter-than-you tone — wrote of Trump, “He is slightly more likely to become our next president than he is to be the first person to set foot on the surface of a planet circling Alpha Centauri.” Swing and a miss, Chris. Trump’s insult aged like a fine wine, while Cillizza’s article aged like already-chunky milk.
Yet, there’s the quote featured prominently on his Twitter account showing off his anti-Trump street cred and, with a wink and a nudge, signaling to the Trump haters that he’s more ally than analyst. Cillizza should send the president a thank-you. Does Hallmark sell a thanks-for-making-me-relevant card?
Last week, fake news and the rest of the swamp went full-on “Hands Across America” for “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski because President Trump tweeted about her facelift. An entire news cycle went something like this, “Boo-hoo, tears emoji, poor Mika.”
The fake news media hopes you’re naïve. They hope you think Mika Brzezinski is the victim of this tweet and not its clearest beneficiary. This tweet is exactly what “Morning Joe” is all about. They spend three hours every weekday bashing President Trump in hopes of creating some 15- to 30-second viral moment of Trump hate. Trump’s tweet provided them with days of relevancy they would not have otherwise enjoyed.
The show works like this: They sit around a table and — under the guise of political analysis — spew anti-Trump nonsense. They diagnose the president with mental incapacities, they proliferate every fake narrative from “Clinton will definitely win in November” to “Trump colluded with Russia.” They make headlines for left-wing, anti-Trump, fake-news websites to grow their brand. In short, they’re using President Trump’s paradigm-shifting, free-headline-grabbing campaign strategy to grow their “Morning Joe” brand.
The tactic all started by accident during the 2004 election, with the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad. The ad received free national exposure because it was controversial and newsworthy. So it got picked up as a news story and played over and over to a national audience for free. National air time is expensive, so having the ad played for free was like hitting the lottery for the PAC and the Bush campaign.
After that, political ads would purposely try to get “swift-boated.” Political ads became a little harsher, a little more controversial, a little more unhinged in hopes of getting swift-boated and playing for free to a national audience. Make them controversial enough, and they could wind up plastered across social media for everyone to see! That’s how we ended up with moronic ads like Paul Ryan throwing granny off the cliff. Its outrageousness makes it newsworthy. (go to page 2 to continue reading) [lz_pagination]