Now, now…before Trump fans and apologists become overly rankled, hear me out on this. Early this morning, President Trump was back at it again:
The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
But I’m inclined to agree with Jay Nordlinger’s take on this:
Frankly, I think the "FAKE MSM" sort of likes Trump's tweeting. https://t.co/BSl4ViikgW
— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) June 6, 2017
The “FAKE MSM” to which Trump is referring would like nothing more than for him to tweet early and often. First, it’s usually a source of great content. (And by “great” I mean traffic generating, i.e., quantity, not quality.) Second, and more importantly for much of the “FAKE MSM,” Trump’s tweets are a boundless source of ammo. How much trouble has he bought himself with his infamous “wiretap” tweets from early March? What about the ham-handed tweet directed at Comey regarding theoretical “tapes” of their conversations? How much grief has he caused his own people by contradicting them?
No, I don’t think the “FAKE MSM” wants Trump to quit tweeting at all. I’ll tell you who does, though: People who don’t want his presidency to be a colossal failure. I’ve alluded to this before – I’m a TrumpSkeptic™. I opposed his candidacy, I didn’t vote for him, but I wasn’t heartbroken that Hillary Clinton lost. And now that he’s our President (yes, he’s mine as well as yours), I would far rather see him have a successful tenure than a disastrous one.
I understand the value of social media – and Twitter, in particular. I understand the appeal of going around the anti-Trump media. And I think Trump, of all people, is uniquely situated to take advantage of social media to further his cause. But he’s careless and impetuous with it. He’s sloppy and it far too often hurts him, the people around him, and, by extension, the country. How much more would he – and the country – benefit from a slightly more measured approach?
Messaging and optics do matter. You can be unconventional and still be savvy. I’d like to think a guy whose spent much of his life developing his brand and marketing himself might be able to figure that out. Until he does, yes, I’d prefer he stay off the Twitterz.