The one big thing Donald Trump gets totally wrong about the media
Donald Trump was up and tweeting Friday morning. The subject, as it often is, was how terrible the media is.
"The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media - over 100 million people! I can go around them," Trump tweeted.
This isn't the first time Trump has tweeted about the media allegedly hating that he tweets. Earlier this month, he hit on that same point: "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."
If Trump believes this -- and he certainly seem to -- it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the media views the president's Twitter feed and how he employs it.
The reality is this: Every political journalist in the world is absolutely thrilled that Donald Trump not only tweets but does with the frequency and bluntness that he does. NO reporter wants Donald Trump to stop tweeting. Not one.
Trump's Twitter feed gives the political media -- and anyone else who follows him -- a direct look into his thought processes. We know what he is thinking about -- or angry about -- at all times of day. That's absolutely invaluable. It's "The President: Raw and Uncut."
We've seen time and time again that what Trump's White House says and what the president actually thinks are very different things. (Sidebar: How are you enjoying workforce development and apprenticeships week?)
Even as his White House will be excoriating the media for focusing too little on some policy roll-out or another, Trump will drop a series of tweets about the "witch hunt" Russia investigation or complain, as he did yesterday, about why the Justice Department isn't investigating alleged improprieties surrounding Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
All presidents have private thoughts that sometimes (often?) run counter to the official message the White House is pushing in a given day, week or month. But, no past president has been willing to put those discrepancies on public display in front of the tens of millions of people who follow him on Twitter before Trump.
What sort of reporter would want that pipeline to end?
The people who do want Trump to stop tweeting or to tweet less aren't the media. They're Republicans and Trump loyalists who believe his willingness to tell people exactly what is on his mind at any minute of the day fundamentally undermines the White House's efforts to find some consistent messaging and build the momentum the administration has been sorely lacking to date.
"[Twitter is] a powerful tool, but I do believe that it can be used more effectively to achieve his purpose," New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Trump supporter, said on CNN Friday morning. "I don't know the strategy behind, you know, this morning -- this latest tweet you are asking me about. But if there is a bigger strategy that makes sense, I'm all ears."
If you're reading this, Mr. Trump, let me be crystal clear as a card-carrying member of the media: Please keep tweeting. It provides us insight into how you think that we have never had before and may never get again from a president. Period.
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