Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"The Media Have Been Played by Trump's Tweets"

Via InstapunditConsider, for example, Trump’s inscrutable “negative press covfefe” tweet early in the morning of May 31, a term that currently has 52 million search results on Google. It’s easy to see why: Print and broadcast news outlets pounced on the abbreviated tweet and hyperventilated for days.

This is precisely the problem: Most of Trump’s tweets, especially this sort, should not be reported as breaking news. As Michael Barone, the longtime co-editor of The Almanac of American Politics and senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, points out, “Early on, he [Trump] realized that by sending out a tweet early in the morning, that was very provocative, very in violation of political correctness, he could dominate an entire news cycle.” What’s more, Trump knew he could feed the media’s “addiction” to anything remotely resembling “breaking news,” all to his benefit.

This failure of U.S. broadcast media to use proper news judgment in covering Trump is among the gravest professional sins the industry has committed in recent memory because it fails to recognize the manipulation involved. George Lakoff, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, asserts that Trump’s tactics are “all strategic” in nature, “not crazy,” as many observers believe.

Lakoff has written several books on political speech and is an expert on the concept of idea framing, which has become an influential technique in the art of political persuasion. He asserts that Trump’s tweets embody one of four strategic communication tactics: preemptive framing, diversion, deflection and trial-ballooning.

“In general, if you frame first you win, and Trump knows that,” Lakoff said. “The media is having trouble with the truth because the truth doesn’t sell – and they could sell it if they went about it the right way,” he added. “Right now they can’t help themselves, having the entertainment elements of their job take over for the news element.”

If Lakoff’s theory is true, the failure of the most influential elements of the U.S. media to exercise proper news judgment when assessing Trump’s tweets has had a greater negative impact on the country’s political discourse than is appreciated.

(Link to more)


ricpic said...

Hey Trump, only the MSM's allowed to manipulate!

Rene Saunce said...


How to make the hack press go nuts.

edutcher said...

Surber has a theory that, any time the media goes nuts over something, it's a misdirection play by The Donald.

Seems to be valid.

Chip Ahoy said...

preemptive framing, diversion, deflection and trial-ballooning

Bet his textbook cost $200.00 at the campus bookstore.

He left out other strategic communication tactics apparent in Trump's tweets that I can pull out of my buttxxxxxxx off the top of my head, like the tactic of "just fucking with ya" and the tactic of "knocking pointed heads together" and "surprise!" tactic, and the tactic of "blow me" and the tactic of "la la la I can't h-e-a-r- you" and the tactic of "f you POW right in your butthole" and the tactic of "I won this thing, Bitches" and the tactic of "I'm rich and you're poor," the tactic of "You're part of the problem," and the tactic of "calling a shovel a shovel" and the tactic of "Your social position doesn't impress me."

I hate Twitter. Such an unwholesome platform.

But I've not seen it used to such tremendous effect.

Trump really does use the faulty platform impressively.

I don't even have to read Trump's tweets because they're all brought to me. Brought to me from France, from Britain and Germany and from Japan and from Africa. EVERYONE talks about Trump's tweets. Even typos! F'k'n TYPOS by Trump are considered news by the whole world. Now THAT's effect. And who's the dope here, the guy who makes a simple typo or the whole world that splooges all over it in piques of political excitement? Get a life, Trump-Twitter-Detractors, because at that point you've got nothing. Nothing. Zero to add. Flat busted.

The professor doesn't have a tactic category for that.

It's glorious seeing people pissed off that Trump blocked them.

He blocked their contribution to his tweets.

They can still see and read all they like by not signing into Twitter. Just go directly to his page via browser and not by signing on. But they cannot write anything. That's what is pissing them off. They consider their 140 character japes and jibes and contradictions of equal importance to his. They're simply being shown how irrelevant they are and it hurts. The platform disappoints so many ways.

Amartel said...

It's like a mantra of the media to say Trump shouldn't tweet and get all offended about the tweeting. That's all I need to know to conclude that Trumptweets are a good idea. He should try to avoid stepping on his big swinging dick, though. A difficult task, apparently.

Leland said...

Agree with Lakoff that the entertainment elements have taken over the news.

Jim in St Louis said...

I confess openly that I am still undecided on Trump. Is he really so super smart that even his mess-ups are really brilliant reverse counter-intuitive cunning examples of leading his enemies right into the trap he has lured them into stepping right in?

OR is he a loudmouth, New York bigshot who got lucky in having crappy opponents in the primary and got very lucky in having the crappiest of opponents in the general election, and now is sort of winging and faking his way thru the job?

I love his fight back attitude, I love that he will swing back at anyone who takes a poke at him. But I get so tired of the petty baloney. What would be the purpose of a three day pissing match with the mayor of London?

I know people take anything he does and anything he says and reply "Winning!" But we do not have a wall (yet). We do not have a replacement for obamacare (yet) we do not have a travel ban (yet), we do not have tax reform (yet). We do have progress on regulatory downturn, we do have a solid justice on the court, and the economy seems to be chugging-- so again I just don't know.

chickelit said...

"What would be the purpose of a three day pissing match with the mayor of London? "

In my opinion, Britain has a very dangerous and very real problem with PC policing. Who better to take a little heat than the nominal head of the police? Of course go some, Khan is above reproach because he's Muslim. It's like the Goldstar father also named Khan -- he was supposed to be off limits vlbecause of PC. But Cindy Sheehan was a Goldstar mom and I don't recall people holding back. Why the double standard? It's the same thinking that let Barack Obama get away with so much.

ricpic said...

",,,,lucky in having crappy opponents...."

When Trump said "I will build a Wall" in the first Republican debate it was an earthquake. Why? Because he spoke for millions. So what, you say? Not a single one of the other 15 or 16 Republican candidates in that debate had the least intention of addressing the very real anxiety of millions that we were being invaded and that America, as we knew her, was being throttled. All the other candidates spoke for the "Up yours, peasants" uniparty. How effective Trump will be in enacting his populist agenda is another matter. But he won because FINALLY THERE WAS A CONNECTION.

AllenS said...

Off Topic --

Heavy police presence a little over a quarter of a mile up the road. 2nd place north of me.

Amartel said...

Ruh roh. Do you live near a university? Is someone's feelings hurt? This frequently requires a police presence which then in turn triggers even more hurt feelings.

ndspinelli said...

Allen, Meth cooker?

rhhardin said...

The entertainment drives the media. Politics are just free-riding.

Their money comes from eyeballs.

AllenS said...

Don't know, Nick, but meth is a big problem around here. Plus, he built a berm out back of his place so he could shoot his weapons, and without a doubt in my mind, last summer he shot a magazine of ammo, and it was a fully automatic weapon.

edutcher said...

Anybody who thinks Trump doesn't know what he's doing might want to consider his latest ploy.

Covering the border wall with solar panels.

An offer the Lefties can't refuse.

ndspinelli said...

Allen, The cartels have been putting the local meth cooker/tweaker out of biz w/ cheap prices and better quality.

Trooper York said...

Trump was right to get in a pissing match with the Mayor of London because he is a Muslim.

A Muslim who supposedly is against terror but who is complicit in it. He part of the reason why these terror attacks happened. Kowtowing to his ilk is why those little girls were killed in the concert.

In the old days he would have been ridden out of town on a rail. Now you can't even criticize him. Trump is not afraid of attacking the sacred cows of the establishment.

Muslims are the problem. Islam is the problem. He is the problem.

AllenS said...

Nick, meth users around here will buy locally. Free range meth. No idea this morning what it was about.