While I am of a certain mature age, and thus sometimes discomforted by President Trump’s seeming Twitter addiction, I am convinced that he is truly the first 21 century American President based upon his communication style.
While I frequently disagree with his Twitter content (or regard it as trivial, petty or just weird) he is demonstrating what an economist might call “communication disintermediation.” In simpler terms, removing the middleman media filters who charge the public for their obsolete services. Usually in the business world, ‘intermediation’ is merely a useless rent seeking opportunity often created by state regulation. Not always of course, if the intermediaries perform some information utilization/acquisition services. But the modern mainstream media (MSM) merely promotes its own ideological agenda, i.e. propaganda line, not a useful or truthful type of filtering.
So we don’t need NPR, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC NYT, WaPo, AP et.al. intermediaries to inform us of what Trump is “thinking” or “saying” about various subjects. Instead, we can merely follow his Twitter feed if so inclined (I’m not but many others are).
In the past, presidential “press secretaries” (i.e. paid government propaganda liars) spoke to rooms full of flunky reporters to provide “guidance” on presidential policy, etc. Then we got pictures, videos or print stories after media filtration about the content. On rare occasions – more infrequent in recent times – Presidents would hold press conferences where they would make short statements and often answer from vetted MSM reporters a few selected questions, rarely candidly or truthfully. Thus the media priesthood, highly paid and self-important, would transmit the oracular presidential “thinking” to the masses. Such media priests were highly paid gossipers and influencers, much sought after by lobbyists and political insiders. Most are paid salaries of hundreds of thousands annually if not more.
Trump has largely ruined that business model. Like cell phone addicted teenagers (or anyone under 30) he is constantly thumbing his random thoughts and emotional reactions to the world at large. Many of his barbs are directed at the former high media priests, with whom he seems all too obsessed. But those tweets get disproportionate attention from the MSM priesthood, so the Trump’s more substantial comments are under reported by them. The media priesthood is self-obsessed, so their comments about “presidential dignity” and “recklessness” of Trump tweets are merely sour grapes or relics of past imperial presidential facades they once promoted to enhance their own status.
This is the new age of instant communication. Is it wise for Trump to do so much tweeting? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It does annoy me at times. But I’m a mid-20 century born person, when Mao, Stalin and Truman ruled the globe. TV and computers were then only bare scientific experiments. I accept that times are radically different from what I was used to, so I better get with the program. Of course nearly all media priests are middle aged or older, so they are both befuddled and scared that their long, ruthless climb to the top of the well-paid MSM priesthood heap is now in service to a false god. No one needs pyramid builders today. MSM intermediation is a dying business worldwide.
I first noticed something strange was occurring when it was reported that the current Egyptian military dictatorship was posting their post-coup decrees on their own Facebook page. Clearly a first for a fresh military dictatorship. But if you wanted to know their rules, there it was. Hammurabi updated by three millennia or so. Much faster than carving stone tablets for sure.
Trump is reviled for being a thumb shooting cell phone tweeter on any and all subjects. As the MSM priesthood and legions of Foreign Office state bureaucrats worldwide watch in horror as their cushy sinecures are becoming obsolete overnight. They are no longer needed to read American presidential tea leaves. Just grab your mobile phone and read Trump’s latest Twitter posts. Better update those resumes!
While Trump’s tweets may be inconsistent, naïve, wrong-headed or silly at times, there they are. This is what he did while running successfully for President against everyone’s advice to “stop doing that!” Bad advice which he ignored.
Well here he is, still doing that. As Trump noted in a recent tweet, he is President and they are not.
Welcome to the 21 century folks. The millennials and kids will soon be running the world. Trump doesn’t wear his MAGA ball cap backwards, but other than that he is one of them when it comes to youth culture communication. Better get used to it, like it or not. He has successfully disrupted the MSM presidential priesthood business, just like Uber and Airbnb did with theirs. Trump is the future; the MSM is heading into the proverbial dustbin of history.