Donald Trump doesn't follow many people on Twitter. In fact he only follows 40 people, despite having over 17 million followers.
2 of the people he follows are Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of Morning Joe.
Donald Trump is a huge fan and avid watcher of Morning Joe. “Trump has been watching Joe for 15 years,” Willie Geist, one of Scarborough’s co-hosts, said in a phone interview with the Washington Post. So it's fair to say that Trump watches Morning Joe most days.
As I argue in this piece, Donald Trump is one of the greatest manipulators of the news who has ever lived. Throw whatever criticism you want at him but he is a PR genius. He sees something he doesn't like on the news and he uses Twitter to create a bigger story. When the British media was talking about the Trump University law suit and his trade policies he tweeted about Nigel Farage being the British Ambassador. When the media was talking about the CIA Director criticizing him he tweeted about making a press conference (that never happened) about his business arrangements. Yesterday when Morning Joe was talking about Russia, he tweeted about Lockheed and the F-35. Every time it dominates the news. What he says inevitably never happens, like he made it up on the spot.
Donald Trump time and time again manipulates Morning Joe in this way.
Let's take yesterday as an example. I woke up and turned on Morning Joe. They were talking in detail about Russia.
Trump then tweeted this:
Just 4 minutes later Trump tweets this:
Within a minute this happened:
With one tweet Donald Trump changed the entire course of Morning Joe. It isn't a one off. This happens all the time.
I don't say this as a criticism of him or Morning Joe. I don't like Donald Trump but I admire his PR skill. His instinct and ability is unparalleled. The way he manipulates the media cycle is awe inspiring. But the stark cold reality for the left is until we learn how to compete in this modern social media age, we are consigned to electoral Armageddon for a generation.
It also creates a huge dilemma for the media. When Trump tweets it is the news, but do they continue to give him airtime when he is deliberately tying to manipulate them? Until they work it out, Trump has a free reign.
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