The late David Carr, the New York Times culture and media critic famously quipped that Trump’s tweets are the first rough draft of contemporary American history.
“Rough draft” is an understatement, Trump doesn’t employ any editors or fact checkers to correct his syntax, spelling errors and outright lies. Even though Trump is cognizant that his tweets can rock the stock market, ignite political dissent at home and abroad, and cause citizens to doubt his sanity, he promiscuously tweets without giving it any thought or consideration.
Before a reporter’s story is published by the Washington Post or the New York Times it’s vetted by lawyers for any possible legal liabilities, editors for grammatical mistakes and fact checkers for truth and veracity. Trump, the most influential publisher in the world by virtue of his Tweeter feed, answers to no one and tweets away like a glutton farting away after a huge banquet.
It’s not the broadcast TV evening newscasts or the cable news outlets that directs or controls the news cycles, it’s Trump’s Twitter machine. Of course, the major news outlets and bloggers are complicit in Trump’s stranglehold on the news cycle, but how can we be blamed for commenting on the tweets of the Leader of the Free World?
One day Trump’s tweets will be intensely studied by historians, educators, and students of the media. They will surely wonder how the confluence of the rise of social media and the rise of a populist racist almost destroyed American democracy.