Posts Tagged ‘social media’

on presidential media access

November 30, 2016

The reaction of the press to the campaign and election of Donald Trump is still one of the most culturally prominent issues of the season. The diversification of programming available is one reason for that distinctions among people in the society are becoming more apparent. The polarization between political views in the country may well have been strengthened by the decision of much of the press to take sides with the Progressive policy advocates; in the absence of widely disseminated information that all parties could accept as a starting place for discussion, lack of understanding and distrust deepened.

One important way this has played out is in the reporting on the transition to the Trump administration. Because of social media and the internet, more and more people can quickly and easily compare the way the press reports on Trump with how they reported on Obama, and the contrast is striking, which further weakens their reliability. The reaction to Trump’s YouTube address on his transition and on Thanksgiving is an example, where his use of social media is reported as a problem in contrast to it being strategic when Obama used it.

Between 2007 and 2016, much of the press considered this a story of evolving technology and communication. But what used to be an interesting challenge that had media “scrambling to stay in the game” against an innovative, young president is now a grave threat. Somewhere in between is probably the correct assessment, and swinging between admiration and fear depending on the president doesn’t create better coverage or earn more trust from readers.

Mary Katherine Ham

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on Trump and tactics

March 16, 2016

Damon Linker explains in some detail the observation that occurred to me over the weekend after the rally for Trump was canceled in Chicago. This paragraph was particularly notable:

And why are people cheering on such behavior on social media?

Mostly, I suspect, because they are primarily concerned about their own moral stature — about staking out a position of political purity, about taking a dramatic and bold public stand against racism and the rise of a distinctively American form of fascism in our midst. Because they desperately want to do something to stop Trump and what he represents.

I might cavil at some parts of his diagnosis, but the compulsion to signal one’s virtue, even by violating other crucial virtues, is an intriguing characteristic of the social media spirit.