Covering Trump, How Tweet it Is….

The climate of the media is not what it used to be. It’s also not what it is going to be. It is something that changes over time. The truth of my own relative alienation that endured throughout the Obama Administration is only one part of the picture. The long term collapse of many aspects and portions of the landscape of media has also coincided with the rise or other media entities. Where will Americans become informed in the future. I operate almost entirely in the blogosphere and on social media these days and in recent years. I find myself subject to the vagaries of a new set of media pressures than in my limited but lengthy career as a print journalist. For example, one of the elements of intellectual honesty in my current arrangements is the annual statistical report from Word Press. That appears not to be going out any more. When something like that goes missing one realizes how many things one does not have. How few are the elements of rigor and transparency in this wild and wide open world of communications untroubled by meetings with publishers or editors.
I have moved far beyond the levels of alienation from the core of media involvement which once shaped my view of things and of the media which covers things in this society and around the world. It is not easy to say where this Presidency will bring relationships between the White House and the media. Trump has on more than one occasion complained of unproductive and unfair media interactions of various kinds.  There have been any number of efforts over time to measure the way in which Donald Trump has been covered by the media and to evaluate how worthwhile and professional and otherwise good media coverage has been regarding the now President-Elect.  The respectable mainstream media has made a real effort to cover Donald trump as he sought to convey his message through new media.
But the Twitter world is the center of all of these discussions and interactions. Here are some points in the current Trump Twittosphere:
 There are others as well. But the real and most significant source for Trump’s opinions and comments prior to the election is to be found at one particular Twitter account:
Trump tweets pictures, links, retweets and quotes but composes a lot of original Tweets as well. Trump is a remarkably successful man, a billionaire, the President-Elect of the United States, a graduate of several of our society’s most elite academic institutions. He has roots in a particular and particularly influential State, city and region of this Union. He has business ties all around the world. But for many in the communication elite he has been (and perhaps still is)  primarily a somewhat ridiculous figure. It is hard to say how long such a position can be widely held. One wonders how long a more critical view of Obama’s agitation to undermine the legitimacy of the election can be ignored or not presented in related stories. The Presidential Inauguration is scheduled for January 20, about two weeks from now. Until then it is not certain that this transition is coming off without another major hitch.
Meg Kelly and DT1
 In terms of media coverage, Roger Ailes, Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson have all left Fox News — the prime vehicle for right of center media coverage in this country today. The network is bound to evolve. Ailes, it is suggested, will advise Trump in some way as he lives down some history of misconduct in sexual advances toward the many attractive women at Fox . Gretchen Carlson hopes to make a difference in charting the course of dealing with sexual harassment allegations.  But the biggest news is that Megyn Kelly is moving to NBC.
This week Katie Couric has been filling in for Samantha Guthrie with her old partner Matt Lauer on Today. Samantha Guthrie (no actually it is Savannah but that names and the long hair and the new baby and the fact that she recently wrote an article for the Guideposts magazine founded by Trump’s former pastor Noeman Vincent Peale — seems way too traditional) Savannah then is on maternity leave. The credibility she will bring to a more conservative political view point is clear in the family that includes the left-leaning MSNBC. The question of how well she will make a home at NBC-Universal and NBC News is a question not yet answered. Perhaps there are clues in her recent past. She got a haircut that made her acceptable to NBC. The long-haired Megyn Kelly would not have made it — although it is OK for Savannah Guthrie. She also has the advantage of spelling her name with a y, which undermines overly traditional points of view. Any real conservative has to stop and check that at least the first two times he or she types the name. More progressive types are happy to see the liberation from orthography. Also she came out about Ailes a few decades later than some would say was right but she did speak about it, That could all be relevant OR ….
NBC Universal is consolidating its position for what it sees as a protracted struggle with the Trump communications apparatus. I wonder which? Megyn Kelly is one who has survived a duel with Trump fairly well. NBC is wisely shoring up its own dueling position. Although she may do less hard news than before. She seems to hope to have more time for family.
I don’t dislike NBC or Megyn Kelly. However, I think this is just the most obvious of a series of moves of this type around the media world. I have not got the time or resources to illustrate that claim with other such moves just now. But there will be such moves.
For now I am watching from a familiar place. It will be interesting to see if my own position changes much over time.

One response to “Covering Trump, How Tweet it Is….

  1. Pingback: This Blog in the Trump Era | Franksummers3ba's Blog

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