Monday 20 August 2018

US president uses Twitter as weapon to trick media

US President Donald Trump Photo: AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump Photo: AFP/Getty Images

He is notorious for tweeting from the hip, unleashing tirades at all and sundry at all hours of the day and night.

Yet Donald Trump's use of social media may not be so haphazard, according to a book which claims it is part of a strategy to knock negative stories off the headlines.

The US president is quoted describing how by launching a personal attack on a journalist he had stopped cable news covering North Korea and his struggling healthcare bill. Mr Trump's anger at the "f****** 'New York Times'" and desire to "sue the s*** out of" newspapers that print inaccurate stories is reported in 'Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth' by Howard Kurtz, the Fox News host.

One section quotes Mr Trump's thinking after he tweeted that Mika Brzezinski, a once-friendly TV anchor who turned hostile, was once "bleeding badly from a facelift" at an event. The comment triggered a heated backlash and claims of sexism.

The book recounts how Anthony Scaramucci, at the time just a prominent supporter, told Mr Trump that he should not have "gone there".

"Is Korea off the TV?" the US president reportedly responded. "Is healthcare off the TV?" When told yes to both he is said to have responded: "Sounds good to me."

The incident, which refers to the North Korea impasse and Mr Trump's struggling healthcare legislation - which was later defeated in the Senate - suggests he uses tweets to limit coverage of negative stories.

The book says Mr Trump reads four newspapers - the 'New York Times', 'New York Post', 'Wall Street Journal' and 'Washington Post'.

Irish Independent

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