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How Reporters Should Treat Trump Tweets

January 25, 2017

Grownups in the nation thought the tweets candidate Donald Trump used were moronic and so the easily led could be amused.  After all pablum for the masses is nothing new.  Isn’t that why major league football was invented?

But now that Trump sits in the Oval Office the continuous series of tweets needs to be viewed from another perspective.  They make for more than just an eye-rolling experiences.  They can be dangerous.

The words of leaders have meaning and can move markets and armies.  Sadly Trump has not mastered history and therefore is unaware of the power of words or the reason diplomatic cables are carefully crafted.  So when an angry leader uses Twitter to lambast a restaurant reviewer in the same way he threatens to send federal troops into an American city means there is a terribly unstable person in the White House.

The tweets are harmful, that is no doubt.  The reason they exist at all is for the feeble-minded in the land to keep up with their Dear Leader.

But the press has a higher calling as a profession, and as an integral part of democracy, to hold elected officials accountable than to simply post or report each insane text that is more absurd than the last.  Recall the British public acknowledged that Queen Victoria’s grandfather, George IV, needed to be caged and treated for his condition which made him unfit to rule.  We might keep that in mind as the Mango Mussolini keeps tweeting.

As such reporters need to not play a part in the ever-more deplorable tweet-fest from Trump.  Unless this administration wants to sit down for interviews or open the lines of dialogue on talk shows there should be no more playing to the sickness of the tweets.  Americans deserve to be treated as adults even though Trump fails to do that.

Trump seems to think he can avoid the normal way to conduct the nation’s business by avoiding the platforms that have long served this nation.   If the working press would not cover his tweets he would lose much of his ability to manipulate his coverage.

The end result is that the public would not lose anything from not seeing the tweets on the news and likely would be allowed more actual coverage of this administration due to forcing the White House to play by a more mature set of rules.

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