Hey Media: Just Ignore Trump’s Tweeting
The Forrest Four-Cast: January 15, 2017
Remember the last time that you saw a streaker on TV? I don’t either. Because when a drunken spectator gallops onto the playing field during a televised sporting event, the on-site cameras no longer document this person’s self-centered actions.
This non-broadcast strategy has generally helped contain these kinds of incidents — or, as far we know, it has contained these kinds of incidents. Because these episodes no longer gain the power of mass transmission, they have lost their relevance in the cultural discussion.
The media should adopt this same non-broadcast strategy with the Twitter account of Donald Trump. The tweets of the president-elect are at best a distraction designed to pull our attention away from far more important issues. Shining more light on these distractions only accelerates this endless cycle of subterfuge and deception and mis-information.
Will a non-broadcast strategy prevent Trump from Tweeting? No. Nor will it prevent the President-elect from reaching his 19.9 million followers. But for all its power as a next-generation source of information distribution, the reach of Twitter still pales in comparison to television and its long-term impact on the news cycle.
As opposed to focusing on what has been said in 140 characters, the media should pay more attention on the character of Trump and those he is bringing into his cabinet. This is the more substantial news that the nation needs much more of.
Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.