For a fleeting moment I thought that Trump’s never-ending proclivity to tweet may have breathed new life into Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and make it great again. Sadly, no. Twitter and its stock have been in a stall all year, for many reasons. Not even Trump can save Twitter from itself. Our POTUS-elect’s tweets have done nothing to help Twitter’s stock.
But this post is not about Twitter, really. It’s about Trump and the dangerous precedent he’s setting by using Twitter as his bully pulpit because he and he and his staff don’t trust the very media that helped to get him elected in the first place.
Sean Spicer, Trump’s recently anointed press secretary recently said in an interview that Trump’s “use of social media in particular… is gonna be something that’s never been seen before.” That’s true. In fact, Trump’s entire campaign and ascendency into the Presidency has never been seen before. Many of us have come to terms with the fact that Trump and his team will continue to be unconventional in almost every way. I accept that I also want to see a successful Trump presidency, for everyone’s sake.
But Trump has to stop using Twitter as his primary means to communicate with the world. Some may say he’s being modern by being social. I say he’s being moronic and pedantic and that his tweets aren’t even fitting for the president of a fraternity.
Spicer also said Twitter gives Trump “a direct pipeline into the American People” which is really a thinly veiled insinuation that the media can’t be trusted to carry Trump’s messages in the way he wants them to be understood.
Our free media, which should not be taken for granted or off-handedly referred to as “fake news” producers, have and will always continue to play a vital role in our society and especially when it comes to public and corporate affairs. They are supposed to ask the tough questions and be a surrogate for our citizenry. They are supposed to push for transparency where there’s opaqueness and for authenticity in a “post-truth” world. You know, like asking our POTUS-elect about releasing his income taxes, ties to Russia and how he will handle his business conflicts of interests – among other things.
Both President Obama and President George W. Bush held dozens of press conferences after they were elected and before they were sworn in. Trump has held none. Instead, he’s tweeted more than 200 times since winning the highest office in the land.
There is only one man who can force the issue. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter. What if Dorsey suspended Trump’s Twitter account until Trump held a press conference? How would Trump react to that? Oh wait, he couldn’t.