There was a time when I cringed at the idea of having a tweet-happy commander in chief. I believed it cheapened the presidency. I still feel that way, but given our new reality — having a president in the Oval Office who's reviled by 99.9 percent of the media — I understand why President Trump tweets.
According to an upcoming interview with Trump's first wife, Ivana, Trump himself wasn't always so sure he should tweet. He apparently sought Ivana's advice, who assured him he should. Many people will find that fascinating, the idea that Trump would not only seek advice in the first place but that he would seek it from his first wife.
It doesn't surprise me at all. I'm convinced, and (indeed many have pointed out here and here and here) that the Trump we see on television is very different from the private Trump. Even he admitted as much! I've said from the beginning that Trump is no doubt much kinder, gentler, and respectful of others — yes, even of women — than most people think. Because most of what the public thinks about anyone high-profile is filtered entirely through the media.
Trump tweets because if he didn't, most people wouldn't know what's really going on with this administration and would think even less of Trump than they already do — not because he's deserving of such animus, but because that's precisely what the media wants you to think. The depth and the intricacies of how the media is able to spin stories is still largely unknown to the average person. Sure, they know media bias is a thing. But most people don't realize — or if they're on the same side as the media, acknowledge — the scope of the problem.
Having been on the receiving end of media bias since I became a writer more than 15 years ago, I understand Trump's plight. But even I can't fathom what it's like to wake up every single day to thousands of enemies sitting at my doorstep with their cameras and pens in hand, ready to pounce on every word I say and then twist it to come up with a narrative that makes me look like the devil.
That is what Trump is up against. And if he'd been president 20 years ago, he would have no way to defend himself publicly or to set the record straight.
Today, he has Twitter. And I, for one, am grateful.
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