United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter again this week, with his musings on trending topics. This time a bit surprising as he seems to have turned on the Fox News network. President Trump seemed to favor Fox News until recently. Last month, he also slammed Fox News for a poll they reported showing President Trump losing to former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential elections and in May he attacked the network for covering the Democrats.
What got President Trump’s goat this time is an interview between Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum and Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California. Swalwell dropped out of the 2020 presidential race earlier this month. He sits on both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees which will hear testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday.
President Trump’s tweet claims that Swalwell was “asked endless softball questions” “about the phony witch hunt” and that Fox News “sure ain’t what it used to be”. He also claimed that Swalwell was forced out the Primary because he “polled at ZERO”.
Just three minutes after his Tweet condemning Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, he made another post on Twitter praising Fox prime time television talk show host Sean Hannity. Hannity took the stage with President Trump prior to the 2018 midterms vowing to “stump for Trump” during the 2020 reelection campaign. Trump’s tweet called Hannity “great” and announced that he has a “strong” show coming up.
Donald Trump, the forty fifth president of the United States, is the first US president and probably the first world leader to utilize social media as a forum on which to express his sentiments and opinions in such a direct way to the public. Until this administration, the public had to read the news, listen to soundbites, watch television and often wait for spokespeople and representatives to share a president's thoughts on different matters. And often, private and personal matters did not make their way to the mainstream the way they do now in a matter of seconds after conducting a 140 character or less statement.
President Trump has Tweeted accusations of treason towards the tech giant Google and suggested an investigation is needed in order to discover whether Google has worked with the Chinese government. He also tweeted that the computer manufacturer Apple Inc. will not be given tariff wavers for their parts manufactured in China and that they should “make them in the USA”.
Since Donald Trump having taken office as the President of the United States there have been many concerns over his use of social media and manner of communication. Presently, there is a petition on the website actionnetwork.org asking Twitter and Facebook executives to take down some of his posts which have been perceived as hateful and offensive, as well as inciting violence towards members of Congress, and to suspend the president’s accounts; the petition has so far garnered over forty thousand signatures.
Also, The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University has filed a lawsuit in the southern district of New York claiming a violation of freedom of speech after seven people were blocked from the president’s Twitter account for their criticisms of the president and the administration’s policies and procedures. This suit claims that the @realDonaldTrump account is a public forum and therefore protected by the first amendment, which means the government cannot exclude people from voicing their opinions about the government and cannot block people from redressing their government for grievances as clearly outlined in the United States Constitution.
Forbes magazine, a leading economic and political publication, has a post on their website titled Donald Trump’s Most Offensive Tweets. Factbase, part of Factsquared, an AI (artificial intelligence) powered media and political analytics project, has a page which archives President Trump’s deleted Tweets.
There is no doubt a radical change in the way high profile politicians communicate and convey their messages to one and other as well as to the public in recent years. As we have become more accustomed to receiving our news in the form of blurbs with text lingo rather than the more eloquent verbiage of yesteryear, and as internet moguls such as Facebook and Google seem to become more controlling of what we see and hear, there is growing concern that we the people are not getting a balanced and unbiased view of the political theater and world stage.