Albert Camus: A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.
I write a list of potential blog topics for a week and I try to stay current. You usually can’t predict what’s going to be interesting or newsworthy in a day or two. If I wrote about the President’s Twitter posts, I’d have something to say on a daily basis.
I’m not going to discuss my politics and what the Administration is doing or not doing correctly, but you have to admit it’s a whole new world when we hear White House official news coming from the President’s Twitter feed. That’s new and innovative, to be sure, but it doesn’t ring “official” to me. Someone came up with an app that takes the President’s tweets and inserts those 140 characters onto White House letterhead.
Pat Cunnane, a former Obama White House press aide, helped create the @RealPressSecBot which repackages the president’s social media outbursts as official documents issued from the White House. When Trump tweets in the middle of the night, the bot turns the post into an official-looking statement. Says Cunnane: “Because he’s President — all of Trump’s Tweets should be mocked up in the correct Presidential statement format.” According to a statement by Press Secretary Sean Spicer today, the presidential tweets are to be treated like any other official press release or presidential statement.
Newsweek quotes New York Times White House Reporter Maggie Haberman: “Calling Trump’s statements online tweets ‘minimizes’ them. They’re statements from the president made on Twitter,” she pointed out, noting that the bot gives them the official appearance they deserve. Regular White House statements “are useless,” wrote Haberman’s colleague Glenn Thrush, adding that Trump’s “Tweets should be treated as official policy.”
[Note: A new word in our daily lexicon, a “bot” is
I’m old. Growing up, we learned of the news watching Walter Cronkite. I still read a Sunday newspaper. My Twitter feed is full of different news sources feeding me bite-sized pieces of information. I trust some websites and don’t trust others, as we all do. However, I still have a problem trusting a tweet instead of a trusted news anchor telling me the same bit of news. What do you think?