As President Trump continues to degrade our democracy and diminish the freedom of the press, Twitter’s CFO/COO Anthony Noto sees a marketing opportunity.
@realDonaldTrump May I suggest questions submitted and answered via Twitter. A perfect record and we distribute to the world not just those with a TV
— Anthony Noto (@anthonynoto) May 12, 2017
Trump issued a thinly veiled threat this morning on Twitter, saying that maybe he should cancel the century-old tradition of daily White House press briefings, offering instead to issue written responses for the sake of accuracy.
Of course, there are countless (actually countless, cough Sarah Huckabee Sanders cough) reasons why the White House press briefing is critical to the coverage of the President and his ability to communicate with the public. To name just a few, live press briefings allow the media to push back on false statements, ask questions, get clarifications, and allow the public to watch these exchanges live.
But with Trump, in particular, the removal of the daily press briefing is even more dangerous. Trump, armed with his two Twitter accounts, has already used social media more than any other President, and his Twitter feed seems to purposefully undermine and circumvent the media.
The threat to cancel White House press briefings in exchange for written, prepared responses is laughable. Except for the fact that it makes me want to cry.
You can’t blame the guy for asking. Twitter is just starting to get its groove back, and from a business perspective, a Twitter-ized WH press briefing would be a huge win for the company. But it certainly looks like opportunism (or worse, ignorance) on the part of Noto and Twitter to send this tweet.
Chris Sacca tweeted a response to Noto:
Don’t chase MAUs to the dark side.
— Chris Sacca (@sacca) May 12, 2017
In terms of the well-being of the United States of America, which relies on a free press and some level of transparency between the WH and the media, a Twitter-based WH press briefing is actually rather dangerous.
Just as the government itself operates with a level of checks and balances, the media offers another set of checks and balances for the White House’s relationship with the public. The press briefing, while flawed, is a critical piece of that. Moving the interaction to Twitter would turn the press into just another account clamoring for the President’s attention. Which is exactly what he wants.
— Mark Ghuneim (@MarkGhuneim) May 12, 2017
— ~ a l e x ~ (@broadgood) May 12, 2017
So, yeah… have a great Friday!
Featured Image: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images