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article imageOp-Ed: Trump vs media — A war in progress as the marketing falls apart

By Paul Wallis     Aug 5, 2020 in Internet
Washington - Facebook and Twitter have taken exception to recent posts by Trump and his campaign. Twitter has banned further Tweets by the campaign until a specific post is removed. Facebook has removed a post which it says is misleading about COVID-19.
Both cite breaches of policy. The news isn’t getting much better for Trump on the wider viewscreen, either. Trump has stated the world is “exploding” with the virus, and simultaneously said that children are “almost immune” to it. Twitter and Facebook’s fact checkers don’t agree. Nor do most experts.
Given that Trump first called the pandemic a hoax, and then accused China of starting it, the track record on factual consistency isn’t good. Unless you’re a true deadhead conspiracy nut, these constant reversals of statements simply don’t make any sense at all.
For a guy who got elected on the basis of social media, Trump’s current misadventures on social media and media in general are baffling. His hostility to mainstream media, selective as it is and largely based on attacking critics, is well-known.
Social media, however, that fountain of truths, is supposed to be his support base. Given the weird numbers Trump’s Twitter account usually produces, that’s also highly debatable. His numbers are all over the place.
Another, perhaps less obvious, but hardly surprising, factor is the obvious need of Trump for applause. Social media is no monument to critical thinking of any kind. The applause doesn’t have to be genuine, or even real; it just has to be the cheers he wants to hear.
This isn't 2016
Maybe that worked in 2016, pre-pandemic, pre-Cambridge Analytica, and pre-anyone waking up to the marketing methods. Now, it’s very different. In 2016 30 million Americans weren’t unemployed. 22% of people weren’t feeling threatened with eviction.
A series of Tweets and Facebook posts on third-party issues can’t sell well to this truly struggling electorate. They want to know what he’s going to do about the problems, and not one word is coming out so far.
If you’ve got kids, you’d probably prefer to hear the medical stuff from a doctor, not some throwaway line from a golfing holidaymaker living in COVID-19 Central in Florida. If you’ve got financial problems, you’d like them to get a mention sometime.
Trump’s marketing has basically fallen to bits. This isn’t 2016. He couldn’t even fill a stadium in Tulsa. No market analyst who can be bothered being conscious could call these good indicators. He’s barely connecting with his base except at jingle level.
He can’t tell them he knows what it’s like to be poor and worried about everything to do with just living. …And he hasn’t. He’s missing every single issue on the board. Not a word of sympathy for the 157,854 dead of his “hoax” virus. Not a word about what’s happening with all that information he demanded be sent to the White House, not the CDC.
Here’s a motto for someone: “Live by social media, die by social media.” …Or maybe “Wave the flag long enough, and that flag might just decide you need strangling with it.”
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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