Opinion: Trump is selling himself. Readers say the L.A. Times shouldn’t help
Laurie Roberts | USA TODAY
Show Caption Hide Caption Donald Trump Jr. talks about ‘Access Hollywood’ controversy with CNN Donald Trump Jr. sat down with CNN’s John Berman to discuss his father’s most recent controversy when he spoke to reporters in the Oval Office about the recent allegations of an inappropriate relationship between himself and Billy Bush. (Nov. 15)
The Los Angeles Times is a local media outlet, but its editorial and feature pages have a much bigger reach. It’s a testament to this fact that a piece on how President Donald Trump is selling himself — using the power of his office and his social media footprint to boost his already inflated popularity, all while alienating those who oppose him — did not make any impact.
The piece, a lengthy interview of Donald Trump Jr.’s father Donald Jr. that the Times chose not to publish despite his public statement against “revolting” journalism, was a brief synopsis written by Times columnist John Markoff about the president’s “rudimentary” efforts to use the power of his office and Twitter to benefit his campaign, his family and himself.
The Times doesn’t have the power to control how its readers see President Trump, and so it did not control how readers saw the interview that the paper chose not to publish. Yet, they are far from alone.
In their piece, the Times reported that in the time the interview was published, Trump Jr. had 1.3 million Twitter followers, and had tweeted at least 15,000 times about his own father.
“The president uses his Twitter feed to fire off messages to his more than 15,000 followers, but it is not the same as a daily press briefing, which is where Mr. Trump gives an off-the-cuff reaction to breaking news or a policy statement,” wrote Markoff.
He added: “His tweets, in other words, are his news releases, not a major statement to a newsroom audience. More specifically, in this case, he tweets about things like the Russia investigation, the threat of terrorism, and the latest developments in the government shutdown in Arizona, which recently forced a government shutdown of more than a week.”
“In his tweets, Mr. Trump talks about his businesses or about Mr. Cohen, as in