USA Today: Media Pay More Attention to Trump Tweets than Policy

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with reporters as he arrives to speak at a No Labels Problem Solver convention, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Jim Cole/AP

In a fascinating confession, USA Today has acknowledged that the mainstream media pay far more attention to President Trump’s tweets than they do to his policy decisions.

There are relatively few mainstream news stories concerning Trump’s impact on the national economy, the stock market or the unemployment rate because in the 12 months since his inauguration, “the headlines from Donald Trump’s presidency have been dominated by disruption: provocative tweets, derisive language and epic feuds,” the newspaper stated.

What the paper fails to mention, of course, is that those headlines are written by real people. The choice to focus on tweets rather than job creation is not an inevitability, and the cause of those headlines is not the president but the editors and headline writers.

Perhaps the real reason behind the media’s behavior is that most of the real news is good news, and therefore news outlets feel obliged to underscore the president’s bluster rather than his policies in their ongoing crusade to resist his administration.

At the level of content, however, “Trump has had an important impact on everything from the taxes to regulation to Americans’ regard, or lack of it, for the nation’s institutions,” USA Today recognized. “Trump’s legacy will affect American governance and life long after he has moved out of the White House.”

As examples of important stories glossed over by mainstream media, USA Today mentions Trump tax cuts, “America First” policies, deregulation, a shake-up of the EPA, challenges to the establishment and his prolific appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and appellate courts.

USA Today noted that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was “the biggest tax cut enacted in three decades” and one that the White House argues “will boost economic growth, create jobs, and put more money in the pockets of most families.”

Things could still go sour, the paper warns, citing prophecies of growing national debt, “long-term repercussions” in environmental protection and a reduction in America’s “role and influence in the world.”

Yet despite the typically critical tone adopted toward the president, USA Today couldn’t help but note the obvious: that at one year into the Trump presidency, the nation is enjoying “a robust economy, with healthy growth, a record-setting stock market and low unemployment” meaning that “Americans feel increasingly optimistic about the economy.”

Which only suggests that the mainstream media will be all the more engrossed in Mr. Trump’s twitter feed during 2018.

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