CNN, Donald Trump, and Twitter

Personally, I have no problem with President Donald Trump using Twitter. It’s not using Twitter that’s the issue. Social media is a useful tool for anyone who wants to get a message out to the public. In fact, anyone in a public position is silly not to make the most of social media.

Trump himself has made excellent use of social media. He has an instinctive talent for getting the best out of it in most situations and it’s probably a bigly reason he won the 2016 US presidential election.

One of the good things about it is that it has enabled him to get his message out to his followers without a media, or even a press office, filter. Of course, that’s also one of the bad things.

Trump on the strengths of Twitter cartoon.


The problem with Trump’s use of social media is some of the things he chooses to put out. He told us before the election that if he won, he’d be so presidential it’d be boring. Well, we’re still waiting for that to happen. Of course, Trump, in the way only he can, thinks that he is being presidential.

To be fair, using Twitter and other social media is modern day presidential. Using the bully pulpit of the presidency to bully fellow USians, which Trump is wont to do, is not.

In Trump’s case, he’s also sticking it to his wife, and not for the first time.

Melania Trump Stop Cyber-Bullying cartoon

Donald Trump Versus The Media

There has always been a love-hate relationship between Trump and the media. During his campaign it’s estimated that the free media coverage from the various outlets was worth billions of dollars in free advertising. The New York Times estimates US$2 billion. Other outlets put the estimate as high as US$5 billion.

Bought vs Free Media 2016 Presidential Campaign

Bought vs Free Media 2016 Presidential Campaign (Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


Instead of being grateful, not long after Trump made it to the Oval Office this tweet came out:

That’s not actually the original version of the tweet. He apparently thought better of including the word “sick”, which he had originally.

Trump Tweet

(Source: New York Times. Click pic to go to source.)

Quite frankly, I think that makes him the sick one.


Enemy of the People cartoon


He wants all media about him, no matter what he says or does, to be positive. If that doesn’t happen, he accuses the media of lying or being fake.

Narcissus cartoon.

The media’s job, at least if they’re any good, is to tell the truth whatever their personal opinions.

Report facts cartoon.


He wants the news to look like this.

Trump's ideal newspaper cartoon

But when the polls look like this, the media has a duty to report it.

Quinnipiac poll

So each morning, usually while watching morning cable news, he tweets.

Good morning Mr President cartoon.

And the news outlets wait, agog.

As his deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders points out, most of his tweets are actually about policy and other important issues. However, they get lost, and that’s entirely Trump’s own fault. When a president uses Twitter to abuse people, that’s far more interesting that telling them that he’s phoning Saudi Arabia, as he did today.


Trump headline cartoon.


Trump versus MSNBC

It’s now got to the stage where it’s beyond a joke. First, less than a week ago, we had to deal with a series of unhinged tweets about MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough which started with these tweets.

Then this a day later.

Pointing out that the first salvo came from him, that at no point during her time at Mar-a-Lago was Brzezinski’s face bleeding, that the couple didn’t ask to join Trump’s party, and Scarborough didn’t call Trump to ask him to stop a (genuinely) fake story in the National Enquirer was meaningless to Trump. The need to attack was too great.

His ever-faithful press secretary made the usual excuses for her boss, the main one being that Trump will always hit back harder than he’s been hit. That one always makes me think of kids in the playground.

In between, there was all sorts of the sort of stuff a president should be tweeting. That there was a lot less coverage of that Trump has no one to blame for but himself.

He's trying to make you look bad cartoon.

I thought the best response came from Mark Kornblau, the head of PR for NBC News and MSNBC. He said:

I never imagined a day when I would think to myself, ‘it is beneath my dignity to respond to the President of the United States’.

Donald Trump Versus CNN

The fall out from this was so bad that you’d think Trump might have learnt something. That he would settle down a bit, at least for a while. But no. That’s not what real men do. Real men, in Trump’s mind, come out fighting. CNN was up next.

Trump sinks lower cartoon.

There’s been a battle going on between CNN and the president for a while; tweets like this one have been a regular offering.

CNN Trump Fake News cartoon.

CNN has made mistakes in their coverage of him, which Trump has taken personally. However, as a regular viewer of CNN, I consider they are pretty fair in what they say. Yes, they do say negative things about him, but only when they have evidence that he has done something wrong. And when they get it wrong, there are consequences.

CNN vs White House

On 3 July, the most powerful man in the most powerful country in the world … pause and let that sink in for a moment … put this on Twitter:


We now have CNN‘s response, and it’s hilarious!



I doubt this is over. I imagine there’s lots more to come. Trump’s presidency still has 3.5 years to go. At least. Still, it would be nice if parents weren’t in this situation.

Don't behave like Trump cartoon.

Update: The Far Corner Cafe

Pliny-the-Inbetween has a new cartoon up today with the comment:

PUNZLE TRANSLATION: Unlike most previous Presidents, who tended to temper responses to any annoyance, any time Trump gets a bug up his ass we get a shitstorm.

It says a lot of what I was saying above.

Trump Shitstorm The Far Corner Cafe

(Click Punzle to go to source.)



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26 Responses to “CNN, Donald Trump, and Twitter”

  1. Ken says:

    I only wish CNN’s “response” had actually come from CNN! Humour is really the only way to deal with this farcical so-called president.

  2. After the first two months, we thought he was making GW Bush look good. Two more months and he’d fired Comey and we thought he’s making Nixon look good. Now, on July 4, almost six months in, he’s making George III look good!

  3. j.a.m. says:

    “The media’s job, at least if they’re any good, is to tell the truth whatever their personal opinions.˝

    On that point everyone who is not a politician or tycoon is in total agreement. But that’s not reality. It certainly wasn’t reality during eight dreadful years of nauseating fawning over Obama. The dominant media never dream of challenging left-wing talking points, interest groups or causes. To the contrary they are reliable and thoughtless cheerleaders. Their credibility reached zero long before Trump entered politics.

    • I remember Obama being challenged by the media. It’s not his fault there’s so much more to challenge Trump on. If he had done what Trump did, he would have had just as hard a time.

      • j.a.m. says:

        If Obama had done precisely what the lamestream media dings Trump for doing… CNN would have hailed him as a poet of staggering talent and supple intelligence. The NY Times would have heralded the groundbreaking tweets of a man whose absentee daddy happened to be Kenyan (and only racists would dare say otherwise). Newsweek would have compared Obama’s tweets to the keen analytical intelligence of grand masters playing three-dimensional chess. Rachel Maddow would have condemned the Swedish Academy as patriarchal hetero-normative white supremacists when they didn’t award the Nobel Prize in Literature to Obama every year for that year’s most precious tweets. Andrea Mitchell would have breathlessly reported: “No man’s tweets ever were as perfect as this man’s. They are better than we are.”

        In other words, they would have shoveled exactly the same malarkey that they actually did for eight long years.

  4. rickflick says:

    As you say Heather, it is troubling to try to guess how this will develop over the coming months and years. I’ve settled myself in for the long haul. I no longer have such a strong personal reaction to Trump’s daily shenanigans. But, I keep my eye on the real issues of government.

    • I’m a bit like that too, but then I think about how quickly I’ve become used to this. It’s one of the reasons I thought it was time for a post. With what’s happening in the DPRK (which I will write about) USians in particular may need to rely heavily on him, and it’s hard to rely on or trust someone like him.

  5. Jenny Haniver says:

    The other day I heard some pundit opine that future presidential historians will have a gold mine in Trump’s tweets. How true. Never before (and probably never again) has there been a president who revealed himself so candidly and wantonly to the world.

    I’ve been intrigued by his obsession with bleeding women, and though JAC (and perhaps you, too) would dismiss my search for underlying symbolism and what it might reveal about his demonstrably twisted psyche as silly and irrelevant, it intrigues me, and I’ve found some quite interesting stuff – beginning, but not ending, with the bleeding woman in the bible (and don’t forget that blood is regarded as theologically unclean.

    • I was actually going to mention the obsession with blood. I half dismissed it before, but going on about Mika’s bleeding face when it wasn’t even bleeding convinced me. There’s something (else) screwy there.

      • Jenny Haniver says:

        Definitely something screwy going on in his screwy mind. I should have clarified — it’s, of course, women’s blood that’s considered unclean, especially associated with menstruation.

  6. Ann German says:


  7. Mark R. says:

    Well I subscribed again, so hopefully I’ll be getting your posts again. I just had the thought that Heather probably has some good posts dammit, and I keep forgetting to check and/or fix this wordpress problem. We’ll see what happens when next you post.

    Thanks for this great highlight of Tr*mp’s foolish and dangerous tenure so far. Those cartoons are spot on. I never see good political cartoons anywhere but here.

  8. nicky says:

    If I had to describe Mr Trump in one word it would be ‘conman’ or ‘shyster’.
    Or, of course, ‘usurper’, since he reached his presidency by fraud: gerrymandering , Crosscheck, discarded ‘provisional’ votes, counting irregularities, etc. etc.

    • j.a.m. says:

      I respectfully take exception to all of your points, but the one about gerrymandering is flat wrong. Only two States select any electors by district–for a combined total of five electoral votes, therefore having no bearing whatever on the final result.

      • Mark R. says:

        Wow…I don’t like responding to you because it’s a waste of time. I’m a fast typist, so I’ll break one of my roolz. I advise you to google a certain Kris Kobach and get your shit correct. Your comments are plainly and transparently ignorant. Gerrymandering is just one of the many cheating ways. Simply stating one of the forms of voter suppression only happens in two states is stupid. It shouldn’t happen in any…two is a HUGE problem. And again, if you knew what was going on, you’d be outraged. Obviously, you’re ill-informed.

  9. j.a.m. says:

    Nicky claims that Trump “reached his presidency by fraud”, and then mentions gerrymandering. I simply pointed out the irrelevance of that point, since legislative district boundaries have absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of any presidential election.

    If you have evidence of some kind of electoral fraud, go to court. The left usually claims there is no such thing, but go figure.

    • nicky says:

      Yes, I think indeed that gerrymandering was not the really instrumental scam in Mr Trump’s ‘victory’. You’ve got a point there. However, crosscheck and disenfranchising of voters was. As well as the spurious discarding votes. Why was Virginia the only Swing State where the exit polls were close to the count? Exactly, the counting there was not overseen by a Rep secretary.
      I’m not a US citizen, so I won’t go to court (dunno if I even could), but from outside, the US elections look like the ones of a banana republic.

      • nicky says:

        In view of the lack of reaction, can we all agree on ‘usurper’?

        • I think the real problem is a combination of the US electoral system and gerrymandering. This video about gerrymandering in the US is good:

          And this is really good, but almost 20 minutes long:

          • j.a.m. says:

            The first video advocates for the purity of algorithmic redistricting, which in theory would eliminate bias (or more accurately, would be more transparent in its biases). The video doesn’t really provide any evidence or analysis to suggest that gerrymandering is a “problem” or even a significant factor in the USA. In any case, again, whatever one’s views of gerrymandering, it has nothing to do with the outcome of the last presidential election.

            The second video seems to be off-topic.

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