A Bird In The Hand

Does Donald Trump even need the press?

Photo: Katherine H

What social media has done is flatten the media’s power structures such that every other closed media circuit — including yours — is constantly available for appropriation, mockery or eavesdropping. This, for a figure like Trump, is liberating and changes the press calculus in exciting ways. Not only does he get to communicate frequently and directly with citizens, but he doesn’t have to answer to would-be mediators; in fact, his feed provides him with clear and pleasing evidence of their constant degradation. Benefits once reserved for those who granted access to media — coverage, reach and the coinciding appearance of legitimacy — are available to him without cost or compromise. Reporters covering Trump have been confused and confounded by the question of where they stand in relation to him; their subject, in contrast, never is.

New York Times David Carr Fellow John Herrman elucidates the mutating parameters of access and spectacle in our strange media age:

Donald Trump and the Theater of Access

It is in many ways a sequel to his piece predicting these very trends in this prescient — but clearly not frightening enough — piece from 2015.

Access Denied

Anyway, stay off Twitter. Unless you are not sure if there are more important issues to discuss than whether or not Donald Trump photoshopped an image of his hand and you need guidance from a member of the media on the subject, because boy there are plenty of them there who will be happy to offer it.