Between his long-standing personal Twitter account and his official White House Twitter account, President Trump has many millions of followers. Each of his tweets is often “liked” more than 100,000 times and retweeted, on rough average, 20,000 times. That is a lot of buzz. Mr. Trump has tweeted 953 times since taking office on @POTUS, his official tweet source. He also has tweeted 35,400 times on @realDonaldTrump — the personal account he has held since 2009.
There is much indignation in the mainstream media over this phenomenon. Journalists and critics alike often act as if Mr. Trump’s frequent tweets are not a legitimate form of communication, or unpresidential. This has not always been the case.
On March 17, 2009, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos conducted the network’s very first official Twitter interview with Sen. John McCain. Everyone concerned appeared delighted. Mr. Stephanopoulos referred to the exchange as a “Twitterview” and offered this comment in the aftermath: “Twitter’s fun. The concision it demands is both blessing and curse. You gain directness. You lose a bit of subtlety and comprehensiveness.”
At the time, Republican strategist Ron Bonjean also offered this observation: “The positive thing is that Twitter can work. Short bites of information are always effective.”
All these years later, Mr. Trump appears to have honed his tweet skills to a fine edge. He continues to cut to the chase, and remains the daily centerpiece of global news coverage.
“Only the Fake News Media and Trump enemies want me to stop using Social Media (110 million people). Only way for me to get the truth out!” he tweeted Tuesday.
SCHOOLING THE PRESS
A 22-minute encounter on Tuesday between White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and assembled journalists was flinty, particularly when Mrs. Sanders addressed the media’s ongoing fascination with possible links between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian officials in all its permutations. This time around, questions focused on a meeting last year between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney.
Mrs. Sanders would have none of it.
“You guys are focused on a meeting that Don Jr. had that was of no consequence — when the Democrats actually colluded with a foreign government like Ukraine. The Democrat-linked firm, Fusion GPS, actually took money from the Russian government while it created the phony dossier that’s been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news. And if you want to talk further about a relationship with Russia, look no further than the Clintons,” she told the group.
“Bill Clinton was paid half-a-million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank and was personally thanked by Vladimir Putin for it. Hillary Clinton allowed one-fifth of America’s uranium reserve to be sold to a Russian firm whose investors were Clinton Foundation donors, and the Clinton campaign chairman’s brother lobbied against sanctions on Russia’s largest bank and failed to report it. If you guys want to talk about having relations, which you seem obsessed with doing, look no further than there.”
FOR THE LEXICON
“Planetary Protection Officer.” Yes, this is real. NASA is now advertising for an official, full-time planetary protection officer.
“This position is assigned to Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection. Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,” the federal space notes.
The salary range for the job is $124,406 to $187,000 per year. The three-year appointment also requires the applicant to be eligible for a secret clearance.
BEACH READING AMONG LEARNED FOLK
National Review contributors have recommended books for summer reading for those headed for hammock or beach blanket. Here’s a sampling of the preferred books — and who suggested them:
“The Diaries of John Quincy Adams, 1779-1848,” (Suggested by Richard Brookhiser)
“Use of Force” by Brad Thor; “Stay Interesting: I Don’t Always Tell Stories about My Life, but When I Do They’re True and Amazing,” by Jonathan Goldsmith; “Unscripted,” by Ernie Johnson Jr. (Suggested by Jim Geraghty)
“Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism” by Mark Levin; “The Administrative Threat” by Philip Hamburger. (Suggested by Roger Kimball)
“John Adams’s Republic,” by Richard Alan Ryerson; “The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom” by Thomas G. West. (Suggested by YuvalLevin)
“The Lost City of the Monkey God” by Douglas Preston; “The Night Ocean” by Paul La Farge. (Suggested by John J. Miller)
“Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy” by David A. Nichols; “Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East” by Michael Doran. (Suggested by Tevi Troy)
“The White Company,” by Arthur Conan Doyle; “Liberty’s Nemesis,” edited by Dean Reuter and John Yoo. (Suggested by Hans A. von Spakovsky)
Fox News Channel remains the cable king. According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News tops the entire cable realm for the 13th consecutive month, besting HGTV, ESPN and other rivals. Fox also remains the most-watched cable news network for the 187th consecutive month — that’s more than 15 years. Fox News draws 1.3 million viewers during the day, MSNBC has 926,000 and CNN 674,000. During prime time, Fox News enjoys 2.1 million viewers while MSNBC has 1.7 million and CNN 892,000.
In addition, Fox Business Network now marks its ninth month as the leader in business news, drawing and average of 174,000 viewers to CNBC’s 145,000.
POLL DU JOUR
• 62 percent of “people around the globe” say ISIS is among the top threats in the world; 74 percent of Americans and 58 percent of Russians agree.
• 61 percent cite “global climate change” among top threats; 56 percent of Americans and 35 percent of Russians agree.
• 51 percent cite “cyberattack from other countries”; 71 percent of Americans and 34 percent of Russians agree.
• 51 percent cite “the condition of the global economy”; 37 percent of Americans and 38 percent of Russians agree.
• 31 percent cite “China’s power and influence”; 41 percent of Americans and 19 percent of Russians agree.
Source: A Pew Research Center Global Attitudes survey of 38,000 adults in 38 nations conducted February through May and released Tuesday
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin
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