Please, Media, Let's Fire The Donald
By Sam Parker
On Wednesday, Donald Trump declared that his Twitter account has become so powerful, that he can actually make his "enemies" tell the truth. While I'm not sure who he considers his enemies -- he does not seem to believe anyone is his equal, at the very least -- and the truth is a tenuous concept for The Donald, it must be acknowledged that yes, his Twitter account has indeed gained a certain modicum of influence.And that is all our fault. Twitter-reporting has become a favorite, easy pastime for the media; publicly accessible and all in one place, tweets require no research, and given their short character limit, unwelcoming of nuance. Twitter rivalries between celebrities are, if not contrived, at least incredibly easy to for B-Listers to manufacture; fire off a few bold messages and just wait for the blogs to grab a hold of them (Slams! Rips! Bashes! Fires back! They're all nice verbs for such headlines). Trump, who has put his name on everything from apartment buildings to bottled water, has mastered this manipulation. After several business bankruptcies and shady payment avoidances, the bloated, bloviating egotist has found new life as a tabloid brand, perfect for the internet's insatiable hunger for click fodder. After a masturbatorial public deliberation over whether to run for president (shock! he decided not to do it!), during which he voiced the most absurd and flatly racists accusations against President Obama, he backed Mitt Romney and returned to doing what he does best: making a lot of noise, and being wrong all the time. Just Wednesday alone, Trump fired off 53 tweets, offering his ridiculous opinions on all sorts of topics: Derek Jeter's ankle injury (he blamed it on the Yankee shortstop selling his apartment in Trump Towers), wind turbines (they've killed millions of birds, he says, and threaten the environment?), why the World Trade Center collapsed (owners made the moral decision to remove asbestos from its walls), Obama's college records (he refuses to believe Obama graduated from Columbia), Hulk Hogan's sex tape (they're good friends, you know), Michael Vick (not a great quarterback), A-Rod (he should start, but shouldn't hit on women), and Kristen Stewart (she's a "dog" that Robert Pattinson should not take back). Now, which of those things is he qualified to comment on? Is he a Twihard? Did he work at Columbia's academic office? Does he have control of Derek Jeter's health and karma? Is he privy to the inner workings of Hulk Hogan's sex life? Does he actually believe that it's a good thing, for two 100-story buildings to be stuffed with poison fibers? Either Trump is a damned fool (possible), or he's just trolling, baiting the press and seeking attention. (Or, of course, both). Whatever the inspiration behind these tweets, the sad truth is that it's working; outlets report his tweets like they are major news, instead of the ridiculous secretions from the squeezing of an old egomaniac's warped mind. I know that the internet is a constantly churning machine, always demanding more headlines to keep its combustion sparking. But there must be some line of decency and a threshold of relevance to what we report as "news." And yes, the designation of news on the internet is quite loosely rewarded. But a has-been with a coonskin cap for a haircut, who simply exists to spread hateful accusations and build monuments to his own pomposity, is neither decent nor relevant, in even the most flexible ways. He has no impact on public policy or popular culture, and the only time we'd notice he was gone would be when we paused to ponder why we suddenly had a few extra minutes in our day, and felt a lot less agitated. Please, internet, join together to freeze out Donald Trump. And yes, sadly, I know he would secretly enjoy this campaign if it came to his attention.
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