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Donald Trump Manipulates the Media Again, Turns a Lie Into the News

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 28, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 28, 2018 |


We don’t really cover Donald Trump’s morning Twitter rants anymore, unless he says something new or beyond stupid, which is to say, thanks to the latter, we still cover Trump’s morning Twitter rants semi-regularly. I can only assume the man wakes up in his empty, lonely bed too early because he can’t sleep — panicked because the walls are closing in around him — and stumbles into his bathroom and spends 40 minutes on his morning constitutional. Still blurry-eyed and groggy, he probably thinks he’s had an epiphany, that this latest Twitter salvo will save him, save his Presidency, or at the very least, paint himself as the perfect victim so that the entire country will feel sorrow and pity for him, which I can only assume is the trick he has been pulling on his wives for decades.

At 5:24 a.m., while sitting on the toilet, undoubtedly, Trump tweeted:

Donald Trump is screaming at an algorithm, an algorithm that takes hundreds of factors into account, but these three factors are paramount: The authority of the website (determined not just by the number of incoming links, but the quality of the sites providing those incoming links); the relevance of the results, which in this case would be determined by how often the article mentions “Trump” and “news” or similar words; and recency, which is to say that the most recent results take priority.

When Trump tweeted that, the top results for “Trump News” were: 1) A Fox News article saying that Lanny Davis admitted being an anonymous source for Lanny Davis; a Vanity Fair piece about how “Trump is nuts,” the main Donald Trump page on CNN; a post from The Atlantic headlined, “Donald Trump is the First White President,” another Vanity Fair piece, “Inside the Trump Marriage: Melania’s Burden,” and a NYMag piece, “What if Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987.”

But this is just another situation where — even with the Google algorithm — Trump has managed to manufacture outrage and then turn it into news. Go to Google and type in “Trump News” now and you’ll see that the top TWO results are from Fox News, and the next four are: “Trump claims Google is Suppressing Positive News About Him,” from The Verge; “Trump wakes up complaining about negative Google search results,” on the WashPo; “Trump starts fight with algorithm,” on Vice; “Trump slams Google, says it prioritizes ‘fake news’ in searches,” from ABC, and “Trump accuses Google of rigging search results against him” on CNBC.

And one way or another, that’s how Trump has been manipulating the news since the very beginning of his Presidency. He twists and manipulates the media into covering exactly what he wants them to cover, papering over more pressing or important news, and the media plays right into his tiny, tiny hands. Instead of a Vanity Fair piece about how “Trump is nuts,” being one of the top stories, the top stories are about Trump’s fake feud with an algorithm. Note, too, how not a single one of those headlines says, “Trump WRONGLY Claims that Google is Suppressing Positive News,” or “Trump’s Latest Lies Extend to Google Search Results.”

It’s so easy. (Trump news). It’s just so damn easy. (Trump News. Trump News. Trump News.)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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