TRUMP and Twitter go together like ham and eggs. But only if the eggs have salmonella and the ham has gone off.
There is a reason that Donald Trump likes Twitter so much: it is direct, brief and unmodulated, allowing him to spout whatever cancerous nonsense he wishes. It is, in short, the perfect platform for a narcissist with a short attention span and the petulant self-regard of a spoiled eight-year-old.
Scary reminder time: next month, a tantrum on legs who acts like a spoiled eight-year-old will become the most important man on earth.
Other world leaders are available, of course, and it could be argued that Vladimir Putin deserves the ‘most important’ badge at present. This is certainly suggested by persistent allegations that Russia hacked emails and interfered in the US election.
US President Barack Obama has vowed to act against Russia for this alleged interference. “We need to take action and we will,” he told the US radio station NPR.
Naturally enough, the Republicans and their president-elect are having none of it and have dismissed the claims as “ridiculous”. Yet the US intelligence agencies claim to have overwhelming evidence that Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin were behind the hacks – apparently aimed at harming Hillary Clinton, and therefore helping Trump.
What strange events American elections are: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than two million votes and yet lost (a quirk of their system) – and her efforts may have been undermined by the Russians hacking emails.
Whatever the truth of all this, there is only just over a month to find out. This is because all the evidence suggests that the Trump administration will take a strong line against news of which it disapproves. Don’t expect to find out anything critical or Trump-sceptical next year.
Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich, a long-time Trump-er, said that supporters of the president-elect were entering a “world in which we get to tell the truth”. An alarming claim when you consider Trump’s meagre acquaintance with the truth.
According to the Guardian, Gingrich gave a speech on ‘The Principles of Trumpism’ in which he attacked the legitimacy of a critical media, singling out the New York Times and the Washington Post as publications “prone to lying”.
Gingrich said: “These people are not news people, they are not reporters, they are propagandists. They write junk and they write junk with a deliberate left-wing bias and we ought to just take them to task every single time they do it.”
If the notoriously touchy Trump intends to run an administration that constantly attacks the right of the media to be critical, the world looks a little bit more worrying.
In the Disunited States of Trump-merica, the media needs to be hyper-aware and hyper-critical – and not cowed into accepting whatever version of the truth the Trump gang prefers.
This is why it is worrying that Steve Bannon, boss of the extreme right-wing website Breitbart, has been appointed as a senior White House aide. Brietbart was, as Bannon acknowledges, a gathering point for extremists of the “alt-right” during the US election. What sort of a man is he to have in the White House?
The worry is that the attention-phobic Trump will be a figurehead president, leaving all sorts of virulent right-wingers from the reborn Republicans to run the country. And that’s not a comforting thought.