The man in the White House may or may not be a stable genius, but he is a master at using social media to influence his target audience. But maybe his social media approach is now backfiring.
Let’s face it, the current US President is good at social media - or at least good at using it to communicate with his target audience. And he is very good at turning the language of his critics against them.
If a publication accuses him of being less than enthusiastic with the truth, he accuses his accuser of peddling fake news.
If a publication, journalist, or political rival condemns him or a member of his team for allegedly doing something either illegal or unethical, he describes his accusers of being criminal.
He is a master of spinning critiques against his critics.
Of course, some people see a reason to dislike him in everything he does, but that’s not the point, he has his core following - people who are naturally inclined to dislike the kind of things CNN or The New York Times say. And it’s a core audience the US President is trying to expand.
During The Presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton accused him of being a Russian puppet, to which he replied, “No puppet, no puppet. You’re the puppet.”
One of the pieces of advice he gives to people trying to criticise the President is not to mention his surname.
You can call him Donald, you can call him ‘he who must not be named’, you can call him Lord Voldemort if you want to, but don’t say Trump.
Lakoff talks about framing - it’s how you begin a critique, instead of starting by mentioning the President’s name, start by saying something positive, talk about your key point, then apply it to the President.
Now consider Fire and Fury, the book’s author, Michael Wolff, says that the reaction to the book by the US President has just served to boost sales.
And the US President Tweets: “Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!.”
In short, he has framed his critique in a way to help boost the book. He would have been better off not starting his Tweet with the name of the Fire and Fury author.