Opinion | Trump vs. Ocasio-Cortez: Who Will Win the Internet? - The New York Times
They both know how to control the narrative. But one of them comes across as a human being and the other as a cartoon bobblehead.
I recently wrote a column about how Mr. Trump had been using social media to govern, noting that “we are now a government of the Twitter, by the Twitter and for the Twitter.” That’s even truer this week, as the government shutdown has dragged on and Mr. Trump has taken to Twitter to provide running commentary of the situation and also to make threats, attack foes, lob fact-free water balloons and generally conduct a bizarre play-by-play of his state of mind. After his television appearance this week to demand funding for his fantasy wall was widely panned as lackluster, he doubled down on tweets to make his ALL-CAPS points.
What’s interesting about Mr. Trump’s digital efforts is that even though he is always online, he is not Extremely Online. Rather than fully engaging with the platforms and employing their nifty audio and video tools, he has stuck to text, using his own set of locutions and his own distinctive voice. While at first this made him seem, to many supporters at least, more authentic than the average politician, it is now making him look more and more like a giant cartoon bobblehead. The internet is not making him more of a person.
It would be a mistake to dismiss their practices as just noise. Because, as Mr. Warzel noted correctly, they are controlling the narrative by doing this so effectively. “It’s agenda-setting,” he wrote, whether we’re talking about the wall (Mr. Trump) or taxing the rich (Ms. Ocasio-Cortez). “Constant content creation forces your opponent to respond to you.” It means you are creating the news.