The app that once 'nurtured Trump’s nuttism' might not help him this time: analyst
Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump Turnberry. (

Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer argues in a Saturday, August 26 column, "By returning to the social media outlet that helped make him 'great,'" ex-President Donald Trump's recent post of his mugshot to X — formerly known as Twitter — "may presage an attempt to restart the media fire of his 2016 campaign and his presidency."

The 2024 MAGA hopeful had his mugshot taken Thursday, August 24 after surrendering at a Fulton County, Georgia jail, three weeks after he was indicted on charges related to his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Then, he posted the photo to X.

Shafer writes:

The environment that so nurtured Trump's nuttism has degraded since he filled our silos with his opinions and policy statements. Many journalists still use Twitter, but the site has lost its cultural and political primacy. During his vacation from Twitter, TikTok became the world's most popular domain, and his comments on Truth Social or at rallies no longer carried instant weight now that he was an ex-president. Even since announcing his candidacy and leading the polls, Trump has often failed to make himself Topic A in the political conversation (except for during his spurt of indictments). Even Fox News, which pampered him like a pet pig during his presidency, now gives him the cold shoulder.

He notes:

Like most boars who are ignored, Trump will likely roar louder to be heard. But that won’t likely win him the audience and approval he seeks. As the New York Times reported in 2019, an aide told him that the more he tweeted, the less people paid attention. Trump believed that the likes his tweets won were evidence that a decision was popular, but that wasn't the case, the paper found. Tweets that got the most likes tended to be more poorly received by the electorate, a reality Trump refused to acknowledge.

Shafer concludes that "Twitter is not the same and neither is Trump, and the media watershed that allowed Trump to politically prosper doesn't drain the way it once did. Thanks to inertia, changing technology, fickle tastes and Musk's determination to wreck it, the site has lost its cachet," raising the question, "What does that mean for Trump?"

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