IMHO, we liberals are paying far too much attention to Trump’s tweeting. In doing so we are allowing him to lure us into following his news agenda. So it was good to find that Jack Shafer sees it that way too. For example:
As cognitive linguist George Lakoff explained to On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone in January, Trump primarily uses his tweets to divert and deflect attention from news that threatens him, or to launch a trial balloon for one of his proposals. He also tweets to pre-emptively frame a topic before his opponents get a chance to comment, the best example being his categorization of news he doesn’t like as “fake news.” Consider the empty tweets he’s posted recently: He’s beefed about the fact that the late-night hosts ridicule him, demanding equal time to respond, even though equal time doesn’t apply to jokes about the president; he ordered NBC News to apologize to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for reporting that Tillerson had called him a “moron,” even though Tillerson never denied it; he called critical coverage of his Puerto Rico response “Fake“ when anybody with a TV set and a pair of eyeballs knows he’s lying.
The interview with Lakoff is worth listening to, btw.