Keith Olbermann examined how Donald Trump manages to manipulate America through Twitter in a recent clip that was featured on GQ's "The Resistance."
The political commentator takes us through the nature in which past presidents communicated with the country and compared them with Donald Trump's preferred method of reaching out to America today.
"Those in his cult view Trump as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt of Twitter," Olbermann said. "No, I'm not kidding."
"There are no other comparisons intended between our 32nd president and this comic book excuse of a 45th. But something has to be acknowledeged about the exploitation of new media they both recognize and utilize - one for good, and one for evil, because we might learn something about how to stop this evil one."
Before FDR, there were no recorded statistics on how many people have heard presidents speak live. Even broadcast speeches fell on limited ears in comparison to today.
"On March 12, 1933, Roosevelt gave the first of his fireside chats, eight days after his fist inauguration, it is unlikely that more than a tiny percentage of Americans had ever heard a president or a president-elect speak, and speak intimately, live not to a distant crowd, or to a convention, or with the former rhetoric of inauguration. But speak to them in their own homes, as if he were in the other room."
As an example of FDR's powerful influence, Olbermann talks about how 60 million Americans were influenced by Roosevelt during the bank crisis in 1933, a period when banks were closed and depositors lined up out of panic to make withdrawals. But when they heard FDR talk about how he planned to solve the crisis, suddenly, the banks reopened and people got back in line to make deposits into their accounts.
"Roosevelt would make 27 more fireside chats, they remain a landmark in presidentail communication. It is less widely known that FDR had tried this process out as early as 1929 while he was the governor of New York, often asking listeners directly for their help in passing liberal legislation through a conservative state legislature."
FDR was intentionally avoiding the mainstream media. His press secretary Stephen Early commented about live radio communication.
"It cannot misrepresent nor misquote. It is far reaching and simultaneous in releasing messages given it for transmission to the nation, or for international cosumption."
Olbermann gives a deadpan to the camera, asking us, "Sound like anybody we know?"
Olbermann then referred to Trump's own assessment of the tweeting process he willingly divulged during an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo.
Trump says "tweeting is like a typewriter" before complimenting himself about how "well crafted" his tweets are bec… https://t.co/9br4dYXT5y— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@Mrs. Betty Bowers) 1508699291.0
"Yes, he's an idiot. And his quotes read like someone who was hit on the head by a low-flying duck," said the ex-MSNBC journalist.
Like FDR, Donald Trump figured out how to circumvent the press by reporting the things only he wanted to directly touch on. And just like in a broadcast, people in their own homes could listen to the president speak, as if directly to them. So there's no better form of intimacy than reading Trump's remarks on Twitter, which is typically a one on one interaction.
Trump is exploiting the use of social media to bolster his supporters to maximum effect.
"If you loathe Trump it is easy to dismiss what he does there as manipulative, morally barren, corrupt, and dishonest. But to people in the cult, that's him talkig to them. Just them. Individually, one at a time."
Trump "is the FDR of Twitter" and has "perfected the fireside tweet." Brilliant observations, Sir @KeithOlbermann. https://t.co/tIrUY2epgm— SelfTalk (@SelfTalk) 1509205790.0
Olbermann brought up how he cringed whenever Barack Obama addressed the crowd, empasizing that "people don't want to hear a speech. They want to hear a convesation." In contrast, Trump is using his "con-man" background by taking advantage of people on an individual basis to manipulate them. Twitter has become the conduit to infuence his cult.
"He has perfected the fireside tweet," Olbermann said, and drew the parallel between the two presidents. "He is the FDR of Twitter."
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