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Opinion

On Trump’s tweets and other random thoughts

The New York Times devoted a pull-out section in the Sunday Times to an analysis of Donald Trump’s tweets. Here’s what the Times learned:

• The Times analysis determined that 5,889 of his 11,000+ tweets since taking office in Jan. 2017 are worded as attacks against targets as varied as television programs, the city of Baltimore, Jeff Bezos, many elected officials, and disfavored members of his own administration.

• Anonymous sources report his aides trying in vain to enforce temporary moratoriums on Trump tweeting, as well as an early attempt to create a 15-minute delay from Trump hitting “send tweet” and the tweet going live.

• Trump is most active in the morning, before his advisers can arrive and keep an eye on him. A later anecdote says that “Mr. Trump rarely tweets in front of others…because he does not like to wear the reading glasses he needs to see the screen.”

• Trump doesn’t actually type the tweets. Dan Scavino, who works in a “closet-sized room” within shouting distance of Trump (the president summons him by yelling “Scavino”). is the man who types Trump’s directly dictated tweets, the article also says that Scavino drafts “hot,” “medium,” and “mild” versions of tweets for the president to approve.

• Trump’s grammar and spelling errors are deliberate. Quoting the Times, “Mr. Trump’s team believes that his unvarnished writing, poor punctuation and increasing profanity on Twitter signals authenticity.”

I’m all in favour of enterprise reporting, but at a time when the print media are struggling for survival, is this really a good use of scarce resources?

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The biggest news in the UK Parliament next to the fact that there is going to be an election in December, was the news that John Bercow, the 5 foot 6 and a half inch speaker will step down after ten years in the chair. Bercow single-handedly can be credited with making the UK Prime Minister’s Question period must-view television. Canada’s CPAC and the US C-Span added the British sessions to their programming lineups. And Joe Scarborough would frequently play clips in his Morning Joe show. Bercow is credited with restoring some power to ordinary backbenchers, and while he was originally elected as a Conservative, he was particularly rough on his own former party in his rulings over the years. Aside from his hoarse voice yelling out OR-DERR, he will be remembered for his spontaneous wit as he chided obstreperous MPs on all sides of the house.

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Apparently Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are giving serious thought to leaving Britain, to escape the relentless tabloid press. This is more than idle chat because Harry was quite convincing when he said the British media hordes gives him flashbacks of the way they hounded his mother.  There is talk of them going to Africa, where they first met. America was also mentioned, although its hard to believe the American paparazzi would leave them alone. Just my thought, but the Lieutenant-Governorship for Ontario is up pretty soon. The two are no strangers to Toronto … just saying.

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