#TrumpStyle: The Political Frames and Twitter Attacks of Donald Trump

Eric Dunning

Abstract


On January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45thPresident of the United States. No recent U.S. President has consistently engaged the U.S. media in such an adversarial way. Donald Trump’s personality, combined with the still emerging social media platform of Twitter, has thrown a rhetorical Molotov cocktail into the house of the body politic.

This exploration of Trump’s Twitter rhetoric in regards to the U.S. media is important in three regards: (1) Twitter is now officially ensconced as a legitimate and effective political tool. (2) Twitter is now the primary avenue for dissemination of political propaganda and “talking points” and (3) When weaponized, Twitter can completely fracture the public and tangibly alter the reality/perceptions of a non-discerning public, to the point of embracing the most outlandish conspiracy theories or political narratives.  In addressing these issues and contributing to current scholarship, this paper will utilize framing theory to engage in a content analysis of Trump’s “Fake News” tweets. In doing so, we should gain a better understanding of how Donald Trump uses 180 characters to develop allies, engage his opposition, promote his agenda, respond to criticism and define himself.


Keywords


Twitter, Framing, Political Frames, Donald Trump

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References


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Based at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, USA, The Journal of Social Media in Society is sponsored by the Colleges of Liberal and Fine Arts, Education, Business Administration, and Graduate Studies.