NEW STUDY: Two years of Trump's Fox live-tweeting obsession, by the numbers

Trump live-tweeted Fox 1,146 times from September 2018 through August 2020 -- 7.5% of his total tweets…
This is the culmination of quite a lot of toil dating back to when I started chronicling Trump’s live-tweets in October 2017, so I hope you’ll indulge my long thread; if not, feel free to mute this.
First, why Trump’s Fox obsession matters: It dictates policy outcomes.

Here are 15 ways that happened over the two years of the study, from military strikes to impeachment to the coronavirus to racial justice protests to pardons to personnel and more.…
Now to the data. Trump live-tweeted all major news networks a collective 1,206 times from September 2018 through August 2020, an average of 1.7 per day.

Of those, 984 tweets responded to segments on Fox News and 162 to Fox Business.
Trump averaged 50 live tweets per month, ranging from a low of 23 to a high of 102.

That spike came in Dec. 2019, when he was fighting off impeachment charges by live-tweeting Fox’s coverage.

Daily peak: 12 Fox live tweets on January 23, Day 3 of the Senate impeachment trial.
Trump has live-tweeted at least 42 different Fox shows, with Fox & Friends receiving by far the most attention -- a whopping 355 live tweets over the two-year span, plus 99 more from its weekend edition.
The rest of the top-ten list shows Trump is largely engaged on weekday morning shows, plus those of Fox Cabinet members Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham.
Something I didn’t expect -- the top evening weekend show for Trump live-tweets wasn’t Jeanine Pirro’s or Mark Levin’s -- it was Steve Hilton’s Sunday night program The Next Revolution, which garnered 20.
I also broke down Trump’s live tweets by topic, as you can see from the chart he covered a variety of subjects, with his focus shifting over time.
Subjects Trump sent the most Fox live-tweets about over the two-year period of the study:
Ukraine scandal: 231 Fox live tweets
Russia probe: 190
Economy: 147
2020 Elections: 103
Foreign Policy: 102
Immigration: 93
Coronavirus: 69
Protests: 53
2018 Elections: 20
Clemency: 12
Fox points out enemies for Trump to attack. He sent 381 Fox live tweets attacking Democrats and 134 attacking the press, including some of his most bigoted and unhinged comments.
He also regularly tweets about books whose authors he’s just seen on the network saying nice things about him -- 17 times over the study. And of course, he regularly tweets obsequious quotes he sees from Fox hosts like Lou Dobbs.
Perhaps most of all, Fox distracts him. When the stakes are highest, he is sitting in front of his television tweeting about his favorite shows.
There's much, much more in the study, and the associated piece on the feedback loop's impact. Check out both pieces. #end……

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Matthew Gertz

Matthew Gertz Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MattGertz

7 Oct
Trump, Barr, and Fox News are working in concert to undermine confidence in the election

The playbook here is obvious -- throw together some sketchy investigations and use them to throw doubt on the election results.…
Literally within minutes.
Looks like there's no evidence that this had anything to do with the election -- the ballots were among "roughly 1,875 pieces of mail" recovered from dumpsters -- but the Barr/Fox machine is flogging that anyway to undermine confidence in the election.…
Read 5 tweets
7 Oct
Fox & Friends keeping the president focused like a laser on the issues marginal voters in swing states care about the most.
The president is down by double digits in recent polls amid his COVID diagnosis, and his Fox cabinet thinks his way back is... this?
Good luck, folks.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
Dawning realization that nine months into the pandemic. senior WH officials think that if you test negative it means that you definitely have not caught the virus and can do whatever you want and don't need to quarantine if you've been in contact with someone with COVID.
The president's Fox News buddies told him the virus was nothing to worry about so he took as few precautions as possible and here we are.…
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep
Fox theoretically has a "news division" but here we are right before the debate and they've got Tucker Carlson doing his show, saying Joe Biden "may be senile" and passing on the claim that he backed out of getting his ears examined for an earpiece.
Now Brit Hume is on to say that Biden is definitely senile but there's a chance that won't be visible tonight and he'll be well-prepped and perform well anyway.
Carlson has said at least three times already that he didn't expect Biden to actually show up tonight.
Read 8 tweets
29 Sep
Here's Sean Hannity getting from "Joe Biden is struggling cognitively" to "Joe Biden has memorized all of the answers he's going to give during the debate" inside a minute and a half, kind of seem like conflicting arguments!
Ari Fleischer questions whether Joe Biden can physically stand on a stage from 9:00 pm to 10:30 p.m., with Sean Hannity responding that Biden "has been readjusting his peak cognitive hour to 9:00 P.M."
Read 7 tweets
28 Sep
Unclear whether the press will sustain the coverage, but this is what using the agenda-setting power looks like.
When I say it matters whether the press sustains the coverage, this is what I'm talking about -- the 2018 NYT bombshell about how Trump's fortune was built on tax fraud faded quickly, didn't make the Sunday shows that week:…
Leading the news shows today.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!