On Wednesday morning, NBC News published an article with this headline: “Donald Trump prepares for his return to Facebook and Twitter.” It set off a flurry of concern. Had Facebook just given Trump his account back? Had Trump suddenly begun tweeting?
But in that same NBC News article, it quietly admits that Trump is still banned indefinitely from Facebook, and acknowledges that Trump’s Truth Social deal may contractually bar him from fully using Twitter.
Wait, though. The headline said that Trump was preparing for his return to these two social networks. That would mean he currently has an actual path to such a return, right? If I announced tomorrow that I’m preparing for my return to the NBA, that would imply that I have an actual viable path to the NBA, right? If you saw such an announcement from me, and then you found out that I had no path to the NBA, you’d roll your eyes.
So why do major media outlets keep doing this? Not only are they acting as Trump’s publicist when they run these kinds of headlines, they’re misleading the public in the process. And yet look at how viral that NBC News article went yesterday, thanks to the headline that scared so many people into believing something is happening that isn’t happening and has no current path for happening.
But this falls under the old adage that if media outlets want to hit their ratings and page view marks, all they have to do is scare the crap out of everyone. And sure, Trump could theoretically get reinstated on Facebook at some point. Just as he could start tweeting again at some point, after having left his account dormant for months after it was reinstated. But as of right now, none of that is happening. None of that is directly on track to happen.
Even as irrelevant to politics as Donald Trump has become, the mainstream media is still trying to find a way to convince us all that he’s relevant to politics again, so it can find a way to get ratings out of him again. You’d think the flurry of advancing criminal investigations against him – the only thing that does still make Trump relevant – would be enough. But here we are, even in 2023, with the media still trying to convince us that the ghost of Trump is hiding around every corner.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report