When social media came into our lives, I think most of us viewed them as more cyber toys. To some it was a convenient way to communicate with a circle of friends. To others it was a way to insult and denigrate, safely hiding behind the anonymity of an avatar.
As one who was basically dragged into all things cyber-related by my computer savvy son, I did finally – however reluctantly – come on board, and found a world of possibilities, and I mean “world” in the literal sense.
I was amazed at the scope of social media, at the instant planetwide distribution of opinion, praise, criticism and commentary. I was also amazed at the freedom the medium created, the freedom to say whatever was on your mind and have like-minded, and “un” like-minded people respond in a matter of seconds.
With the exception of a badly worded post or an unnoticed auto-speller quirk, your undiluted statement is set loose for all the world to see, agree or disagree with, and once you hit that “send” button you are forever held responsible for the content. But at least the cyber community knows how you feel.
Of course, in the case of people like me, whose posts don't affect world events or reveal policy, it makes little difference. But when a world leader or a world leader to be takes to social media, his words can have serious ramifications, and information, free from the editorial coloring of the media, gets to the public.
For the first time in the history of the world, a communications entity exists by which the un-doctored, un-rearranged, unbiased, riddled words of a president can be instantly communicated, bypassing all other mass media outlets. Cut to the chase, straight ahead transcripts of un-minced words and naked information, a president actually taking his case to the people without it being filtered through the auspices of an obviously slanted media.
Christiane Amanpour's, meant to be disparaging statement, “He did an end run around us,” referring to President-elect Donald Trump's taking to cyberspace, instead of press conferences to let his opinion and policies be made public, to me, heralded a whole new way of news coming out of the White House, free of the snide remarks and on-camera raised eyebrows.
Does this make the media irrelevant in presidential coverage? It absolutely does not.
Does it somewhat “hold their feet to the fire” in presidential coverage? It absolutely does.
From Ms. Amanpour's remarks she seems to accuse Trump of playing dirty pool. “How dare he” speak directly to the people who elected him without benefit of editing, analysis and slicing and dicing by the contingent of talking heads who pollute our television screens.
Now, myself, I favor a “from the horse’s mouth” approach and think it's a wonderful way for the president to communicate with the public. I would encourage him to adopt Meerkat or Periscope and stream it live. Let the people hear, see and decide for themselves without straining it through the innuendo and obvious vocal moderations of some news anchor whose tacit intention it is to spin the meaning.
So bring it on, Mr. President-elect. Take it to the people. Empower America to make up its own mind free from media influence.
The more the merrier.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.