Tracking Trump’s Tweets On Television News In 2020

President Trump ushered in the “Twitter Presidency” delivering a steady daily stream of commentary, statements, policy announcements and other posts that help drive the modern 24/7 news cycle. How often do his tweets appear on television news? The timeline below tracks all on air appearances of the phrase “@realDonaldTrump” in the onscreen text of BBC News, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News since the start of this year by hour (display is shown in UTC-4 – Eastern Standard Time without Daylight Savings Time adjustment). Immediately clear is that his tweets are a constant fixture on television news, appearing throughout the day each and every day, with clusters around major events like the acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests. There also appears to be a faint trendline around 5-6AM EST each morning, suggesting news programming opens with the president’s latest tweets. The consistency of his tweets reminds us just how strongly he now drives even the television news cycle.

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