Former NBC News correspondent Luke Russert has gotten more outspoken about what ails the media even since he left the network, and on Tuesday he posted an essential tweet storm outlining how President-elect Donald Trump uses the press for his own ends.
In short, Russert believes that cable news has an addiction to "car wreck bait" -- that is, outrageous stories that draw lots of eyeballs -- that gives Trump unlimited power to control the narrative and divert attention away from scandals.
As an example, Russert points out the way that Trump invited rapper Kanye West to Trump Tower on Tuesday, which immediately drew TV cameras and online media articles.
Russert explains that while it's easy to say cable networks should ignore these distractions, their business model depends on covering them.
"TV is a profit business not built to properly deal with the current reality," he writes. "So it's unlikely to change unless those who control cable/network/local TV & [Facebook] can get past the car wreck bait. Not gonna happen."
The dark implications of this, Russert says, lead to a society in which no one trusts any major institution -- except for perhaps the military.
"This is great news for elites and for those who want to push an unchallenged agenda," he says. "Wool gets pulled further, only the military is trusted."
Read the whole tweetstorm below.
2. Now many smart journos have caught onto the scam, plead with their readers not to be hypnotized by the flashing lights. But it won't work— Luke Russert (@Luke Russert)1481643152.0
4. I deleted Twitter App from my phone and it was greatest decision I ever made. For a month Ive see what actually gets through USA/World— Luke Russert (@Luke Russert)1481643286.0
6. Absurdity has become normal and the more absurd, the more normal. In essence, reward comes to those who push the hyper absurd.— Luke Russert (@Luke Russert)1481643533.0
8. So it's unlikely to change unless those who control cable/network/local TV & FB can get past the car wreck bait. Not gonna happen— Luke Russert (@Luke Russert)1481643705.0
10. Don't know best way to combat this, but it sure as hell is not decrying every little thing on Twitter to the likeminded. See ya in '17— Luke Russert (@Luke Russert)1481643931.0