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Twitter politics and their tabloid war roots

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Sometimes the latest new thing is something antique. That’s especially true in American politics, which has had seriously contested presidential elections every four years (with one exception) since 1800 and competitions between the same two durable parties since 1856. We’re even on our (lucky?) 13th presidential nominating race since the rules were changed in the 1970s to favor primaries rather than caucuses.

It’s even true that new technology can bring back old politics. Case in point: President Trump’s often lamented, occasionally backfiring, and sometimes effective use of Twitter. In 140, and then 280 characters, the unconventional candidate and president has communicated directly, over the heads of an almost uniformly hostile media, with the American people.

Where might he have gotten the idea and developed the knack? In the unique tabloid politics of New York City, which was raging hot and heavy when the young Outer Borough real estate heir made headlines in his quest to use political clout to enter the Manhattan real estate market at rock bottom.

From the 1920s to the 1980s, New York’s tabloids’ front-page headlines vied to attract subway........

© Washington Examiner