President-Elect Trump has a Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio
What a president says is typically allotted a ton of news value, by default, and rightly so. But it has been assigned news value because it traditionally has had a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Presidential remarks are normally so considered, vetted, poll-tested, etc. They usually are a somewhat reliable guide to the policies a president will pursue, how they’ll pursue them, etc. But Trump isn’t like that. He throws a ton of stuff out there, on Twitter and off. The signal-to-noise ratio in Trump’s public statements is uncommonly low. So I do think this is a new problem for the media to some extent.
Does Trump really support anti-flag burning legislation? Will he spend political capital on it? If Obama sent out that tweet, I think we could safely say “yes.” With Trump, I’m not sure.
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