In the first episode, she proudly declared: “The economy is booming, ladies and gentlemen.”
“This tactic isn’t new,” RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney told NBC of the Trump campaign’s videos. “Campaigns use video to get their message out all the time.”
Lawmakers also often employ the same tactics.
Former Democratic presidential candidate
Presidents getting their side of the story out there may not be new — but it’s cause for pause, political experts say.
“When a government starts reporting and phrasing things as real news, that’s the time to worry that you’re being lied to,” Columbia University government and politics professor Robert Shapiro told NBC News, pointing out that in this instance, the stats and stories McEnany was presenting “were perfectly accurate and truthful.”
“But it basically accentuates the positive,” Shapiro added. “And to get a fuller picture, obviously which includes a lot of the negatives, you have to rely on free press for that.”
The video also reminded some of something much darker.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that the video felt like “state-owned channels.”
Shapiro noted the video series “smacks of the kind of thing that was done in Nazi Germany.”
Trump’s social media prowess has been a critical piece of his political rise, propelling news coverage of him throughout the 2016 campaign, and even now as president with his frequent early-morning tweet storms, including on Monday against Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Alex Wong / Getty Images file
White House advisers flaunt the president’s social media reach, calling it his way of reaching out directly to the American people —and his base,
a group highly skeptical of mainstream media and reporting about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
In a June briefing, then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters social media gives the president “the ability to speak directly to the people without the bias of the media filtering those types of communications,” reminding of Trump’s “over 100-plus million contacts through social media and all those platforms.”
Many of his supporters appreciate that sense of a direct line to the president.
“I love his tweets. Guess what? We know exactly what he’s thinking,” Trump supporter Laura Lee Oenick told NBC in June at a Trump event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.