I once worked for a trade publisher who tried to convince his graphic designer of an old newsletter maxim: "ugly sells." He could never understand why she couldn't get that concept through her hard, design-school-educated head, and start happily producing crap.
But maybe ugly designs did sell newsletters, giving them a down and dirty authenticity. And maybe shitty tweets sell Donald Trump as a semi-literate everyman.
The graphic designer went on to bigger and better things. Trump's writers should, too. But so far, they seem to be having fun making mud pies.
According to a piece this week in the Boston Globe, Trump doesn't write all of his shitty tweets. Only some of them. His speechwriters write others. And they try to write them real shitty, so you can't tell they're not from the boss.
According to the Globe, they "draft proposed tweets [that] intentionally employ suspect grammar and staccato syntax in order to mimic the president’s style, according to two people familiar with the process. They overuse the exclamation point! They Capitalize random words for emphasis. Fragments. Loosely connected ideas. All part of a process that is not as spontaneous as Trump’s Twitter feed often appears."
And it's working! White House speechwriters are getting so good at aping Trump's shitty tweets, that a bot developed by an Atlantic writer designed to differentiate real versus ghostwritten tweets is failing to do so reliably.
You'd think Trump would appreciate having professional writers craven enough to write in his shitty style. If so, he's got a funny way of showing it. He interrupts his speeches to insult the speechwriter who wrote them. (And now we know for sure that Trump reads his speeches for the first time off the teleprompter.)
… or he just tosses their work off in the air on account of, it's "a little boring."
Here's my advice to Trump speechwriters, and to anyone else who works for someone who doesn't ask for their best work, or appreciate it.
You deserve better—and in this booming economy, you can have better.
Oh, but you're working in the White House?
Yeah, you're the guy at the circus, following the elephants around and shoveling their shit.
Someone asks you if you can't find any better job than that.
"What," you reply incredulously, "and leave show business!?"