President Trump will announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern — and he’s playing up the broadcast of the announcement live on Facebook.
The president will announce the pick on the POTUS Facebook page starting at 8 p.m., and the White House also will live-stream the announcement on YouTube (at this link). Both Trump and the White House promoted tune-in to the Facebook Live stream from social-media accounts Tuesday with teasers evoking TV programming alerts.
In addition, TV news networks will carry live coverage of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, after rejiggering their primetime lineups to accommodate the announcement. Past U.S. presidents have announced Supreme Court nominees during daytime press conferences.
Why did the administration push the Facebook Live feed over YouTube? Perhaps Trump was stewing about Google’s rally Monday where top execs including CEO Sundar Pichai and founder Sergey Brin protested the president’s immigration and travel restrictions on Muslim countries. Or maybe Facebook Live’s real-time comments and emoji streams were more to Trump’s liking. (Incidentally, the official White House account on Twitter’s Periscope, which was used by President Obama from time to time, is no longer active.)
In any case Trump — erstwhile reality TV host — in part appears to be trying to bypass the media by touting the Facebook Live stream, to get his message out without any filter or commentary to a broad audience (including many Americans who may not subscribe to traditional TV).
Trump remains a prolific Twitter user and has boasted about using social media to directly communicate with his followers, while he and his top aides have repeatedly criticized what they perceive as bias in mainstream media coverage.
Also on YouTube, the SCOTUS announcement will be carried live by networks including ABC News and Fox News Channel, while “PBS NewsHour” will live-stream the news on its Facebook page.
The White House and Trump announced the Facebook Live broadcast on social-media channels Tuesday:
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 31, 2017