There is lots to chew on in the big New York Times piece from over the weekend on Trump in the White House. The contention in the article that Trump watches four to eight hours of TV a day has gotten a lot of attention, including from the president who denied it in a tweet today, not very convincingly:
Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day – Wrong! Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the “dumbest man on television!” Bad Reporting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2017
This really gets to the underlying motive of the tweets, which aren’t a brilliant ploy to distract from other news or a threat to the republic, as is often argued; they are largely a way for Trump to entertain himself by continually stirring the pot and keeping all the attention on him. This is where all the TV-viewing comes back in. The tweets are performance art, for the enjoyment of the artist (Trump) and the viewer (Trump).