National Park Service Workers Go Rogue on Twitter to Defy Trump

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Jan. 25:

As noted previously in this space, some media people think that the Trump Administration's adversarial relationship with the press (and with facts) will be good for journalism (see, for instance, "Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again," by Politico's Jack Shafer). Perhaps! But in the short term, Trump & Co. do seem to be giving a boost to at least one journalist (albeit one who is dead): Eric Arthur Blair, aka the novelist George Orwell.

1. In a post this morning headlined "Publisher printing more copies of George Orwell's '1984' after spike in demand," CNN's Brian Stelter and Frank Pallotta report,

The book publisher Penguin is printing more copies of George Orwell's dystopian classic "1984" in response to a sudden surge of demand. On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning the book was #1 on Amazon's computer-generated list of best-selling books. ... It is hard to say for sure how much of the interest is related to Donald Trump's inauguration and the rise of "alternative facts," a term coined by Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday. But some commentators called Conway's comment "Orwellian" and drew comparisons to the famous novel.

2. Various Trump Administration news from the last 24 hours -- including Trump reviving the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipelines, announcing that he'll sign an executive order to build a Mexico border wall, and announcing that he'll name his Supreme Court justice pick imminently -- has been overshadowed for the moment by a couple Trump tweets this morning:

3. Elsewhere on Twitter, an account called AltUSNatParkService -- bio: "The Unofficial 'Resistance' team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised!" -- has popped up in response to the Trump Administration restricting the Park Service's media outreach, including social media activities. A pinned tweet atop the account's page reads:

There's also a new parody account of the Badlands National Park Twitter account, @BadlandsNPS, called @BadIandsNPS (the lowercase "L" in the name is a capital "i," which isn't obvious in Twitter's default typeface) that's been tweeting stuff such as:

4. Some background from Quartz: "Government agencies are tweeting facts in defiance of US president Trump (until they're deleted)."

5. The most-read post on Politico this morning also relates to this developing story. It's headlined "Information lockdown hits Trump's federal agencies" and its subhead reads "'It's a dark time right now,' a former Obama administration spokeswoman says as multiple agencies tell employees to restrict news releases and social media."

6. Today in photo ops:

7. Finally, a story by Karen Tumulty on the front page of this morning's Washington Post is headlined "No longer on campaign trail, but still untethered by facts." The web version of the story is headlined "Trump's disregard for the truth threatens his ability to govern." Tumulty writes,

Trump allies -- and adversaries -- had hoped that with his inauguration, he would leave behind the hyperbolic reality-show culture that made him a celebrity. In the late stages of his presidential campaign, Trump had disavowed his years-long promotion of the racially tainted falsehood that Barack Obama, the nation's first African American president, was born outside the United States and therefore an illegitimate president. But the first days of his presidency show that, for Trump, old reflexes are hard to change.

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

Most Popular