Deputy President: Why Twitter is now my new best friend
Deputy President William Ruto claims that a compromised local media has pushed him to social media to pass his message.
Ruto, who has increasingly turned to Twitter to vent his anger and frustration over what he deems unfavourable reports in the mainstream media, indicated Tuesday that he had turned to social media after realising that newspaper headlines are compromised while most stories are twisted.
“Headlines are paid for, stories planted and span.Twitter is the remedy,” Ruto said on his Twitter account yesterday.
Other than the media, the DP’s tirades have largely targeted opposition leader Raila Odinga. He accuses media houses of bias and individual journalists of being compromised.
He has been particularly unhappy with the media reporting on corruption, the March 9, 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, which he believes is designed to frustrate his campaign for State House in 2022.
Lately, if the DP is not attacking Raila and his followers, he is sharing what he perceives as unfavourable newspaper headlines accompanied by strongly-worded captions, often tinged with scorn.
His new tweeting craze has been likened to US President Donald Trump’s penchant for attacking his opponents and critics, including the media, on social media. Though the DP presents himself in public as calm and collected, his social media rants project him as a bitter man.
Yesterday, the DP in one of his Twitter messages, appeared unhappy with the media reporting of the President’s Sagana meeting with Mt Kenya leaders last Friday in which the Head of State supported the Building Bridges Initiative, which Ruto appears to oppose.
Media reports indicated that Ruto could have been targeted in the meeting.
“In Sagana, Jubilee’s democratic credentials were affirmed. (Newspaper) Headlines are paid for, stories planted & span. Twitter is the remedy (sic),” posted the DP.
“Detractors rattled by Jubilee emerging United/strong post-Sagana are, in collabo with usual brown envelope journalists, back to drawing board to continue their never ending scheme to stumble us (sic),” the DP wrote on November 14, in a post that was accompanied by the front page of one of the dailies.
The DP candidate’s loss in the recent Kibra-election also seems to have rattled him.“Tinga/his party’s trail of political conmanship/deceit from Kanu thro’ Cord to Nasa&now heading to Jubilee; and litany of violence from 82’coup to Kibra cannot be hidden behind BBI. As a Minimum must 1) PUBLICLY renounce violence as a political tool. 2)UNDERTAKE to accept defeat,” he said on November 13.
The tweets have attracted criticism but the DP remains defiant.