President Donald Trump walks from the podium as a White House produced video plays during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, April 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Monday’s daily press briefing had a plethora of made-for-TV moments. With President Donald Trump utilizing the press’s own reports against them in a way that made the conference look more like an anti-mainstream media briefing resulting in total meltdowns from the likes of CBS’s Paula Reid, it was packed with more drama than a Kardashians episode.
To be sure, the press was exposed to be the villains in this story. Trump played their own words back to them, including the dates of when they said it (as Jen Van Laar covered here), to show them and the American people that their expressed narrative doesn’t line up. Their attacks against him are staggeringly dishonest with accusations from networks saying he overreacted with his moves to contain COVID-19 and those exact same networks saying he didn’t react fast enough.
Since the media won’t show you this and since they’re trying really hard to rewrite history in yet another attempt to hurt @realDonaldTrump I suggest you watch this, send it to your friends, and RT. pic.twitter.com/da0mVaR5fw
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 14, 2020
Trump once boasted that the ratings for these press briefings are in the stratosphere, and he’s not wrong. On average, these briefings garner around 8 million viewers and it’s doubtful that this will go down, especially if Trump is providing the soil for such high-drama viewing.
…alone attracted 6.2 million viewers for the president’s briefing — an astounding number for a 6 p.m. cable broadcast, more akin to the viewership for a popular prime-time sitcom…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
Trump purposefully utilized that moment to pull the curtain back on the press, taking advantage of the fact that so many eyes were on him in the moment.
Would I have preferred that Trump kept the press briefing about updates surrounding the virus? Yes. Do I understand why he did it? Absolutely.
Am I glad he did it?
Taken in the context of just that moment, it could be viewed as Trump grandstanding in front of the media for his own gain. CNN’s Jim Acosta made the comment that it looked like a campaign video. In a way, he’s not wrong, but it’s not for the campaign he’s likely thinking of. Trump’s campaign is proving that the media is lying about what happening in the United States in terms of the virus.
They want you to believe that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci are on bad terms and that Trump wishes to fire him. That’s untrue.
They want you to believe that Trump is acting recklessly and that states are suffering at his hands. That’s also untrue.
They want you to believe that Trump is putting the economy over the lives of the American people. That is demonstrably untrue, and it bothers me that the media seems to believe that the economy and the American people are separate entities. The economy is the people, and the better the people are doing the better the economy is, and visa versa.
The mainstream press is purposefully spreading misinformation about Trump’s agenda, his outlook, his reasonability, and his methods. This isn’t just irresponsible, it’s dangerous. Sewing discord as we try to get through a pandemic between Trump, his task force, and the American citizenry can only result in miscommunication, bad decisions, and knee-jerk reactions that put people in danger.
This campaign of Trump’s is to expose the media for the liars that they are, and it’s absolutely necessary.