The stench of desperation continues to waft through the halls of the White House, swirling like a noxious cloud around Donald Trump as he struggles to avoid a total electoral and psychological meltdown. Trump’s frantic attempts to maintain some superficial appearance of stability are failing miserably as he trips over every effort to right his sinking ship of state.
Trump is painfully aware of how poorly he is regarded by the American people. In fact, it is driving his temperament ever downward as his inability to cope results in increasingly bizarre behaviors. His approval ratings are in the gutter. He is getting crushed by Joe Biden nationally, as well as in every crucial swing state. And he clearly has no idea what to do to halt colliding with a massive iceberg.
So on Monday morning Trump told reporters that he intends to revive the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings that he held up until late April. You’ll recall that he canceled them because, the more of him that the public saw, the more his approval ratings cratered. It’s a ridiculous response that can only exacerbate his problems.
Ironically, he’s taking the advice of Kellyanne Conway who has tried to convince him that his “numbers were much higher when he was briefing everybody on a day by day basis.” That may be true, but the subsequent decline was not due to his having ditched the briefings. When Trump announced that he was discontinuing the daily Trump Show last April, News Corpse wrote that…
“Trump’s voracious ego compelled him to take center stage for these pseudo-informational events because he was convinced that his magnetic presence would be impossible to resist. Unfortunately for him, his impression of his own charisma was a figment of his acutely narcissistic imagination. As the briefings played on (and on and on and on), it became clear that Trump wasn’t doing himself any favors. […] Consequently, Trump’s advisors sought frantically to persuade him that he needs to fire himself as the COVID-19 spokesmodel.”
From the start, Trump used the briefings to replace his cult rallies that could no longer be held. He believed that the TV ratings were proof that he was universally beloved. When that turned out not to be the case, he tried to return to the rally circuit. But his recent rallies were poorly attended and incapable of pacifying his Olympic-grade egomania. So now, with no good options, he’s revisiting the losing strategies of the past. In his remarks to reporters (video below) he claimed that…
“We had very successful briefings. I was doing them and we had a lot of people watching. Record numbers watching. In the history of cable television there’s never been anything like it. And we were doing very well. And I thought it would be sort of automatic. And a lot of positive things were happening.”
As always, Trump believes that TV ratings are “the real polls” and are reflective of general popularity. They aren’t. Many people tuned in for the information provided by experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci. Many others watched because they didn’t want to miss the live television broadcast of Trump’s nervous breakdown. It was reality TV in its most morbid form.
When Trump resumes the daily briefings we can expect him to reprise his greatest flops of the past. He will lie about how fantastic everything is going, and due solely to his brilliance. He’s already started this by claiming in this announcement that “the country is doing well” but for a “flare up in Florida, Texas, a couple of other places.” By which he means more than half the states that are currently suffering through record cases and deaths. He’ll also shift blame to anyone who is handy (Dr. Fauci, China, Democrats, etc). He’ll downplay the severity of the pandemic as being comparable to the “the sniffles.” He may be confusing “sniff” with “snuff.”
Trump will once again cast himself as the star of the briefings despite the fact that, due to his ignorance and ego, he has nothing of value to contribute. Consequently, he wastes the time of the public and the press by upstaging the experts so that he can disgorge more lies, brag about imaginary accomplishments, and yell at reporters. He will once again turn what was intended to be a platform for disseminating life and death information into a petty, partisan, political charade.
We know that Trump considers these affairs to be exclusively for his benefit because, when he ceased to be the lead character last April, the briefings themselves came to an abrupt end with Trump tweeting “What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions?”
The real question going forward is: What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the President lies, lavishes undeserved praise on himself, and petulantly insults and argues with the press? If Trump wants to stage more of his phony, self-serving briefings, fine. But the media has no obligation to provide live coverage of these brazenly political sideshows. They can send cameras and junior reporters to record the events, and then broadcast whatever was newsworthy (if anything) afterwards. But they must not allow themselves to be exploited again for Trump’s obvious reelection campaign purposes.
UPDATE: Trump’s return to the Coronavirus briefing was solo – no doctors or other experts were present. And one of the resons he stopped doing them was his tendency to say stupid shit like “inject bleach.” So in this briefing he was asked about Jeffrey Epstein associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, who is is currently in jail on charges of sex trafficking. He wished her well.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Pres. Trump says he is restarting coronavirus briefings.
"I think it's a great to get information out to the public," he says, adding, "We had a lot of people watching…in the history of cable television, there's never been anything like it." https://t.co/2GafBYAJ0m pic.twitter.com/0hIxJhnFCg
— ABC News (@ABC) July 20, 2020