There's a growing chorus calling for networks to stop running live coverage and streaming of Trump's horrifying COVID-19 "task force" press conferences. The theory is that Trump is holding these daily disaster briefings because he can no longer hold rallies. Helping to verify this, Joy Reid and Jennifer Rubin pointed to a couple of extremely questionable "reporters" being allowed into the briefing room, whose job it seemed to be to fluff and soothe the ego-in-chief:
Sean Spicer and Chanel Rion.
You remember Rion, right? The one who asked with faux outrage if Trump considered "Chinese food" racist "because it's food that originates in China?" (pssst...Chanel...most American Chinese food *isn't* even food that originated in China, but whatever...) Then she went on to assert that "major left-wing news media" had "teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives" by calling out the language he uses surrounding COVID-19 as racist.
Yeah, THAT Chanel Rion.
Jennifer Rubin had a great deal to say about Rion, none of it flattering, all of it accurate:
I think there's several things going on. First of all, Donald Trump, from the beginning, treated this like an immigration problem. His first impulse is to block out the rest of the world, to blame others. He doesn't seem to understand the problem we have is community spread. It's already here. The problem is, he did nothing, as Rick said. So, I think his effort to either whip up prejudice or toss the blame somewhere else really is this pathetic need for reaffirmation, and to have an enemy that he can blame.
I will say one thing. If they are going to broadcast these things, no reporter should ask Donald Trump a question. He's going to talk, but they should direct all questions to the experts. He may butt in, but they should come back to those experts again and again. I thought that was one of the most effective displays when Dr. Fauci did jump in of saying, hey, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. It's dangerous. Stop. So, I think part of it is, if they're going to do it, stop asking him questions. And I do think we're getting to the point where there are other ways in which we can communicate this information. Governors are reliable sources, the scientists are reliable sources, newsprint and online can directly quote from Dr. Fauci, as they are doing. We don't need to inform the public by going to Donald Trump. That's counterproductive.
HEY! That's funny, because I swear, I had no idea she said that when I tweeted basically the exact same suggestion right before his presser later that afternoon...
Dear #media ,
Stations, pls don't run it live. If he says anything true or newsworthy, run it later.
Reporters in the room, pls don't even ask him any questions. Just take down what he says and leave.
A tired nation@Karoli @maddow @DavidCornDC @ElieNYC https://t.co/swrbzqGFeN
— (((Bad at Ballet))) (@AlizaWrites) March 22, 2020
Why are reporters even asking him anything anymore? Does anyone think they're going to get anything truthful as an answer? Anything NOT racist? Anything they have not heard before? Anything remotely helpful or useful in this time where we need sober, knowledgable heads to prevail?
Please, please, media, follow Jennifer Rubin's advice. Ask the experts. Not the dotard.