[Above, The Daily Show shows side-by-side the comparison of a Trump Campaign Rally and a Trump COVID briefing.]
Many of us on our website as well as others have been yelling at the news networks to stop carrying Trump's coronavirus press conferences live in their entirety, because he's using them not to inform people, but as reelection campaign rallies.
Instead of allowing his medical professionals to inform the American public about the latest news on fighting the coronavirus, he's hijackings press conferences to attack his political rivals, governors who are critical of the federal response, Inventing magical cures and treatments, and the press for using his own words against him.
At the end of March CNN chief Jeff Zucker defended CNN's broadcasting these daily briefings in their entirety.
Networks can easily edit around these two-hour affairs of bloviating, snarling and attacking members of the press for asking basic questions by Trump and just give the American public the important information and latest news they need on the coronavirus from the task force.
The briefings began as a good idea to educate the public about the dangers of the virus, how Americans should change their behavior, and what the government is doing to combat it. ---
But sometime in the last three weeks, Mr. Trump seems to have concluded that the briefings could be a showcase for him. Perhaps they substitute in his mind for the campaign rallies he can no longer hold because of the risks. Perhaps he resented the media adulation that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been receiving for his daily show. Whatever the reason, the briefings are now all about the President.
They last for 90 minutes or more, and Mr. Trump dominates the stage. His first-rate health experts have become supporting actors, and sometimes barely that, ushered on stage to answer a technical question or two. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the task force, doesn’t get on stage until the last 15 minutes or so. That becomes the most informative part of the session, since Mr. Pence understandably knows details the President doesn’t.
Mr. Trump opens the door for questions, and the session deteriorates into a dispiriting brawl between the President and his antagonists in the White House press corps.
The President’s outbursts against his political critics are also notably off-key at this moment. This isn’t impeachment, and Covid-19 isn’t shifty Schiff. It’s a once-a-century threat to American life and livelihood.
This WSJ editorial board criticism of Trump now helps give cover to all major TV news networks, who were afraid that if they started cutting away from Trump's faux coronavirus press conferences they would be attacked and criticized by the White House, and the right-wing media for being against Trump.
If Mr. Trump wants to make his briefings more helpful to the country, here’s our advice. Make them no more than 45 minutes, except on rare occasions. Let Mr. Pence lead them each day, focusing on one issue or problem. Mr. Pence can take the questions, and Mr. Trump can show up twice a week to reinforce the message. Maybe then our friend who was a Trump voter might start watching again.
C&L bases our opinions on the facts at the time... and not on hopes, phony prayers, and unicorns.
We do not wait until a progressive talk show host tells us what to say and what to think.
In many instances over the past sixteen years, its been the other way around. We have been ahead of the curve not reacting to it.
It's time for networks to stop airing Trump live. He can pay for airtime to run a tv rally.