Trump's Daily Media Circus Starting to Backfire

Mish

Trump's coronavirus daily updates once had a purpose. It's now a media circus.

Trump's daily coronavirus discussions have become less about defeating the virus and more about his feuds with the press and his political enemies.

Even the Wall Street journal editorial board, normally a Trump supporter, is critical of Trump’s Wasted Briefings.

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.

One of the ironies of this Presidency is that Mr. Trump claims to despise the press yet so eagerly plays its game. Every reporter knows the way to get a TV moment, and get a pat on the back from newsroom pals, is to bait Mr. Trump with a question about his previous statements or about criticism that someone has leveled against him. Mr. Trump always takes the bait.

On Tuesday Mr. Trump was asked, in a typically tendentious question, why he had compared the coronavirus to the flu. Instead of saying he had been hoping for the best but was wrong when he'd said that, he got into a fight over the severity of the flu. This sort of exchange usually devolves into a useless squabble that helps Mr. Trump’s critics and contributes little to public understanding.

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 post is sure to bring up the TDS discussion again so I will put that to bed quickly.

I praised Trump, on March 29, for his initial national address. For details, please see Trump Worried About 2.2 Million Deaths, Extends Shutdown Through April. Here is the key snip.

Empathy

Trump displayed a quality I have never seen in him before: empathy. He spoke of black body bags as long as trucks and said "it's not supplies, it's people. I've never seen anything like it."

In reference to Italy, Trump says "We got lucky".

That's certainly a new behavior.

Importantly, Trump finally took the advice of his medical team seriously.

Media Circus Transformation

I differ with the Wall Street Journal in the timing of transformation to circus format. I think it started at the end of March or beginning of April.

But yes, it's here. And yes, Trump takes the bait every time either directly by answering a question or indirectly by belittling a reporter for asking.

The Trump faithful love these exchanges. I see the comments every day on Twitter.

Trump confuses tactics that won the election for him in 2016 with what it takes in 2020. The same thing happened to Jeremy Corbyn in the last UK election.

I called that in advance and discussed it in Labour Slaughtered, Corbyn Refuses to Admit He is the Reason.

Democrats avoided the same fate by avoiding Sanders.

The Trump Faithful Don't Matter

Trump likes to excite his true believers and they cheer him wildly over these exchanges.

Heck, they cheer him wildly over anything and everything including his absurd coronavirus prediction: "15 cases soon headed to zero".

For election purposes, the true believers do not not matter. They will never vote for Biden under any circumstances.

But what about the swing voters sick of Trump's self-praise?

It's the independents who voted for Trump because they could not stand Hillary that matter.

Neither the coronavirus nor the recession will do Trump in.

Rather, it's a combination of self-adulation, lies, and feuds that Trump starts or fuels that will cost him the election in November.

Here's the ultimate election irony: Trump will not blame himself for the loss, just like Hillary.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (114)
No. 1-33
DBG8489
DBG8489

If the Democrats run Biden, he will lose.

The only way he wins is if they find a way to install a computer in his brain that they can control so he stops looking and sounding like he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal every time he opens his mouth.

You think swing voters don't like Trump's chest-pounding and the way he goes after reporters and acts like a dick on Twitter. I agree. They probably don't. And if Biden's only issue was his and his family's proximity to corruption and criminality, then I would give him a 50/50 shot.

However, he's clearly lost, or is losing, his mind. And added to everything else, that is something that swing voters simply will not overlook.

If you want Trump out, I believe he is vulnerable to a good candidate.

Unfortunately, Biden is not the person to fill those shoes.

njbr
njbr

When will you get your check?

Direct deposit ones starting to be sent today.

Paper checks to those that earned $10K or less after 4/24

10 to $20K after 5/1

20 to $30K after 5/8

And so on, week by week, through the top level $198K/couple after 9/4

That's what I call getting it out in a timely fashion, eh? ( a big NO!)--

Especially considering the unbanked in the lower income levels.

Sechel
Sechel

The problem is Trump's a psychopath and displays a high degree of narcissism. I had to turn it off yesterday after hearing this exchange:

The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!

Contrast Trump's conference with Andrew Cuomo's. Ironic since it was seeing Andrew Cuomo on TV that probably prompted Trump to do his, this despite telling Pence this was his show to run.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Unless something serious happens to Biden this rates to be a blowout

shamrock
shamrock

I haven't listened to this clown in well over a year. There's no point. If anything truthful happens to come out of this fat asses fried chicken hole it's a total accident.

CzarChasm-Reigns
CzarChasm-Reigns

It's a daily circus alright. All about the show for him. Pence even tried to squelch the competition:

"White House reverses position after blocking health officials from appearing on CNN" https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/09/media/pence-office-tv-bookings-coronavirus/index.html

We have seen some inspiring leaders step up during this crisis...
but King Chaos certainly is not one of them.

Sechel
Sechel

I was shocked , well not really at Trump's intention to get everyone back to work without a plan to ramp up tests further. Trump keeps saying we do the most testing, but he compares us to countries that have significantly smaller populations. Maybe some don't get that but many of us do.

Asked if an "adequate nationwide testing system" must be in place before sending Americans back to the workplace, the president again touted the country's ability to test before indicating that people could go back to work while testing is still being rolled out.

"We want to have it. We will see if we have it. Do you need it? No. Is it a nice thing to do? Yes," Trump said.

The administration response has been heavily criticized for not performing nearly as many tests -- per capita --as other countries.

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

President Trump has recently changed the format of the daily task force press conferences. He speaks at the beginning for about 25 minutes and then he leaves the meeting with VP Pence acting as MC for the rest of the presentation. That has been more productive.

Still no good discussion about an exit plan for the shutdowns; only general comments about how it will be sooner or later in different locations of the US, depending on how many COVID-19 cases are being detected within a local region. Also no date commitment for widespread antibody testing, only nonspecific comments that an antibody test will be useful and it is coming. Dr. Fauci mentioned having clinically proven therapeutics available for winter 2020 outbreaks that are expected to occur, so that seems like a solid hint that some amount of social distancing will still be imposed on the US through next year.

I am already seeing stories about record lines at food banks and how farmers cannot feed their animals due to supply problems with feed (for example, ethanol plants provide an important source of animal feed and they are shut down due to lack of fuel demand). Food that is normally sold through restaurants is going to waste because it cannot be easily repackaged and shipped for sale through grocery stores, meaning those local growers are being hit hard.

Nature abhors waste in a time of need. It is difficult for me to see how this continues through the end of April or May without some major irreversible breakdowns. If it continues into fall, things are going to get truly awful.

Frilton Miedman
Frilton Miedman

Reporter: "President Trump, what are your comments on today's 500 deaths in ****ville?"

Trump: "Well, let me start by saying what a tragedy it is, and then I'd like to congratulate myself for sending them a few masks"

Reporter: "Don't you think it might be a good idea to do more?"

Trump: "What a nasty question, Your network is fake news, you're banned from these briefings"

Sechel
Sechel

This caught my eye this morning. There's anger that CNN isn't completely covering his news conference and cutting away.

WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence’s office is barring top public health officials from appearing on CNN until the news network agrees to air the White House’s daily coronavirus briefings in their entirety, CNN reported on Thursday.

wootendw
wootendw

Biden cannot beat Trump.

But Trump can beat himself.

Zardoz
Zardoz

He has to have that attention, even if it’s negative. He’ll be shrieking and throwing poop in 3 months.

njbr
njbr

On a day when the US accounted for 40% of new cases in the world and 18% of the deaths (US has 4.5% of the world population) he tweets that he has the best teevee ratings ever for his CV show.

Oblivious, shameless narcissist--a monster.

njbr
njbr

Today, tweets on ratings and this...

....drone footage captures NYC workers burying bodies in a mass grave on Hart Island, just off the coast of the Bronx. For over a century, the island has served as a potter’s field for deceased with no known next of kin or families unable to pay for funerals....

Should be shown on splitscreen with his BS

numike
numike

Trump seems determined to destroy both aspects of the only workable solution. Not only has he been pushing for an end to social distancing guidelines and a re-opening of many businesses, Trump is also pulling federal funding for testing sites.
As NPR reports, federal funding for testing sites will end on Friday. That includes sites in some of the hardest hits areas of the country that are engaged in testing thousands of Americans. Come Friday, federal funds—and federal contracts—will be withdrawn, leaving states and localities without the materials or labs necessary to conduct and process the tests.
States and cities right at the peak of the outbreak are about to lose much of their ability to conduct tests, because federal funds, contracts, and facilities are going away even as the number of cases, and deaths, continues to soar. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services claimed that “many” of the 41 affected sites would be “transitioning” to state-run sites, but didn’t say how many, or even how that was possible.

awc13
awc13

Has anyone watched Obiden's basement side chats? he struggles to put a meaningful sentence together. I feel sorry for the old guy. My grandfather was like that when dementia started to show.

Sechel
Sechel

Seems like Mish read the NY Times today

For what its worth I've felt this from day one. He tossed the football to Pence and then refused to let him run with it acting jealous

Aides and allies increasingly believe the president’s daily briefings are hurting him more than helping, and are urging him to let his medical experts take center stage.

ohno
ohno

So 30k+ new cases in the US today, over 500k total by Easter, and Trump claims opening parts of the country later this month? I realize we can't stay locked down forever but 30k+ daily growth rates isn't exactly prime time in my view. I'm in one of the lower infected areas. Do you really think I want to catch up to everyone else?

njbr
njbr

Greggg
Greggg

Trump is just like anything you buy that's gold plated... the coating wears off quickly. And now for an expert political opinion from the enlightened ones.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

But Trump’s approval rating just broke new record! Omg

awc13
awc13

and now words of wisdom from our future leader

thimk
thimk

I am tired of the rhetoric , I need an action plan . for starters provide PPE to that segment of the population that is still working in essential business , they are the true patriots . Thank your walmart/home depot employee.........

SteveVT
SteveVT

If you think I will vote for the idiot that is the mind declining that is Biden, well I have bad news for you. You may think Trump is an idiot blowhard, but his policies largely bely this idea. Pay less attention to his twitter and more to his policies. I differ with him on several fronts, but as a Libertarian, I applaud deregulation, freeing of redtape. It is a simple question in November if you do not have TDS.

jivefive99
jivefive99

Everybody needs to remember we arent electing a king. This country was designed by people who knew how bad kings (and queens and dictators of all kinds) were for "governing." The American presidency is by definition "weak." Yes, he/she names judges and can send in the military whenever. But beyond that, the president isnt very powerful by definition. We here are basically responsible for ourselves, scary tho that may be to think about. In the end, who is president really doesnt matter all that much. But if Donald is trying to become the first American king, it will be a LOT more fun than being president.

vultra1
vultra1

good sales pitch, what about the black voter approval rating of 16-32% depending on poll, only got 8% of their vote in 2016, independents 64% against impeachment, are you saying they are too stupid to remember that charade and hoax and all of the sudden are going to vote for the nominee that can hide his own easter eggs because Trump was lied too by Drs. whose models and assumptions were wrong and killed the economy...and to your "15 cases headed to zero" do you really want to go down that road...DeBlasio tweets telling new york to ignore corona on March 2nd, Cuomo tweet jan 24th monitoring corona and we are prepared, current risk to new yorkers is low, Cuomo march 1 there is no reason for undue anxiety, the general risks remain low in NY, Trump was NOT the only one that got this wrong but your focus only seems to be on his errors in judgement about this seasonal flu...here are some more fine headlines of people that misled the general public, so why the selective memory?

On Jan 23rd, Wuhan went into lockdown...
On Jan 23rd... most of America were wondering "what's up with Wuhan/China?"
On Jan 28th, BuzzFeed, "Dont worry about the corona virus. Worry about the Flu"
On Jan 31st, Vox retorted: "Is this going to be a deadly pandemic? NO"
On Jan 31st, the Washington Post headline: "How our brains make coronavirus seem scarier than it is."
On Jan 31st, CNN " As the coronavirus spreads, fear is fueling racism and xenophobia" right after stopping flights from China
On Feb1st, the Washington post said: "get a grip America. the flu is a much bigger threat than the coronavirus"
On Feb 3rd, the Washington post headline: "why we should be wary of an aggressive government response"
On Feb 5th, NYT "who says it is not safe to travel to China? The coronavirus travel ban is unjust and doesn't work anyway."
On Feb 7th, Daily Beast "Coronavirus, with zero american fatalities, is dominating headlines, while the flu is the real threat
On Feb 13th: the NY times stated: "in Europe, fear spreads faster than the coronavirus itself.."
On Feb 21st, CNN said: "what's spreading faster than corona virus in the US? racist assaults"
CNN A. Cooper "Be more concerned about the flu" than coronavirus, same with Lemon, Morning Joe and all their paid lackeys spouting the same DNC echo chamber talking points...not just trump everyone got it wrong and it turns out even the modelers, fauci and birx

Roanman
Roanman

My opinion;

Trump is a narcissistic asshole and a bully.

Biden is a drooling moron and a junior varsity, wannabe Clinton.

Mish having done one fine job of calling one series of political events and feeling full of himself on the issue of his political acumen has become a tedious bore.

And the poisoned among us will continue to reveal themselves.

Anyone with an ounce of sense, having paid even the smallest bit of attention to recent history, would know that any American President would be facing withering criticism under these circumstances, regardless of party or personality.

Clinton would be summoning tears, Bush would be laying plans for war with China, Obama would be working on his short game on the White House lawn, Trump preens.

Get over it.

wootendw
wootendw

Here is what may be Trump's biggest problem - which is not his re-election.

According to Wikipedia, the Trump Organization (i.e., Trump's business empire) "The Trump Organization, through its various constituent companies and partnerships, has or has had interests in real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing, and property management. Trump Organization entities own, operate, invest in, and develop residential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers, and golf courses in various countries.[5][6][7] They also operate or have operated in construction, hospitality, casinos, entertainment, book and magazine publishing, broadcast media, model management, retail, financial services, food and beverages, business education, online travel, commercial and private aviation and beauty pageants."

These businesses are largely in industries that are, or should be, taking a huge beating from the virus and recession. Recent reports suggest that 6 out of 7 of Trump's biggest income producers are already shutdown due to the virus and Trump is negotiating with Deutsche Bank about a personal financial commitment he made to them.

If Trump gets re-elected, he will probably start taking his salary but it might not be enough.

shamrock
shamrock

The Diamond Princess math? 696 infected, 12 dead. 1.7% mortality rate, check. 3712 people on board, 12 dead. 0.32% population death rate. 330,000,000 americans = 1,067,097 total deaths.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Our best hope is both Trump and Biden die before election day. I'm in favor of them having a debate in front of a packed citi field.

Bungalow Bill
Bungalow Bill

TDS is such a lazy argument. It's amazing you can hold Trump to the same standards you held Obama to and it be TDS.

Montana33
Montana33

You assume we will have a free and fair election? It’s quite clear to me that the Republicans will ensure we don’t through gerrymandering, suppressing votes, shutting down polls in Democratic districts and take voters off roles. Do you think they would invite the Russians in this time to tamper with election machinery. I do.

Sechel
Sechel

Trump's attempting to win a p.r. battle against Covid-19 and hide his own performance . That's what we're seeing. Remember this:

On Feb. 5, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar requested $4 billion from the White House to order supplies needed in the battle against the pandemic. But Azar didn’t get that money because Trump’s advisers still considered warnings about the virus to be exaggerated – and the president obviously feared that bad news would send stock prices plummeting. Trump also refused to make recommendations for dealing with the epidemic.

Lack of protective gear is one reason why so many infections are hitting emergency responders in the cities.