I often remark not just on the changes I have seen in my life but their velocity. Today that includes me. I am calling on legitimate news outlets to stop covering President Trump live. That is something I never anticipated doing, do so after considerable thought and with reluctance. This position was unthinkable to me only weeks ago. Let’s explore.
Over the last three years I have gotten many questions on why the media simply doesn’t stop covering Trump. My reply has always been that, like it or not, legitimate or not, he is the president and therefore he is news. It is well documented that Trump lies at a much greater rate than any of his predecessors. That notwithstanding, he is the president. In the past his lies have been mainly to make himself look good and hide his transgressions which largely are his mostly successful attempts at self-enrichment. Trump’s unjustifiably oversized ego has become the fodder of late night comedy writers. It is well documented that Trump has “stolen” a lot of money from the people during his time in office. There is no doubt much more than we don’t yet know about. The investigative press, in this case led by David Farenthold, is good but not perfect.
In his daily comedy hour Trump has taken his lying to a new level and now it affects the physical health of both the nation and the world. We can no longer afford to give this man a platform on which to disseminate untruths that will result in American deaths.
A few days ago I intentionally stopped watching the live broadcasts of his comedy hour. I simply though it was a waste of time to hear him and stooges like Vice President Mike Pence simply self-servingly lie. It is obvious that they are in over their heads and their egos won’t let them delegate the situation to experts.
Sunday Trump’s performance was metaphorically the straw that broke the camel’s back. He is so sensitive and defensive that he simply will not take a tough question from the press as he illustrated in the way he handled Yamiche Alcindor. When Trump called on the PBS reporter/co-anchor she clearly stated that she had two questions, as is allowed by the rules and custom. She began, “Mr. President, I have two questions. The first is you’ve said repeatedly that you think some of the equipment that governors are requesting they don’t actually need. You said New York might not need 30,000.”
At that point Trump cut her off (falsely) interjecting, “I didn’t say that.”
Alcindor correctly stated, “You said it on Sean Hannity’s Fox News.”
Trump again cut her off saying, “Come on, come on. Why don’t you people – why don’t you act a little more positive? It’s always ‘get ya, get ya, get ya.’ And you know what? That’s why nobody trusts the media anymore.”
When Alcindor tried to finish her first question again Trump interrupted her saying, “Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don’t be threatening. Be nice.”
Of course the follow-up question never happened as Trump –without ever answering the original question – moved on. In the first show of legitimate press solidarity, a few minutes later Jeremy Diamond of CNN was called on and handed the microphone back to Alcindor.
Trump has a problem with the truth and a problem with being challenged (perhaps that is what happens when Lucky Sperm Cell Club members inherit their daddy’s company and everyone on their staff tells them how great they are at every opportunity). It is apparent Trump has a problem with smart, strong women as does a large portion of his base. You don’t have to be a racist to be part of his base but it will help you fit in. I’m sure the fact that Alcindor is a smart, strong, black woman played well with Bubba who Trump needs to show up at the polls in November.
This administration has lied to the press – and in the process to the American people – since its first full day in office. Can anyone forget then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer calling the White House Press Corps in on a Saturday to lecture them on the inaugural crowd size? Trump had a spat with CNN’s Jim Acosta and a recent one with NBC’s Peter Alexander just to cite a few off the top of my head.
The press has an obligation to cover the news; that is how it fulfills its important and constitutionally protected obligation in the representative democracy that America is. Covering a bunch of lies in real time is simply unnecessary and a waste of resources. The media can cover the events and broadcast anything of truth and substance on a slightly delayed basis.
Especially with the election coming up we have to guard against a repeat of 2016. During that campaign Trump was outrageous, and therefore was “too sexy” for the media to ignore. He translated into rating and he knew it. He received billions of dollars in free media coverage. Who wanted to listen to the likes of Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton talk policy when you never knew what would come out of Trump’s mouth?
Outlets like Fox, Sinclair and One America will continue to carry Trump live; they basically shill for him anyway. There is no need for legitimate broadcasters to cover lies live; they are in the business of covering legitimate news of which there is a plethora.
I never thought I would see the day where I felt that covering the President of the United States was a health danger but today is that day. Therefore I am calling on all legitimate broadcasters to stop covering Trump live; especially the Trump Comedy Hour.
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