I will start today’s article with a pearl of confusing wisdom from the late American philosopher and Baseball Hall of Famer, Lawrence “Yogi” Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Let’s explore.
Part of the perfect storm that culminated in Donald Trump’s election was the inordinate amount of press coverage, particularly live TV coverage; he received in the run up to the 2016 election. He did it by being outrageous and therefore good for ratings. The press simply couldn’t ignore him. They knew they couldn’t get similar ratings covering Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or, at least occasionally, John Kasich talking policy. TV is particularly dangerous in that it is the fastest way to get information without expending much effort. It takes time and effort to read a newspaper, blog, book or magazine. TV and radio (especially in the automobile) is basically effortless.
Trump has a need to be in the news. Remember this is a guy who openly dated his mistress and simultaneously sought gossip page coverage. He valued his name and picture in the newspaper over his family. A lot of married men have an affair, but I can’t think of another who sought to publicize it.
Trump loves big rallies of adoring crowds. He continually lied about their size right up to and including Inauguration Day. He loves to brag about the size of his Twitter following. He follows his TV ratings. Early on in this term he was asked about firing Sean Spicer (who he later fired anyway) his reply was that he wouldn’t fire him because he got high TV ratings. Trump’s only success in life (other than being a member of the Lucky Sperm Cell Club) was in network TV. (I am proud to say that I never watched an episode. Why would I have? The show was stupid and based on a false premise.)
Last week Thursday Trump made dangerous statements about the internal use of disinfectants in an effort to cure the coronavirus. The backlash was such that he actually stayed out of the briefings/comedy show for three days. He claimed they were a waste of his time. They were a waste of time alright, but not of Trump’s. Monday he returned to the stage only now sans any actual health care experts (who occasionally somewhat and gently moderated his false statements). This is about Trump’s ego, attempting to control the news cycle one day at a time and staying in front of Bubba. It has nothing to do with combating the coronavirus pandemic. Trump only cares about staying in office to satisfy his ego and continue the efforts of his organized criminal enterprise to enrich himself and his financiers.
Trump continued his ongoing battle with the legitimate press. (Note to the self-proclaimed extremely stable genius: The awards they win are called Pulitzers and they don’t come from Sweden.) Trump specializes in attacking non-whites and women to the particular delight of Bubba. If the attacked journalist happens to fall into both categories and/or is homosexual that is cause for another beer (which he will dispatch his wife or kid to fetch). Generally speaking Bubba is a racist and a bigot in addition to being an ardent Trump supporter. Not every Trump voter falls into the Bubba category, but Trump knows that if Bubba sits 2020 out he will lose.
If the legitimate news media continues to cover Trump live they are falling into the same trap they allowed him to ensnare them in in 2016 and if Trump is reelected in November they will bear a major portion of the blame. On the off chance he says something that is both true and of consequence it can be carried moments after it occurs. In the highly probable case that he makes an absolute fool of himself (his people will say he was joking or being sarcastic) it will be well covered subsequently. Legitimate broadcast media don’t allow yourself to be used by a lying fool!
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