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Wed Apr 1, 2020, 02:50 PM

The Coronavirus is Not Good Television

Donald Trump is a president made for a time when Americans can no longer embrace one another. It is a strange coincidence that the most divisive and conspicuously bigoted president in decades will be known most for a lethal pandemic that separates us by fiat, preventing physical community in order to help us all survive. The coronavirus has effectively extended our winters, mandating that we be at home as much as possible. Surely some are reading and exercising more, but few things are more American than defraying anxiety with some easily disposable television. Perhaps this is why the former Apprentice star has seized the moment to take the stage and perform.

That may be why Trump tweeted a particularly masturbatory thread Sunday morning, crowing about what Michael Grynbaum of The New York Times reported earlier that week. Ignoring Grynbaum’s larger question — about whether networks should continue to carry the White House daily coronavirus task force briefings live, endangering the public with the president’s misinformation — the president chose to boast in the midst of a pandemic killing thousands that he is attracting millions of eyes, garnering television audiences on par with “Monday Night Football” and the season finale of “The Bachelor.”

Never mind the failings of his administration to federalize a supply chain of life-saving equipment, or to use the time allotted to him each day to convey information the public needs. Trump knows we’ll be watching, so he fears no consequences for being himself. By bragging about his ratings, Trump communicates to us that what matters most to him is not so much how we view him, but simply whether we view him at all.

The coronavirus gives Trump the chance to lie at a regularly scheduled time, ensuring him somewhat of a captive audience. Unencumbered and unfettered by anything but a tough inquiry from a good journalist, the president now regularly barks out claims that would have ended political careers in the past. He and his administration toss out projected death totals like Vegas betting lines, cheapening lives lost to politics. Like his pal, the New York sports radio host Mike Francesa, said on Monday, how would the nation suffering an additional 180,000 or so deaths from COVID-19 signify that he’s done “a pretty good job,” as Trump claimed this week? How does marching up corporate CEOs to kiss his ass save any lives? Why does anyone tolerate its president of the United States hawking snake-oil remedies for the coronavirus? Why do networks allow him this scheduled time to slander officials and overwhelmed hospitals in his native New York, falsely alleging that the state is hoarding ventilators?


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Blue Owl Apr 1 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Apr 1, 2020, 02:55 PM

1. Donald Trump: Now brought to you in Coronavision

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