Brian Williams Savagely Mocks Dr. Birx’s Lavish Praise of Trump: ‘Translated from the Original North Korean’
Donald Trump: “so attentive to the scientific literature.” Really?
That highly dubious claim was just one part of the lavish praise showered on the president during a Friday interview by Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force. And its stunning fealty earned the doctor a strong dose of mockery from MSNBC’s Brian Williams.
Williams began his Friday night show by running down Trump’s latest round of public statements about the Covid-19 pandemic, which in the just the past few days has featured him baselessly speculating about the true demand for ventilators and pushing for an Easter restart of the economy that his own infectious diseases expert has dismissed as false hope. The MSNBC anchor then played a clip of Brix appearing in an interview on the notably Trump-friendly Christian Broadcasting Network earlier that day.
“How would you describe the job President Trump is doing behind the scenes and in front of the cameras during these daily briefings that we’re seeing?” the CBN reporter asked. “What’s been your perspective, Dr. Birx?”
“He’s been so attentive to the scientific literature and the details and the data,” Birx claimed, despite plenty of public evidence to the contrary. “And I think his — his ability to analyze and integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues,” she added, ladling on even more adulation and stroking of Trump’s well known demand for absolute loyalty.
Williams, however, was not about to let such genuflection go unremarked upon.
“That was translated from the original North Korean,” Williams’s dry wit concluded right after the clip ended, his biting quip drawing inspiration from the all-time classic zinger by sharp-witted liberal columnist Molly Ivins, who said of conservative Pat Buchanan’s infamously far right 1992 Republican National Convention speech: “It probably sounded better in the original German.”
“Back in the real world, here’s a reminder,” Williams continued, showing his work. “Over a month ago on February 25th, the CDC warned coronavirus spread was inevitable here in our country. Later that week, the Washington Post reported the president was furious over what he considered an alarmist response from his administration. And just two days after the CDC warning, here’s what he said: ‘You know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows. The fact is the greatest experts, I’ve spoken to them all, nobody really knows.'”
The MSNBC host then pulled in Never Trumper and U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols, to ask about the corrosive value of such over-the-top encomiums when it comes to retaining public trust in the federal government.
“So, professor, when job one at that podium is to praise the dear leader, what do we as citizens and consumers do when we have even a whiff of doubt about anyone not named [Dr. Anthony] Fauci on that stage?
“Well, I think we have to have a certain amount of sympathy for the experts on that stage because they’re trying to manage a pandemic and manage the president at the same time,” Nichols said, alluding to the ongoing tension between Trump’s rosy predictions and self-congratulation and Fauci’s much more sobering analysis and admissions of administration failure. “This is a really difficult situation for an expert because the first job of an expert is to speak truth to power. It’s to tell the boss, it’s to tell society, it’s to tell your client the truth no matter what it is. But of course the president has a long history of firing people who tell him things he doesn’t want to hear. So I think the first thing we have to do is just kind of discount some of that ritualistic cant, and then listen to what they say in their professional capacity.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org