WSJ Editorial Board Calls Out Trump For Using Press Briefings As Campaign Rallies: ‘Now All About the President’
The Wall Street Journal editorial board declared that President Donald Trump’s coronavirus press briefings have outlived their worth, devolving into a “boring” continuation of his war with the media.
In a Wednesday night op-ed entitled “Trump’s Wasted Briefings,” Rupert Murdoch’s paper said that the daily press conferences from the White House coronavirus task force started off as a good idea; to warn people about the seriousness of Covid-19, and inform on what the government was going to do about it.
“But sometime in the last three weeks,” the article says, “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.”
The piece points out that the briefings have become lengthy events in which Trump takes up a majority of the time while task force members “have become supporting actors, and sometimes barely that.” As such, briefings have become less about providing information and more about Trump getting into a “useless squabble” with the press or other foes.
From the piece:
“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… If Mr. Trump thinks these daily sessions will help him defeat Joe Biden, he’s wrong. This election is now about one issue: how well the public thinks the President has done in defeating the virus and restarting the economy. If Americans conclude he succeeded in a crisis, they will forgive him for reacting more slowly than he and many others might have in January. But on that score, voters will be persuaded by what they see in their lives and communities come the autumn. They will judge Mr. Trump by the results, not by how well he says he did.”
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