Donald Trump went off the rails at Friday’s coronavirus press briefing when NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked what he had to say to Americans who are scared. But Fox News’ Brit Hume normalized Trump's deranged behavior by attacking Alexander.
Alexander clearly rattled the very thin-skinned and defiantly ignorant/dishonest Trump before he became unglued over the “what about scared Americans” softball. It started with Alexander noting that Trump’s claim about malaria drug chloroquine as a coronavirus “game changer” has been disputed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
ALEXANDER:Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope and misrepresenting...
TRUMP: No, I don't think so...
ALEXANDER: ... the preparedness right now?
TRUMP: No, I don't think so. I don't think so. I think that -- I think it's got a --
ALEXANDER: ... and the not-yet-approved drug?
TRUMP: Such a lovely question.
It’s disturbing enough that Trump would attack a reporter in the middle of a crisis rather than show calm, steady leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even worse, Trump claimed to know better than Fauci about chloroquine just on a “feeling.”
TRUMP: I feel good about it. That's all it is, just a feeling. I -- you know, I'm a smart guy, I feel good about it and we're going to see. You're going to see soon enough. And we have certainly some very big samples of people. If you look at the people, you have a lot of people that are in big trouble.
And this is not a drug that obviously -- I think I can speak for a lot of -- from a lot of experience because it's been out there for over 20 years. So it's not a drug that you have a huge amount of danger with. … I have a feeling you may -- and -- and I'm not being overly optimistic or pessimistic. I sure as hell think we ought to give it a try. I mean, there's been some interesting things happened and some good -- very good things.
Let's see what happens. We have nothing to lose. You know the expression? What the hell do you have to lose, OK?
Then came the fateful exchange that sent Trump over the edge:
ALEXANDER: So, what do you say to Americans who are scared, I guess? Nearly 200 dead and 14,000 who are sick and millions, as you witness, who are scared right now, what do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?
TRUMP: I say that you are a terrible reporter, that's what I say. I think it's a very nasty question. I think it's a very bad signal that you are putting out to the American people. They're looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism and the same with NBC and Concast -- I don't call it Comcast I call it Concast. Let me just, who do you work, let me just say something. That's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I've been right a lot.
As Crooks and Liars pointed out, “Trump could have said something reassuring, like ‘we want everyone to stay calm’ and ‘we know that this is a scary time, but we are working around the clock to do everything we can to stop the spread and keep people safe.’”
Instead we got a petty, vindictive tirade in the middle of an event that was supposed to inform the American people about the public health crisis. Clearly, Trump does not have what it takes to be a leader at a time like this, if ever.
Somehow, Hume missed all that and concluded that Alexander was the problem:
Legitimate question my a**. It was the kind of bullsh*t gotcha question which hack WH reporters have been asking for decades. But instead of going off on the reporter, Trump should have said the whole briefing in all its particulars was a message to people who are scared. https://t.co/Qg0lYC1fxk— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 20, 2020
Hume may have successfully distracted this time from the fact that Trump clearly doesn't have the temperament for dealing with the crisis. But no amount of distraction can undo the fact that Trump has botched the federal response to the pandemic and it's costing American lives and livelihoods.
Sooner or later, Fox will not be able to dodge that reality.
You can watch the full exchange below, from his March 20, 2020 press briefing, via Crooks and Liars.
He may also be realising that his ego is being stroked in the most openly blatant of manners in hope of getting him to allow the adults to address the crisis. The first two press conferences were acceptable (to my personal relief) but the subsequent ones were back to same old, same old. I’m no psychiatrist but – as an equally credible source to him – I consider the petulant toddler aged 73 to be on the way to losing his marbles. Assuming that hasn’t happened yet.
I hope he will continue to appear in person and the media will continue to cover all his appearances LIVE.
Q to Maher: What has surprised you the most 6 months into the Trump presidency?
A: “I thought he would crash the stock market. And I still think he will.”
“Drug cleared by Trump, FDA for coronavirus testing also found in fish tanks — and prices online are soaring”
Or how about this:
“Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja residents clearing out chloroquine from stores – after Trump’s comment”
In an age of sheer panic (anyone other than me running out of toilet paper?), Trump’s words matter. Not sure why. The man’s a complete idiot and serial liar but some fools still cling to the bs flowing from his lips. It has consequences.
Sorry, Brit, but Alexander’s final follow-up was a complete softball that gave Trump a chance to have a ‘we have nothing to fear but fear itself’ moment. Rather than shine, the thin-skinned snowflake couldn’t get over the chloroquine questions and conflated them in his mind.
The result is the knee-jerk MAGAts will cancel their Comcast cable subscription and everyone else thinks Trump is a vicious butthead. More Trump ‘winning’.