Donald Trump played a taxpayer-funded, dishonest propaganda video yesterday during his coronavirus briefing yesterday and a chunk of what we all paid for was cribbed directly from Fox News' Hannity show.
The Intercept has a good breakdown of just how misleading Trump's “taxpayer-funded testimonial to his own leadership” was. Not only that, the video inadvertently revealed his own botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, it also revealed that the Trump team was too inept and arrogant to realize it:
The video, which was riddled with errors and deceptively edited, was apparently intended to rebut a damning report on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times that detailed how slow Trump had been to take the threat posed by the virus seriously. While Trump was obviously pleased by the production — he pointed to the screen with a look of smug triumph at several points — he seemed unaware as it was unspooling in the White House briefing room that it contained a fatal flaw that helped reinforce the central argument of The Times report.
[A]s the CBS News correspondent Paula Reid pointed out to Trump after the video ended, there was a huge gap in the timeline: it mentioned absolutely no action by him in February and there was, as The Times had noted, a period of “six long weeks” after the travel restrictions until he “finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing.”
There are plenty more damning and important details about how Trump reacted to Reid (just as childishly unprofessional, unpresidential and unconcerned about suffering Americans as you’d guess) and then writer Robert Mackey comes to this:
[The video] began with a sequence lifted directly from the March 26 edition of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show: a series of clips of medical experts for ABC, NBC and CBS wrongly predicting in January that Americans would not be badly hit by the virus. Those clips seemed to be included as an effort to embarrass reporters from those networks, but their statements at the time were almost identical to the comments from Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director, who said at a coronavirus task force briefing on Jan. 31: “I want to emphasize that this is a serious health situation in China, but I want to emphasize that the risk to the American public currently is low.”
That opening montage also includes a misleadingly edited clip of Hannity asking Dr. Anthony Fauci in January if American experts might go to China if the coronavirus outbreak there was worse than expected. In March Hannity tried to claim that this was proof that he had “warned” of a pandemic. In fact, before that clip was edited it showed that Hannity had just been asking Fauci about sending American experts to China to “help them out to try to contain this” there. Like Trump, Hannity had spent all of February comparing Covid-19 to the seasonal flu, and by the end of March he too was backpedalling furiously.
I highly recommend the rest of The Intercept article to get an idea of how willing Trump is to spend time and public money on dishonest and, ultimately, incompetent propaganda designed to help his image instead of, say, ramping up coronavirus testing which could help Americans. That would also help open up the economy, which Trump and his propaganda well, Hannity, are so eager to get to.
Media Matters put together a video showing the portions Trump lifted from Hannity. You can watch it below.
Meanwhile Laura Ingraham naturally sings its praises for Dear Leader’s ears.