Well, folks, The Trump Show may be cancelled. What may be considered one of the most hilarious dark comedies of the ages is about to end because the star — one Donald J. Trump cast against type in the role of “the president” — doesn’t like being laughed at.
President Donald Trump has expressed growing frustration with his daily coronavirus-related press conferences, calling them “not worth the time and effort” Saturday.
The sentiment, coming days after an erratic briefing at which Trump incorrectly suggested that injecting cleaning products could help kill off the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, has been echoed by some Republican allies, who reportedly worry that the conferences hurt the party as a whole.
On Saturday evening, Trump lashed out in a tweet about how the media has responded to his press conferences, calling reporters “hostile,” while suggesting he has helped network news receive high ratings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yeah, the whole planet has been laughing its butt off at you, Donnie. Deal with it.
One bit of drama I missed until I read about it this morning — before the Friday live broadcast of The Trump Show, White House officials tried to move CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from her front row position to the back of the room, switching seats with the Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson. Both reporters refused to budge. The seating positions are worked out in advance by the White House Correspondents’ Association and are not supposed to be changed on the whims of the White House. Trump’s people threatened to bring in the Secret Service to force Collins to move, but she did not budge, and the Secret Service did not get involved.
There had been a brief clash between Trump and Collins the day before.
The run-in occurred after Trump dismissed a question from another reporter about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s health, saying it was based on an “incorrect” report from CNN earlier in the week. As Collins tried to ask a follow-up question, Trump interrupted her.
“No, that’s enough,” he said, adding, “The problem is, you don’t write the truth.” Collins continued to press, but Trump replied, “No, not CNN. I told you, CNN is fake news. Don’t talk to me.”
Collins had pushed Trump in other episodes, also, although she was hardly the only one. Anyway, whether it was because Collins was still in the front row or for some other reason, the star cut The Trump Show short and walked out after only 22 minutes, without taking questions.
Perhaps it was for the best; it would have been hard to top the brilliant Thursday “disinfectant” episode. Although there are rumors the writers were planning to have the “president” character suggest bombing the virus with nukes. Zany stuff!
Other Stuff to Read
Todd Tucker writes What Donald Trump Could Learn from Herbert Hoover. Although the title isn’t promising, it’s actually a good historic review of what the federal government could accomplish when it took a more robust role in addressing disasters. It’s more about FDR than Hoover.
New York Times, Closed Hospitals Leave Rural Patients ‘Stranded’ as Coronavirus Spreads. Rural hospital closings couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Blame our for-profit system.
Philip Bump and Ashley Parker, Washington Post, 13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy
Politico, USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared. Note that the current head of the USDA is Sonny Purdue.