Friday, March 20, 2020

John King, Virtually Alone

At Friday's coronavirus "briefing," NBC's Peter Alexander asked President Trump (beginning at 1:31 of video below)  ".... what do you say to Americans who are watching you now who are scared?" The President of the United States of America famously replied

I'd say that you're a terrible reporter. That'w what I say. I think it's a very nasty question and I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they're looking for hope and you're doing sensationalism and the same thing with Comcast.

I don't call it Comcast. I call it Concast- for whom you work. Let me tell you something. That's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.....

Following the daily dog and pony show, CNN's John King, husband to CNN's Dana Bash, responded

What the president did to Peter Alexander was reprehensible. The people are looking for answers. They do want hope, they do want support, Mr. President. That was a very fair question....

It was striking that this came -- forgive me -- this bullshit attack on fake news came just moments after the Secretary of State said the American people need to be careful about where they get their information, to go to sources they can trust.

It was more than a fair question. It was a hanging curve, seemingly designed to give the President an opportunity to express sympathy with the American people. Alas, Trump had something different in mind.

The attack on Comcast actually was shrewd politics and may portend an attack upon the eventual Democratic nominee, presumably Joe Biden, who has a close tie with Comcast executive David Cohen.  The ubiquitous and strikingly unpopular Comcast is the largest pay-TV company, largest home internet service provider, and the third-largest home telephone service provider in the USA. If Biden is successful in Milwaukee, expect to hear "Comcast Joe" a lot.

But don't expect to hear many individuals in the media mimic John  King's approach.  The President once again telegraphed his intentions to both the news media and voters at large, warning them of the actions he will take if re-elected.  Yet, neither of the two legitimate cable news networks, CNN or MSNBC, appears to comprehend fully the threat that a re-elected Donald Trump poses.

He does not hide his dishonesty.  He does not hide his bigotry. He does not hide his animus toward anyone in the news media who is not faithful and loyal to him because he views himself simultaneously as God's messenger and as the sole representative of the State.

Trump expects complete subservience to him, his policies, and his remarks. He does not recognize the "balanced" reporting he typically receives as an act of grace, of unmerited favor. Notwithstanding John King and a few others, the news media naively acts as if it believes it will escape the fury- and full power of the state- if President Trump is re-elected. This doesn't end well.

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