The suits keep letting him do it: Donald J. Trump, the commander in chief, strode before the nation's cameras at roughly 6 PM Eastern.
The news channels had been teasing the briefing for over an hour. The commander took control of prime time, then quickly began to spread his virus around:
TRUMP (3/25/20): The governor is doing a very good job. I spoke to the governor—Governor Cuomo—last night and this morning, and he mentioned that, in his remarks, that he’s using the—that we are using—and I think he feels, because he understands negotiation—he thinks we’re using very appropriately the Defense Production Act. And we are. We’re using it where needed. It’s a great point of leverage; it’s a great negotiating tool.According to the commander, Governor Cuomo seems to understand the art of the deal! According to the commander, the governor approves of the his refusal to order companies to produce more life-saving protective gear and more life-saving respirators.
We’re also doing some very large testings throughout the country. I told you yesterday that, in South Korea—and this is not a knock in any way because I just spoke with President Moon; we had a very good conversation about numerous other things—but they’ve done a very good job on testing, but we now are doing more testing than anybody, by far. We do more in eight days than they do in eight weeks. And we go up, on a daily basis, exponentially. So, it’s really good.
For people able to swallow that, the commander had anothee! In viral fashion, he repeated a slightly altered version of the self-affirming, feel-good misstatement he'd cooked up the day before:
"We do more testing in eight days than South Korea does in eight weeks."In this way, the commander keeps spreading the virus of misinformation around. Based on recent surveys, people who don't know that it's misinformation seem to be agreeing with his daily self-serving assessment:
"So, it's really good."This daily gong-show raises the same old obvious questions about the commander's mental health. More strikingly, the airing of this daily gong-show raises questions about the network suits who keep putting this gong-show on.
Yesterday, just after 6 PM Eastern, we flipped around the dial. The commander's stream of misinformation was being broadcast live by CNN, by MSNBC and by the Fox News Channel.
That said, the spreading of the virus didn't end there. Here in the Baltimore market, the gong-show was also being broadcast live by the local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.
It was prime time, and a wide array of highly-paid suits were spreading the virus around.
Concerning the commander himself, it's long been obvious that he seems to be either mentally ill in some way or cognitively impaired, or quite possibly both. Earlier yesterday, he broadcast his troubled state once again through his latest mocking tweet about the possibility that Mitt Romney might be infected.
The commander seems to be Dylan's (metaphorical) "poor immigrant." This has long been clear.
He may well be a sociopath; a certain percentage of people are. Though it isn't necessarily such people's "fault," it's a very dangerous state of affairs in an American president.
Something seems to be badly wrong with our fearless commander in chief, who never stops selling the car. But early in 2018, the New York Times declared that we mustn't discuss the possibility that the commander is mentally ill in some way, and so an incipient discussion was brought to a very quick end.
That decision by the Times will be discussed in future anthropology texts, assuming such texts exist. We can already announce one fairly obvious conclusion:
The decision flies in the face of the ballyhooed claim that we humans are "the rational animal."
Something seems to be wrong with Commander Donald J. Trump—but our journalistic elites have agreed that this obvious possibility must never be discussed. Yesterday, the network suits revealed their own lack of mental hygiene:
Once again, they agreed to put a crazy person all over TV, at the start of prime time, to spread a virus around.
They did this all through 2016 when Trump was running for president. Ratings and profits were good!
Four years later, the commander's disorder is much more obvious, but the overpaid climbers who run the nets still refuse to respond to this fact.
The commander is spreading a virus around on a daily basis. The suits keep letting him do it. Yesterday, they teased his appearance for over an hour. Then, they threw him on the air, and the virus was spread all around.
These are anthropology lessons. These lessons involve the mental traits of our floundering species' elites as we confront, or fail to confront, our ongoing plague year.
Cuomo thinks Trump is doing it right! They put the commander all over TV. He then revealed this key fact.
Tomorrow: Back to Birx
Anatomy of a fact-check: The commander left yesterday's briefing at roughly 6:30 PM. When he left, the briefing continued, with Vice President Heep in charge.
At this point, CNN dropped its live coverage. MSNBC and Fox continued to broadcast the briefing live.
At CNN, Wolf Blitzer quickly threw to Daniel Dale, asking for a fact-check. Below, you see what Dale said. On balance, we'd grade his fact-check as wrong:
BLITZER (3/25/20): I got Daniel Dale with us as well, our fact-checker. Daniel, what jumped out at you from what we heard from the president?The liberal world has accepted Dale as fact-checker in chief. Much of what he said was correct but we'd grade his final assessment as equivocating and wrong.
DALE: Well, Trump continue to boast about how the pace of testing for the coronavirus in the United States compares to testing in South Korea. He is correct that the U.S. is now conducting more tests than they are there, but what he's leaving out is the population difference.
So the U.S. has more than six times South Korea's population. And so per capita, South Korea is still far outpacing the United States. We have approximate figures, but it's something—it's fewer than 1 in 200 South Koreans who have been tested and it's more than 1 in 700 Americans who have been tested.
He's also left out the fact that South Korea has started testing much more quickly and implemented much more stringent post-test measures to try to contain this. And so, yes, Trump is correct in terms of the absolute numbers but he's not touting the full story here, Wolf.
"Trump is correct in terms of the absolute numbers?" As far as we know, he isn't. We base this assessment on what was said at Tuesday's briefing, where Trump's new talking-point was born. See yesterday's report.
As far as we know, we are not "doing as much testing in eight days" as South Korea did, or is now doing, in eight weeks.
The feel-good claim began on Tuesday with Field Marshal Birx. But that doesn't seem to be what she actually said when she made the jumbled, confusing, upbeat statement the commander quickly embellished.
A full fact-check of what trump said should have provided more background. To our taste, Dale was much too equivocal in his assessment—was much too eager to say that Donald J. Trump wasn't completely wrong.
A full fact-check would have noted the confusing origin of this latest viral claim. It would also include an obvious statement—when networks air these gong-shows live, they let these embellished claims spread.
Our press corps' skills are very limited. This fact has been abundantly clear for at least three decades.
Dale's check is the best this elite can perform. As recent history had made all too clear, it isn't nearly enough.