So here we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and NBC’s White House correspondent Peter Alexander takes his moment of TV face time to ask this of the President:
“Is it possible that your impulse to put a positive spin on things is maybe giving Americans a false sense of hope and misrepresenting preparedness right now?
“What do you say Americans who are scared, though? Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now.
What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?”
Stop. Full stop. (Watch the exchange below):
When one watches the video of this exchange it is amazing to behold. How many times has the President told the country exactly what is happening? Plenty. For Alexander to ask “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” this clearly means he hasn’t been listening over the duration of this crisis – or there is something else at play.
Here, to cite but one example, is the President in his address to the nation.
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history. I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these tough measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and we will ultimately and expeditiously defeat this virus.”
…Our team is the best anywhere in the world. At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years. We declared a public health emergency and issued the highest level of travel warning on other countries as the virus spread its horrible infection.
And taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.”
There was the President calmly and clearly reassuring Americans. The answer to Alexander’s question is self-evident.
One suspects Alexander is not much of a reader outside his liberal bibles of The New York Times and The Washington Post. But had he checked in with, for instance, this piece by Townhall’s Katie Pavlich, he would have seen this headline: President Trump Reassures America: We’re Going to Win
Katie says this:
“Speaking during the daily Wuhan coronavirus update from the White House Tuesday, President Trump reassured the country that the actions being taken by the federal government will result in the United States beating the virus.
‘One day we’ll be standing, possibly up here, and we’ll say, ‘Well, we won,’ Trump said. ‘We’re going to say that, sure are you’re sitting there, we’re going to say that.’”
In other words? There was the answer Peter Alexander said he wanted. The President answered this question in his speech, and, as Katie Pavlich plainly illustrated, he answered it again in that particular briefing. And when I listen to these briefings the President is frequently saying some version of this.
Does Peter Alexander pay attention? Of course he does. There is only one reason to ask a question like this when he already knows the answer. This is about weaponizing the disease to take a political smack at the President. With the answer to this question already and repeatedly in hand, Alexander was, in essence, calling for panic.
This isn’t journalism. This is a serious reporter doing his best to scare watching millions of Americans to death. For political reasons. Lest there be any doubt, see this headline from Mediaite: Media Figures Rally Around Peter Alexander After Trump’s Briefing Attack: ‘First-Rate Journalist’
The article contained tweets from a long list of journalists who predictably rallied to Alexander’s defense because….because?
Because apparently, strangely, not one of them had heard Trump’s repeated reassurances to Americans.
This is, as said, about nothing more than weaponizing this crisis to damage the President. Illustrating yet again exactly why millions of Americans have long since lost their trust in the media.