WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump lashed out at yet another reporter during his coronavirus task force briefing this morning.
Before becoming president, Trump seemed to have a lot more convivial relationship with the press, which could perhaps be explained by both his preternatural craving for attention, but also his necessity to promote himself and his various business projects. However, since he started his presidential campaign, Trump has played on the American right-wing’s institutional loathing and distrust for so-called mainstream media outlets, and has clashed with them often, coining perhaps his most famous catchphrase — fake news — specifically about stories that cast him in a negative light, no matter how truthful they might be.
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During a contentious briefing Friday afternoon, Trump clashed with NBC reporter Peter Alexander. Mr. Alexander was trying to ask President Trump if he thought his attempts to always put a positive spin on the COVID-19 outbreak might lead to confusion if the situation changes or if things get worse before they do, ultimately, get better. Trump, however, was extremely offended by the question. When Alexander asked Trump what his message to people who might be scared about the coronavirus outbreak might be, the president lashed out at Alexander.
This morning, President Trump attacked a reporter once again. During today’s COVID-19 taskforce briefing, Sam Gaston, a reporter for American Public Radio, asked Trump if he’d like to “offer comfort and calm leadership” to the American people. Trump exploded with outrage at Gaston.
“HOLY SHIT! REALLY? REALLY? REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY,” Trump howled at Gaston. “I swear to God, this kind of nastiness, this kind of meanness, is why I sometimes wonder if we don’t need to look at opening up the First Amendment and changing a few things. Freedom of the press? Bullshit. More like freedom to be hostile, mean jerks to me.”
Gaston seemed taken aback. He told the president “no offense or insult” was his intention. Instead, he simply wanted to offer up the president a chance to be “calm, rational, and dignified in the face of crisis.”
“OH I BET YOU’D JUST LOVE FOR ME TO ANSWER YOUR BULLSHIT FAKE NEWS ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE QUESTION,” Trump screamed. “WELL I AIN’T GONNA. That’s a gotcha request right there. It’s a nasty gotcha request for comfort and calm leadership on behalf of the nation, and I won’t fall for it. Period. I would have you not only thrown out of my White House, but out of my country if the founders hadn’t been so stupid as to give you the right to be petulant to me without giving me the right to summarily deport anyone I choose. That’s rude. That’s unfair, and frankly I’m looking at suing James Madison for his egregious error.”
As contentious as the last couple of coronavirus briefings have been for Trump and the press pool, there have been some positive moments for Trump. This week, a reporter for his favorite propaganda outlet, OAN, asked him a question he said was the “bigly best” question any reporter had ever asked him.
“Mr. President, sir, why do you think Democrats have a hard time accepting your very normal sized hands and huge genitals? Do you think this is treasonous, or just plain unpatriotic,” OAN reporter Channel Rion asked Trump during the briefing. (Alternative Facts)
Thus far, the COVID-19 outbreak has roiled the markets and all but shut down several states’ economies. Some experts say the need for massive self-quarantine measures by the general public may last into and through the summer months.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.