Yearly Archives: 2020

The critical subtext for Trump’s rage against mail-in ballots is that he wants the minority to rule

Political reporters from our top news organizations aren’t falling for Donald Trump’s transparently deceitful campaign to demonize mail-in voting. But they're not putting this latest attempt at voter suppression in its essential context: as part of a massive Republican program to create the possibility of minority rule.

When Trump takes a step toward autocracy, journalists need to call it out

Even as Donald Trump and members of his administration have asserted greater and more unilateral executive power, our top news organizations have tended to interpret those moves narrowly and naively – giving too much credit to cover stories, marginalizing criticism as just so much partisan squabbling, and leaving the accurate, alarming description of what’s really going on to opinion writers.

New York Times health reporter Donald McNeil deserves accolades, not a scolding

After sounding off on the dismal federal response to the coronavirus on CNN, McNeil didn't deserve to be scolded by the Times for going “too far in expressing his personal views.” He did exactly what more journalist desperately need to be doing right now. He expressed himself with authority, and passion, and alarm.

Trump tries to fend off charges of hypocrisy with lies – but the press corps smells blood

It’s not just hypocrisy – it’s Hunger-Games-level hypocrisy, with ample testing for the ruling class while the rest of us fight for scraps and are forcibly enlisted as “warriors” in a battle to restore the rich man’s economy.

Trump blocks desperately needed national testing program, says tests make things “look bad”

Our major news organizations should have been all over Trump's highly revealing comment. It should have been the news peg for angry lead stories about Trump’s ongoing, calamitous failure to save American lives. But there was barely a peep.

Ring the alarm bells! The media needs to respond to Trump’s calamitous failure with urgency and activism

New projections of mass death in the United States should be prompting the country’s major news organizations to abandon any complacency in their government coverage and instead use every opportunity to sound the alarm about the extraordinary threat to the nation posed by Donald Trump’s continued failure to effectively respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

New press secretary: Who you gonna trust, me or your lying ears?

New White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's first briefing was thick with misrepresentations and misinformation, from her bald attempt to rewrite what Trump said a day earlier about the origins of the novel coronavirus, to her wildly dishonest quoting from FBI notes.

Trump’s outrageous new campaign to demonize China is another ploy to change the subject

Wow does Trump's new campaign to demonize China ever need to be put into context. It's irresponsible rhetoric intended to change the subject from his own incompetence, shift blame, and further inflame his base with nationalistic fury. And the only thing that will come of it is more hate crimes against Asians.

Bring back the briefing – but not with Trump

At a time like this, we need information – daily. We need updates, and explanations, and reassurance. We need to know the plan. We need to know the future. We need a daily briefing. But it needs to be the right kind of daily briefing.

Trump’s idea of reopening schools before summer is more dangerous than bleach

Trump’s suggestion that some states rush to reopen schools before summer is not as obviously stupid as his idea about injecting bleach into the human body to fight the coronavirus – almost nothing could be -- but it may well end up being more dangerous, if any governors listen to him.

Washington press corps covers up Trump’s profound stupidity

Presented with incontrovertible evidence that Donald Trump is stupid and clueless, reporters and editors in America’s top newsrooms averted their eyes.

Trump next con is convincing people it’s safe to go back to work. But the public has wised up.

Donald Trump is embarking on a major PR campaign intended to convince people it’s safe to resume their normal lives, the Associated Press reports. And Trump’s controversial but still widely broadcast afternoon briefings are set to play a central role.

Here’s exactly what Trump needs to do to boost coronavirus testing. Reporters should tell him, not ask him.

Public-health experts are essentially unanimous that the current level of testing needs to be increased, not just a bit but by several – maybe even many -- magnitudes before it’s safe for people to emerge from their homes. And the only institution capable of the kind of industry-goosing and supply-chain management needed to achieve that is the federal government.

Washington Post does a public service by focusing on what’s missing from Trump’s plan, not what’s in it

A warm round of applause for Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, who instead of simply repeating what Trump said, wrote about the absence of any plan for the widespread national coronavirus testing that public health officials say is essential.

Trump’s pitiful obsession with a deadline is everything that’s wrong with everything

If the goal is to get society back to normal, you don’t announce a date and then try to justify it. You set conditions that must be met, and then try to meet them.