Trump Has Begun His Corona Campaign. We Don’t Have to Play Along.Breaking News
tags: News, media, Donald Trump, 2020 Election
This is it — the corona campaign. The most effective form of direct presidential communication since Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats. Mr. Trump wanted to start a radio show, my colleague Elaina Plott reported, but really, television was the medium that made him and the one he knows and loves. Get used to it, because given its power, he’s not going to stop in November, win or lose. He’ll most likely broadcast on his favorite medium until the day he dies.
So how do we, citizens and — to stick to my particular beat here at The Times — journalists, handle this?
We keep it in perspective. The briefings are important; Mr. Trump is important. But the big story — of this year, of this decade — is the coronavirus. That isn’t a story about Mr. Trump, and there’s no reason to cover it that way.
It’s not a story about Mr. Trump for a number of reasons.
First, because this is, above all, a public health story. The most important voices are the experts who have some grasp on our situation — like the 20 professionals working in public health, medicine, epidemiology and history whom Donald G. McNeil Jr. spoke to last week. You can follow those voices on Twitter — here’s a good list — or, increasingly, watch them on cable news channels that have had to bench their talking heads for physicians. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains one of the most trusted figures in America for a reason.
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