On Tuesday, April 21st, President Donald Trump was up early, before 7 am to be precise. His first action, surprisingly, was to take to Twitter in a series of tweets attacking the media.
At 6:19 AM, Trump tweeted “Watched the first 5 minutes of poorly rated Morning Psycho on MSDNC just to see if he is as ‘nuts’ as people are saying. He’s worse. Such hatred and contempt!” The next tweet came shortly after at 6:40 AM when he tweeted, “It is amazing that I became President of the United States with such a totally corrupt and dishonest Lamestream Media going after me all day, and all night. Either I’m really good, far better than the Fake News wants to admit, or they don’t have nearly the power as once thought!” The final early morning tweet was at 6:57 AM, and read, “I’ve had great ‘ratings’ my whole life, there’s nothing unusual about that for me. The White House News Conference ratings are ‘through the roof’(Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, @nytimes) but I don’t care about that. I care about going around the Fake News to the PEOPLE!”.
While Trump’s preference for Twitter, and his less than eloquent tweets are no surprise, many had something to say about his decision to tweet during this time specifically. While at heart, false media coverage would be a large issue, in the face of a world wide pandemic claiming thousands of lives each day, it seems trivial and even insulting to be tweeting about one’s television ratings.
Trump’s frequent debriefings with the Coronavirus task force often result in clashing with journalists, when any of his statements are confronted or fact-checked. In times of great peril, we need to come together in the face of a common cause, not grab onto our exclusive beliefs and rally against others.