ABC Claims Trump Is Treating Crisis Briefings Like a ‘Reality TV Show’

News & Politics

ABC’s chief White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president, Jon Karl was the latest liberal journalist to decide they wanted to make a fat stack of cash by publishing a new anti-Trump book (Front Row at the Trump Show). As such, his Sunday appearance on Good Morning America was just another chance to hawk his product. He insisted President Trump was making a mockery of the coronavirus crisis and was using the daily press briefings as “a reality TV show.”

With no consideration to the fact that, as president, Trump needed to juggle warning Americans about the dire situation and keeping the nation’s spirits up, GMA co-anchor Dan Harris teed up Karl by huffing about Trump’s “mix of messages.” “[H]e’s both warning us about the fact that we’re going to see a lot of deaths, unfortunately, and musing about filling sports stadiums and church pews. Given your experience with the President, which you spell out in your new book, how do you compute this?”

Of course, the first thing Karl did was make a reference to his. Book. “Well, all of the aspects of the Trump show are on vivid display here, Dan. The President is center stage quite literally every day at those press conferences. Viewing them, acting as if this is almost like a reality TV show,” he asserted.

Talk about a title drop.

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“He talks about the numbers, on one hand, the grim numbers about the disease, but also literally talking about the ratings of those press briefings,” Karl added. “And his management style, you see, he is playing the boss. He listens to the experts but he is governing by guts. And this is why you see the wild swings in a single day.

Karl then insinuated that Trump was trying to tackle the virus as he would a political opponent, by giving it a nickname and belittling it, which was not true.

Recalling comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Karl later lamented that “he talked recently about how he tries to prepare the President for things to say at these briefings and the President doesn’t say them.” But according to Karl, the real tension was between Trump and his political advisors over the media coverage:

He is incredibly frustrated, lashing out, because he is frustrated with how he is being portrayed in the news media. He thinks that he’s not getting a fair shake on this. Again, back to the Trump show, he reads the reviews and in this case, he hates the way the reviews are playing out.

Hmm. That seemed like a tacit admission that what his correspondents association was doing was not journalism but “Trump show” critics. Siskel and Ebert and Karl?

The President’s apparent frustrations were warranted. ABC has been pushing the debunked claim the President didn’t take the crisis seriously and acted slow. And just last Thursday, they lied and claimed he was blocking health insurance enrollment for people out of work because of the crisis.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
April 5, 2020
8:09:40 a.m. Eastern

DAN HARRIS: So, let’s bring in ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. Jon has been covering the president for years, and has an excellent new book out called Front Row at the Trump Show. Jon, good morning.

So, first of all, congratulations on the new book and my first question is, we’re seeing an interesting mix of messages, from the President this weekend, he’s both warning us about the fact that we’re going to see a lot of deaths, unfortunately, and musing about filling sports stadiums and church pews. Given your experience with the President, which you spell out in your new book, how do you compute this?

JON KARL: Well, all of the aspects of the Trump show are on vivid display here, Dan. The President is center stage quite literally every day at those press conferences. Viewing them, acting as if this is almost like a reality TV show. He talks about the numbers on one hand, the grim numbers about the disease, but also literally talking about the ratings of those press briefings.

And his management style, you see, he is playing the boss. He listens to the experts but he is governing by guts. And this is why you see the wild swings in a single day. Yesterday, at that press conference, depending on when you tuned in, you would think we were just about to be over this or we were about to hit the grimmest moments of this crisis.

So this is the way it is, Dan. He loves a good fight, Donald Trump, he loves to be able to bully his opponents, to brand his opponents, to give them nicknames, to go after them in every possible way, but in this case, it’s off-kilter because the opponent is a virus that doesn’t care or respond to any of that.

HARRIS: There are times in these daily briefings where the President seems to send different messages than his scientific advisors. According to your reporting, is there any tension behind the scenes here?

KARL: Well, there’s clearly some tension and sometimes you see it in front of the cameras, you’ve heard Anthony Fauci frustrated, he talked recently about how he tries to prepare the President for things to say at these briefings and the President doesn’t say them.

But tension – the real tension that I hear about behind the scenes is not with the experts, but it’s actually with the President’s political advisers. He is incredibly frustrated, lashing out, because he is frustrated with how he is being portrayed in the news media. He thinks that he’s not getting a fair shake on this. Again, back to the Trump show, he reads the reviews and in this case he hates the way the reviews are playing out.

HARRIS: Jon, thank you very much. I want to remind everybody, don’t forget to check out Jon’s excellent new book Front Row at the Trump Show. I’ve read it, it is great.

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