The self-absorption of our president is truly astonishing:
“President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
More than 2,000 people have already died and Anthony Facuci estimated this morning that the final death toll would be 100-200,000. In the midst of this, Trump is busy insulting the CEO of GM; fighting with governors he doesn’t like; dithering about the Defense Production Act; declining to bother with a plan to tell manufacturers of medical goods where to ship their stuff; explicitly warning that people have to treat him nicely or they won’t get any federal assistance; claiming that he’s going to quarantine New York and then backing off; lying endlessly about the state of testing; and now bragging about the ratings of his press briefings.
From any other human being on the planet this would be considered deranged behavior. Can you imagine what we’d be saying if it were Saddam Hussein bragging about his TV ratings in the middle of a pandemic? But from Trump it’s just normal.
POSTSCRIPT: By the way, this is yet another reason why the cable nets need to stop carrying Trump’s briefings live. We already know that they’re full of misinformation, but now we even know why: Trump cares only about high ratings, and he knows he has to amp up the eccentricity every day to get it. That’s what motivates him, not a desire to provide information to the public.