Trump Blasts Fox News in New Video

Our commander-in-chief is ranting away at his daily press show, insisting over and over that he acted earlier on the coronavirus than anyone in the whole world. He keeps yelling January 17th! as if it’s some kind of talisman. January 17th! No cases! No deaths! And you think I should have shut down the country?

I’m not sure why he picked January 17 as his magical date, and needless to say, no one was suggesting he should have locked down the country on January 17. Lots of people are suggesting that he should have used, say, the month of February to prepare for a spreading pandemic by stockpiling supplies; using the bully pulpit; and taking the whole thing seriously. Instead, even at the end of February, he was still minimizing the likely spread of the virus: “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

This, of course, is just more of the usual. But in a new low—they just keep coming, don’t they?—Trump used his press briefing to air a campaign video that defended his response and instead laid the blame at the feet of . . . the press:

This is bad enough. But here’s the weird part: the clips of the media “minimizing the risk” are all from Fox News. And it’s certainly true that Fox dutifully followed Trump’s lead during February by downplaying the pandemic risk. But why pick on Fox? Trump certainly could have found at least a clip or two from the other cable nets as well. This was very clearly a deliberate choice.

But what does it mean? Is it a shot across the bow at Fox News? Or what?

UPDATE: I see that I misread the “Fox News” clips. They are actually all clips from an episode of Hannity in which Sean Hannity plays clips from other networks downplaying the pandemic. This is an odd choice, but obviously Trump’s intention was to buddy up with Hannity and blame the non-Fox media for minimizing things. This is breathtakingly dishonest, of course, but that’s Trump for you.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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