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Confiding to Bob Woodward that he's always wanted to downplay the dangers of coronavirus and that he was well aware of the peril America faced from the fast-spreading virus, Trump laid to rest any idea that he had the American people's best interest at heart during this never-ending national crisis.
Of course Trump knew. He just didn't care. He's never had any sense of acting in the public trust. Or worse, he didn't mind if America suffered a grievous blow as tens of millions lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands will lose their lives. Trump effectively ordered a stand down for the virus invasion, dangerously downplayed the public health risk ("I think it's going to work out fine"), and relentlessly praised his own performance. ("We’ve done a phenomenal job on this.")
The latest revelations, in Trump's own words as he spoke to Woodward last winter, pull the curtain back on how the press has covered the pandemic, and specifically Trump's negligent leadership. Relentlessly giving him the benefit of the doubt, the press has stressed Trump was "slow" to respond, and "missed" the Covid-19 warnings — he just didn't "see" it coming. Trump "ignored" crucial warnings, the Associated Press concluded, which is why America's response has been so pitiful, incoherent and deadly. That preferred storyline never added up because Trump has made the wrong decision every single time in terms of how crises like this are supposed to be combatted.
Through it all, Trump denies responsibility. "The virus has nothing to do with me," Trump told Woodward in their final interview two months ago. "It's not my fault. It's — China let the damn virus out."
Instead of an honest debate about Trump's radical and treacherous behavior, we get coverage that suggests Trump is merely disorganized and mercurial, with the assumption that, of course, he wants to protect Americans. That's the safe lane for the news media to occupy.
Refusing to grapple with the dark forces at work and the once-unspeakable questions that Trump's actions clearly raise, the press for months backed off focusing on the most pressing story: Trump's escalating war against America, which he now confirms with his comments about lying to the public about Covid-19.
The Beltway press isn't willing to call out a sitting president who’s waging war on America. To address that possibility would raise stunning questions about the President of the United States —the types of queries that have never been asked about any president in this nation's history. The idea is too radical for newsrooms to acknowledge, knowing that labeling Trump a saboteur would unleash sustained attacks from Fox News and the White House.
Incredibly, portions of the Beltway press still operate from the starting point that Trump has America's best interest at heart. The pandemic should have obliterated that notion.
He ignored intelligence warnings, called the crisis a hoax, downplayed the threat, lied about virus testing, lied about the government's on-the-ground response, lied about the rate of infection, blamed the Obama administration, misled the country about a cure, packed his days with non-action, blamed governors, accused hospital workers of stealing much-needed surgical masks, falsely claimed in June the pandemic was "dying out," refused to order a national lockdown, touted a dubious miracle cure, filled marathon pandemic briefings with ceaseless contradictions and lies, and silenced scientists. The scale of the Trump administration's pandemic failure is so complete and so sweeping it borders on the incomprehensible. And it represents treasonous behavior.
"Trump told Woodward he knew how deadly the virus was, and in March, admitted he kept that knowledge hidden from the public," CNN reported. ""I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward on March 19. What other word would you use for actions that likely killed tens of thousands of Americans?
All of this has been wrapped in a blanket of purposeful lies and deception. Trump’s plan was always to create a nonstop loop of puzzlement to the point where it was not possible to understand what his policy was and what direction the federal government was going. All the while attacking the news media in order to create confusion about the facts.
Why? Maybe Trump’s vengeful. Maybe he wants to wreck the economy to create investment opportunities? He's under the thumb of a foreign entity? He wants to cause panic and cancel the November elections? He’s a fatalist?
But yes, of course Trump knew of the sweeping Covid-19 dangers six months ago. Of course he did nothing, and of course he lied about it all.
🔥 GOOD STUFF:
The mainstream media have done an abysmal job over the years incorporating climate change in their coverage of natural disasters. The recent and epic California wildfires are no exception.
Media Matters recently produced insightful findings:
Corporate broadcast TV outlets — ABC, CBS, and NBC — aired a combined 114 segments about wildfires on their morning and evening news shows from August 1 to August 31.
Only five of the 114 wildfire segments -- just 4% of them -- mentioned climate change. All five of these mentions occurred during a 10-day period from August 14-23, which saw California suffer under extreme heat.
🎸 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK
Chris Stapleton, "Starting Over"
This Nashville renegade made headlines last week when he delivered a full-throated endorsement of Black Lives Matters.
“You know, I thought we were living in a different country. And that’s 100 percent real. I feel like the country that I thought that we were living in was a myth,” Stapleton told CBS This Morning. “Do I think Black lives matter? Absolutely. I don’t know how you could think they don’t. I think we all have a lot of work to do, you know, as individuals and as a society.”
His comments kicked up the predictable cries of protest across portions of country music's conservative fan base, but Stapleton has always spoken his mind.
Musically, he can do no wrong in my mind. A stunning and prophetic songwriter, Stapleton's latest is an instant classic, as he ponder the pains of personal change.
This might not be an easy time
There's rivers to cross and hills to climb
Some days we might fall apart
And some nights might feel cold and dark
When nobody wins afraid of losing
And the hard roads are the ones worth choosing
Some day we'll look back and smile
And know it was worth every mile