By Don Frost
At a recent White House press conference President Trump pointed out to the assembled press corps the gross unfairness of their coverage of him, specifically as regards his role in fighting the Chinese Flu (aka COVID-19). As illustration, he posed a hypothetical situation:
“You people aren’t satisfied,” he said. “Let’s say we had 350 million people in the United States. Let’s say you gave every one of those people a test [for the virus]. So you give 350 million people a test 10 times. The fake news media would say, ‘Where’s the 11th time? He didn’t do his job. Trump didn’t do his job.’ Because you have a lot of bad reporting out there.”
While he was talking ABC’s Jonathan Karl blurted, several times, “That’s not true.”
Speaking for the entire press corps, he was saying they would consider testing all 350 million Americans 10 times each a good job and they would not demand more of Trump.
Of course he was right. They would admit, albeit grudgingly, that the president had done a good thing. But anybody with two or more brain cells to rub together would have acknowledged that Trump was overstating to make a point. Everybody in that room knew Trump was exaggerating. It would be insulting to Karl to suggest he genuinely thought Trump was being literal. An adult would have let Trump’s observation pass without comment.
So Karl got to pretend that calling out the president was a courageous act; that he was just a hard-nosed, no nonsense journalist doing his job. It played perfectly, as the experienced TV reporter knew it would, not only on ABC News, but on other networks and in print media all over the country.
Trump was right, too. As far as the White House press corps is concerned – as far as all news media are concerned – Trump can do nothing right. They are, after all, overwhelmingly “liberal,” and as far as “liberals” are concerned, if Trump personally discovered a cure for cancer it would call for an investigation into the “real reason” he did it. More than likely, the Left would charge he only did it to enrich his billionaire friends in the pharmaceutical industry. And that is no exaggeration to make a point.
By the way, by purest coincidence, Karl has just published a book. It was mentioned in every report of his “that’s not true” antics. I won’t add to Karl’s free publicity by naming the book.