Donald Trump’s top-tier toadie, the vice president, has decided that the media are to blame for sowing seeds of panic among Americans concerned about the coronavirus pandemic.
Mike Pence has been wrong about a lot of things. This one ranks near the top.
Vice President Pence spoke this week in defense of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic that has killed 138,000 Americans and infected more than 1 million of us. He then offered a critique of the media, declaring that the media have hit the panic button.
Pence keeps referring to the “whole of government response” that he says has been a success. It has not!
A nation with 4 percent of the world’s population has more than 25 percent of the world’s deaths from the pandemic. That’s how you define success, Mr. VPOTUS?
Donald Trump has failed to lead the nation. He is challenging the expertise of actual medical experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for school reopening have been pushed to the back of the shelf as Trump insists that schools reopen this fall with classrooms full of children and teachers.
Do I need to remind everyone that Trump said at the beginning of the outbreak that it would disappear … just like that? It hasn’t.
Meanwhile, the media are doing what they are empowered by the U.S. Constitution to do. They are seeking to hold government accountable, which is part of the media’s mission. Every president — until Donald Trump — has understood the media’s role and they have accepted their role as part of the job they inherited.
To that end, Mike Pence is far from alone in criticizing the media’s coverage of the pandemic. He is part of the Trumpster Corps of loyalists that has endorsed Trump’s idiocy that the media are “the enemy of the people.” Therefore, when the media deliver bad or “negative” news, the Trumpsters call it “fake,” when in fact the news is as real as it gets.
This media criticism, which is unfounded, cuts me to the quick. I loved pursuing my journalism craft for more than three decades. It hurts to see newspapers floundering as they are these days. However, there still is some great journalism being practiced. The media are doing their job. They are telling us the hard truth about a disease that is killing and sickening too many Americans.
A big part of that truth the media are telling is that Donald Trump is failing this supreme test of presidential leadership.