erik lundegaard


Tuesday August 04, 2020

Swan Song

There's so many highlights/lowlights in Jonathan Swan's recent interview with Donald Trump that I don't know which to choose. Trump tries to BS his way through another interview with the usual BS—“I stopped the coronavirus from coming in from China when many people were against that”; “We have more cases because we test more”; “I get the biggest crowds ever”—and Swan keeps politely coming at him. At times he even compliments him in Foxian fashion but with a purpose. As here:

I've covered you for a long time. I've gone to your rallies. I've talked to your people. They love you. They listen to you. They listen to every word you say, they hang on your every word. They don't listen to me or the media or Fauci. They think we're fake news. They want to get their advice from you. And so, when they hear you say, everything's under control, don't worry about wearing masks. I mean, these are people, many of them are older people, Mr. President.

That's brilliant. It sounds almost sycophantic but every word is true. Trump's people do love him. They don't like the media or Fauci. And Trump is killing them. 

Is this how he got the interview? Because he knew how to handle him? Because he knew how to sound sycophantic without being sycophantic? 

He also doesn't let Trump be Trump. Or he expects something out of him. It's interesting. He expects Trump to be better. He's treating him as you would a normal president, and so is kind of shocked when he gets Trump. Maybe that's the way to do it. Maybe that's how you don't normalize him.

This is the first segment I saw on Twitter last night, and it's pretty devastating. Trump keeps insisting our Covid death rates are going down, Swan says they went down to 500 per day but are up again to 1,000 per day. 

Trump: Here is one. Well, right here, United States is lowest in numerous categories. We're lower than the world.

Swan: Lower than the world?

Trump: We're lower than Europe.

Swan: What does that mean? In what? 

Trump [showing papers with charts]: Look. Take a look. Right there. Here is case death.

Swan [reading]: Oh, you're doing death as a proportion of cases. I'm talking about death as a proportion of population. That's where the U.S. is really bad, much worse than South Korea, Germany, et cetera.

Trump: You can't do that.

Swan: Why can't I do that?

Trump: You have to go by where... look. Here is the United States. You have to go by the cases. The cases are there.

Swan: Why not as a proportion of population?

Trump: What it says is, when you have somebody where there's a case-

Swan: Oh, okay.

Trump: The people that live from those cases.

Swan: Oh. It's surely a relevant statistic to say, if the U.S. has X population and X percentage of death of that population versus South Korea-

Trump: No. Because you have to go by the cases.

Why can't I do that? God, that's good. That's a breath of fresh air. But Trump wants to do death-per-test case because those are the numbers that look better for him. 

You have to go by the cases. How much does he sound like a 5-year-old here? It's the spoiled kid who only wants the game played by his rules. I don't know how any Trump supporter can listen to this and not crumble into dust from embarrassment. That's your man right there. That's your man.

You know who else should be embarrassed? The U.S. media, who have let Trump get the best of them. An Aussie showed them the way.

Posted at 05:42 PM on Tuesday August 04, 2020 in category Politics