“Shocking” and “stunning” were some of the overused words on cable news shows to describe Pres. Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis on Thursday night. Hour-after-hour coverage had the same lines repeated that the news seemingly caught everybody off guard. Really? Did it though?
They didn’t see it coming? Not at all? Not even the slightest inkling? Puh-lease.
It’s like someone revealing that after 40 years of chain-smoking they have lung cancer. Am I supposed to clutch my pearls and faint? You kind of saw it coming, no?
Maybe the news anchors were reacting this way so they didn’t appear to be snickering on the sidelines that the president whom they’ve name-called, criticized and thrashed for months suddenly came down with the deadly virus that’s killed hundreds of thousands of his citizens.
They resisted the temptation to thumb their nose at the guy who thumbed his nose at the virus he long called a hoax.
Honestly, it came across as disingenuous and phony that these people suddenly appeared solemn and compassionate that their president – a person they clearly detest – has fallen ill. Yes, it’s the professional thing to do and perhaps the higher-ups at the TV networks told the usual anti-Trump mob of on-air hosts to dial it back in light of the news, but it felt like I was in another world.
As someone who consumes hours and hours of news coverage every week, a part of me sat there waiting for the “I told you so” remarks from the talking heads. Instead, they opted to keep it classy, possibly to take the high road and not appear to wish ill upon the president.
An argument could be made that a decent human being would never say they want anything bad to happen to another person, but you can’t help but draw the conclusion that every day prior to Oct. 1, these people sat there with the hopes of one day being able to say, “Womp, womp” when the news came out that Trump tested positive.
Another argument could be made that you shouldn’t have compassion for someone who’s feigned – or even lacked altogether – compassion for people going through the same health struggle. “You didn’t care when my (fill in the blank) was sick, why should I care if you are?” I understand that side, too.
Perhaps in the first few hours the “shock” was still setting in and it’ll only be a day or two before the editorializing and criticism of the president returns. For now, I feel like I got whiplash from the news coverage when only 24 hours earlier these people had nothing nice to say about Trump.
Admittedly, they’re not exactly saying nice stuff “about” him so much as they are giving general wishes of well being. Nevertheless, this new tone of monologue seems oddly misplaced in the media mob.