President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."
Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.
- Meanwhile, American deaths due to the coronavirus have topped 2,300 as of Sunday, while cases nationwide have reached over 132,000.
- The Times' article begins: "President Trump is a ratings hit, and some journalists and public health experts say that could be a dangerous thing. Since reviving the daily White House briefing — a practice abandoned last year by an administration that bristles at outside scrutiny — Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news."
- Trump's tweets skip the nuance, instead shortening to: "President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news."
Trump's thread goes on to cite more favorable figures from the Times article, including that Fox News alone on Monday "attracted 6.2 million viewers for the president's briefing."
He added in a separate tweet:
Axios, Ursula Perano, March 29, 2020
The original title is Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge. I changed it to provide you with clarity and detail.
March 30, 2020
Voices4America Post Script.Trump will go down in history as a #NarcissisticSocioPath. Yesterday, he was bragging about his television ratings as people die. Earlier in the day, he had uttered the crazy claim that our caregivers were hoarding protective gear. #RemoveTrump2020 #WorstPresidentInHistory