Abuse of the bully pulpit

The Fuhrer was a bore. Adolf Hitler’s biographers all mention his table talks. Colonel generals who were managing huge battles on the eastern front were privileged to be summoned to Hitler’s table to endure his monologues. He would ramble on for hours to exhausted men who had heard it all before.

POTUS has hijacked the news conferences about COVID–19 to ramble on and on while getting “free national media” collectively worth millions of dollars per minute. In 2016, Trump was given billions of dollars worth of free media because he raised the audience ratings. The media were his enablers.

One thing the media can do to redeem themselves this time is to publish ledgers giving estimates of Trump’s on-screen minutes at those news conferences that are irrelevantly devoted to himself, and their free-market dollar value.

The boredom Trump inspires is beyond measure.

David Bentley