90 Miles From Tyranny : Critics: Trump Ratings Up Because Evening News Inadvertently Making POTUS Look ‘Competent’

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Critics: Trump Ratings Up Because Evening News Inadvertently Making POTUS Look ‘Competent’

As President Donald Trump’s approval ratings hit all-time highs, Trump’s critics are now arguing that the nightly news broadcasts are inadvertently upping his ratings by inadvertently making Trump seem “coherent,” “competent,” and “presidential” by truncating his rambling responses during the Coronavirus crisis.

Press Watch’s Dan Froomkin argued on Wednesday “that the broadcast networks shouldn’t break into regular programming to show the briefings live anymore. Watching them, unfiltered, makes their viewers dumber and less safe.”

“More often than not, mainstream reporting on even the most incoherent and contradictory Trump briefing consists of cherry-picking quotes that make him sound coherent, and in no way whatsoever indicate the true nature of the lunacy,” Froomkin continued. “To some degree, we’re getting the worse of both worlds right now. When Trump says something outrageous, the media unthinkingly broadcasts it live – then ignores it.”

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie said that the evening news broadcasts could also be making Trump seem more competent because they have a limited amount of time to air Trump’s words. Bouie flagged a tweet about evening news broadcasts last week seeing a 42 percent increase in viewership (32 million viewers) from last year and said “this may help explain” the president’s approval ratings because “evening news broadcasts are featuring a truncated Trump who appears more competent than he is as a result of...

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