It’s almost as if the White House press pool draws straws to see who gets to ask the most outrageous question during the daily White House coronavirus briefings.
A different reporter steps to the fore each day it seems, and the short straw must have been drawn Monday by Olivia Nuzzi, the Washington correspondent for the decidedly liberal New York Magazine.
Nuzzi asked the president does he “deserve” to be reelected with the coronavirus death toll being comparable to the number of Americans that died in the Vietnam War.
“If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam war, does he deserve to be reelected?” she asked.
Taking the high road in the media’s quest to score points against him, Trump refused to take the bait.
“We’ve lost a lot of people, but if you look at what original projections were — 2.2 million — we’re probably heading to 60,000, 70,000. Far too many. One person is far too many for this,” he replied. “I think we made a lot of really good decisions. The big decision was closing the border or doing the ban — people coming in from China, obviously other than American citizens which had to come in.”
“I think we have made a lot of good decisions,” Trump continued. “I think that Mike Pence and the task force have done a fantastic job. I think that everybody working on the ventilators you see what we have done there, have done unbelievable. The press doesn’t talk about ventilators anymore. They just don’t want to talk about them and that’s okay but the reason they don’t want to talk–that was the subject that nobody would get off of. They don’t want to talk about them.”
He also noted that the U.S. is “lapping the world” on testing for the coronavirus.
“So, no, I think we have done a great job and one person I will say this, one person is too many,” the president concluded.
It’s questions like this that have the status of future briefings in doubt, as seen when Trump asked in a tweet what’s the purpose if the “Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately.”
After a lot of blowback from people who’ve grown tired of the media’s obsession with taking on President Trump, Nuzzi pushed back, insisting in a tweet that her question was “fair” and not a “gotcha question … designed to provoke.”
The reporter tweeted: “If more than 50,000 Americans died over the course of a few weeks at any time in our history, it would be fair to ask the president if he deserves to be reelected. It wasn’t a gotcha question, it wasn’t designed to provoke, and I appreciate the fact that Trump took it seriously.”
If more than 50,000 Americans died over the course of a few weeks at any time in our history, it would be fair to ask the president if he deserves to be reelected. It wasn’t a gotcha question, it wasn’t designed to provoke, and I appreciate the fact that Trump took it seriously.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) April 27, 2020
As for the blow back, RNC rapid response director Steve Guest called the question a “new low.”
New LOW for the media courtesy of New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi.
“If an American President loses more Americans over the course 6 weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?”
Such an appalling framing of a question. pic.twitter.com/v1b3GVsEOW
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 27, 2020
Columnist Benny Johnson asked the appropriate question of how the media would have reacted if President Barack Obama was asked a similar question about the four Americans who died in Benghazi.
“Can you imagine if Obama was asked by a White House reporter if he ‘deserves to be reelected’ because he left Americans to die in Benghazi? Can you imagine the outrage? Reporter would have been burned alive. (BTW – A fair question bc we know that this is exactly what happened).”
Can you imagine if Obama was asked by a White House reporter if he “deserves to be reelected” because he left Americans to die in Benghazi?
Can you imagine the outrage?
Reporter would have been burned alive
(BTW – A fair question bc we know that this is exactly what happened)
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 27, 2020
Here’s a sampling of some of the other noted responses to the provocative question from Twitter:
Video: Truly pathetic end to today’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing as NY Mag’s Olivia Nuzzi wondered -> “If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam war, does he deserve to be re-elected?” pic.twitter.com/bN6mn6b14n
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 27, 2020
This question from @Olivianuzzi typifies the disconnect between the media and the public better than anything I’ve seen lately.
A question designed to provoke.
Not to ascertain more details nor help inform the public. pic.twitter.com/xkzjha5M2p
— Raheem Kassam 😷 (@RaheemKassam) April 27, 2020
This is one of the most disgusting examples of media sleaziness and kamikaze tactics yet. Olivia Nuzzi, the inaugural winner of today’s Walter Duranty propagandist award. I’ll be issuing these awards from time to time.https://t.co/3QXFZPA8zr
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) April 28, 2020
I’m pissed …
The utter BS that President Trump has been put through just because he’s an outsider trying to make our country great – is damn ridiculous.
I’m sick and tired of these treasonous, elitist snobs in the anti-American fake press.
They absolutely disgust me!
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) April 27, 2020
WHAT A STUPID QUESTION!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) April 28, 2020
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