There is not any larger asset to a salesman or a politician than an viewers that wishes to imagine. If you wish to imagine, right here’s what you possibly can see: The president of the United States, at a podium, backed by a staff of officers and consultants, doing one thing — or at the least saying one thing, at size, which within the visible language of TV reads as the identical factor.
It just isn’t solely viewers at house who wish to have religion. On March 17, when Mr. Trump struck a somber word after minimizing the virus for weeks, CNN’s Dana Bash mentioned that he was being “the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone.”
Per week later, he was at a Fox “virtual town hall” saying, “We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu — we don’t turn the country off,” and asserting his urge to reopen the economic system on Easter. (The host, Bill Hemmer, hosanna’ed that it could be “a great American resurrection.”)
And for Mr. Trump, the briefings permit him to show his pandemic response from a serial narrative, through which he’s held accountable for his cumulative motion or inaction over time, into an episodic manufacturing, through which all that issues is what occurred within the newest installment.
Every episode, on this manufacturing, wipes the slate clear, like a sitcom restoring the established order. All these feedback about how the coronavirus is just like the flu and about how the instances will quickly go right down to zero and about not eager to obtain contaminated cruise-ship passengers as a result of “I like the numbers being where they are”? That’s final season.
What issues, because the briefings body it, is the subsequent factor, the brand new rhetoric, the newest drama. “Will the president be there?” requested CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, teasing the March 25 briefing. “Will Dr. Fauci be there?”