WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to vaunt the television ratings of his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States.
“Because the ‘Ratings’ of my News Conferences etc. are so high… the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY,” the president tweeted.
“President Trump is a ratings hit,” he said quoting, the first sentence in an article in The New York Times.
What Trump omitted, however, was the remainder of the sentence.
The full sentence read: “President Trump is a ratings hit, and some journalists and public health experts say that could be a dangerous thing.”
The newspaper went on to say that Trump “has repeatedly delivered information that doctors and public health officials have called ill informed, misleading or downright wrong”.
Trump ignored those comments and focused on the numbers saying viewership for his briefings was similar to that of Monday Night Football or the finale of the hit show “The Bachelor”.
The president also lashed out at the media.
“The Lamestream Media wants us to fail,” he said.
“That will NEVER happen!
“Polls are showing tremendous disapproval of Lamestream Media coverage of the Virus crisis,” he said.
“The Fake News just hasn’t figured that out.”
Trump has been holding lengthy daily briefings around 5pm from the White House briefing room accompanied by top medical experts and Vice-President Mike Pence.
While cable and broadcast TV networks were initially showing them live in their entirety, some have since cut back, citing what Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, for example, called “misinformation”.
While Fox News has generally continued to broadcast the briefings in full, other networks including CNN have sometimes cut away before Trump leaves the podium.