President Trump, whose halting leadership in the face of the coronavirus pandemic Americans increasingly question, boasted Monday about his one undisputed success: the ability to command media attention.
The president shared a video, originally posted by his social media director, of former Vice President Joe Biden during a recent campaign event. The heavily edited footage showed Biden asking whether an unidentified noise was rain and telling campaign staff to allow supporters to take cover inside.
“Is this what you want for your President???” Trump tweeted. “With no ratings, media will go down along with our great USA!”
Trump, the former host of the NBC reality series “Celebrity Apprentice,” is obsessed with television ratings. As a candidate in 2016, he frequently touted the increases seen in ratings for debates. As president, he’s often said that cable news networks, as well as the New York Times and the Washington Post, would be out of business without him.
And he often cites the ratings of shows whose hosts, including CNN’s Chris Cuomo and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, are critical of him.
Can’t believe how badly @CNN has done in the newly released TV ratings. They are so far below @FoxNews (thank you President Trump!) that you can barely find them. Fredo should be given a big pay cut! MSDNC also did poorly. As I have long said, Fake News does not pay!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
In March, as the coronavirus was beginning to spread across the country, he bragged on Twitter that viewership for the daily televised coronavirus task force briefings was on par with the season finale of “The Bachelor” and on the rise.
But by late April, as Trump’s meandering performances at those briefings were panned, the president changed course.
“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately,” he tweeted. “They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!”
And in a tweet earlier this month, Trump claimed that the controversy over a noose found in NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s garage and the decision by NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag “has caused lowest ratings EVER!”
In reality, though, ratings for NASCAR since its decision to ban the flag are up.
Read more from Yahoo News: