News & Politics

Trump Delivers Another Media Spanking: 'You're a Third-Rate Reporter'

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump is well-known for his fiery exchanges with members of the press who ask stupid questions and he did not disappoint those of us who live for the live smackdowns at Monday’s presser about the pandemic progress. When dogged by members of the press to answer for a report from Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm that claimed more than 300 hospitals do not have the testing equipment that they need, the president wasn’t having it.

“Tell me his name,” the president spat at the reporter, who couldn’t answer. Trump took the opportunity to point out that they don’t do their jobs very well if they don’t know who the report came from. During other questions, the media cabal frantically used Google to discover the identity of the unnamed IG. Finally, an unidentified male reporter found it and gave Grimm’s name to the president. Trump wasn’t finished with him though.

“When was she appointed?” he asked while pointing out that politics could have something to do with the report. “I wish we had a fair media in this country and we really don’t,” he said to the negative “gotcha” questions. Admiral Brett Giroir responded to the question by showing that testing that has increased dramatically over the last few weeks and admonished Grimm for not coming to the task force with that information and instead going to the press. “One thing I have a problem with is if there was a problem that she knew about on March 23rd or 24th, why did I find out about the tests from them on the news media at 8:00 this morning?” asked Giroir.

Giroir also pointed out that the main complaint in the report was a “backlogs of tests,” but those had been ironed out before the report was published, and that testing is now on a 24-hour turnaround time.

The president had to remind the press over and over that the federal government’s job is not to stand on the corner and provide testing but that the states and hospitals are responsible for administering them in their respective communities. The federal government cannot tell states what to do or micromanage their response. Instead, the governors are supposed to be coordinating testing in their hospitals and the federal government is there to provide support as needed. The governors are the executives of their states. Trump insisted that the governors are always very happy on their calls with him and lack for nothing, but some save their complaints for the press for political purposes.

But the moment we were all waiting for happened after it finally came out that Grimm also worked under Obama. You have to listen to this to enjoy it properly.

These briefings have become must-see-TV just for Trump’s masterful control over fake news setups.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter