When you turn on your local Connecticut news stations lately, at 6 p.m., what you get is an infomercial from unscientific Don and un-pensive Mike. Last Sunday they preempted both the local and national newscasts.
To be fair, these rambling reelection ads, which are filling the void left by the discontinuance of the president’s campaign rallies, include some actual information from certified grownups such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx. Oftentimes these two have to contradict what their boss just misstated — ever so gently because, as everyone knows, he’s a stable genius.
But after the doctors, the junior varsity takes over the podium, largely peddling nonsense or misinformation about how the administration is doing such a swell job fighting the virus, “doing things no one has ever seen before.” Indeed.
Then you hear the oft-repeated lie that “No one saw this [the pandemic] coming.” This is aimed at absolving the administration from any responsibility for its slow and ineffectual response.
The truth is that recent simulated tests preparing for just such a pandemic have sounded the alarm that the nation was woefully unprepared. The most recent sobering report came out in October: it was marked “not to be disclosed.” And, of course, it was not heeded either.
It’s time for our local TV stations to take back the news time slot and do their journalistic duty. If the administration holds a press conference, cover it and report what is newsworthy. To continue to allow the president to dominate the airwaves with rambling, unhelpful blather is an abdication of your professional duty. You (and your viewers) are being taken.
All you need to know about our president is what he said a month ago as concern over COVID19 was intensifying. He said: “We’re very very ready for this… if it spreads.”
If it spreads?
David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.