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.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Mr. Holahan. Yes, the COVID-19 story is a vitally important one, and we need facts. But so much of our news programs, local and national, just repeats and repeats and repeats what has been said before. It’s as if nothing else is happening in our states, our country, or the world other than the pandemic. And like you, I’m sick to death of listening to the “stable genius” who has “natural ability” when it comes to an important issue like the pandemic. Which, by the way, he denied and denied and denied for weeks on end. It was going to magically disappear when the weather got warmer, by April. Not until last week did he seem to take it seriously. Then suddenly, it was “I’ve felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” And Pence talks as if he’s filming a commercial for Trump’s reelection. The two of them should just stop talking, let the real experts tell us what we need to know and do. We’d all be better off.

    1. I would like to know where the CDC has been in all of this. They have disappeared from the public spotlight, I assume by plan, and I find that disquieting.

      1. Trump and Pence are controlling the government’s message, and they are very often quite wrong and have to be corrected by experts. I really wish they would just be quiet. They are routinely accompanied at press briefings by members of the Coronavirus Task Force. The Director of CDC is a member of the task force, along with Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, the Surgeon General, and a variety of other department heads, most of whom do not get to speak. Probably because it would be embarrassing to be corrected by even more experts. But anyway, CDC has a lot of helpful information on its website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

  2. During yesterday’s White House media event, was anyone able to count how many times Trump praised himself and used his repetitive superlatives? As Buzz Lightyear wold say “To infinity and beyond!” On top of that, today’s mail included a postcard with “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America”, but didn’t include one of his favorite words – “hoax.”

    1. There’s nothing like a viral epidemic to boost your re-election campaign, is there? I got the same card. “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America”? Yeah, like the stable genius himself used his natural ability and came up with those.

  3. Let us remind ourselves he role of the fourth estate, since before Peter Zenger was acquitted of libel, has been to illuminate and offer criticism of government overreach.Too often in my lifetime, I have heard the press itself accused of establishment bias in support of what President Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex,” i.e., the interests of advertisers, bankers,owners,etc. Yet press conferences were usually reported critically (if at all). Never before Trump have I seen the media stand aside for hours of unfiltered coverage of raw propaganda rallies posing as pressers.

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