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‘Really bad reporting!’: Trump slams NBC reporter (& soon-to-be #Resistance hero) over coronavirus ‘sensationalism’

‘Really bad reporting!’: Trump slams NBC reporter (& soon-to-be #Resistance hero) over coronavirus ‘sensationalism’
US President Donald Trump eviscerated NBC's Peter Alexander during a coronavirus presser, chewing him out as a “terrible reporter” sending a “very bad signal” to Americans over what the reporter insisted was a softball question.

“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” Alexander asked the president during a press conference on Friday, after questioning whether Trump’s “impulse to put a positive spin on things may be giving Americans a false sense of hope” about a pair of not-yet-approved drugs being tested against coronavirus.

“I’d say that you’re a terrible reporter,” the president snapped, slamming the “very nasty question” and the “very bad signal” it sent to Americans. Trump proceeded to vent his spleen about NBC, its parent company Comcast (“I don’t call it Comcast, I call it ‘Con-cast’“), and the entire mainstream media apparatus that has made itself the bane of his presidency.

“The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism,” Trump continued, taking another whack at the “very bad reporting” the question (or more likely the reporter’s previous question) apparently represented.

You ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism.

The presser saw Trump float the possibility of using experimental drugs to treat coronavirus, including remdesivir – a failed treatment for Ebola – and chloroquine, a malaria drug. Both are a long way from being administered to patients, though chloroquine at least is already in use in humans to treat the mosquito-borne illness.

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Some 14,250 Americans had been diagnosed with coronavirus and 216 had died as of Friday.

The conference was barely over before Alexander was on MSNBC playing the wounded ingenue, as host Andrea Mitchell showered him in praise for “doing his job” and “making NBC proud.”

“In TV terms we call this a softball,” Alexander explained, pleading that he was just “trying to provide the president an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans…to provide a sort of positive or uplifting message.”

Alexander had his own theories about why the president had ripped him a new one, saying “it does sort of reveal a frustration, perhaps an anxiety about his own political prospects, and about a situation that’s hard to keep in control as we witness it continue to spiral at this time.”

He noted that Vice President Mike Pence had given rather a different answer, responding with “don’t be afraid, be vigilant.”

The reporter’s seamless shift to self-promotion did not go unnoticed on social media, where comparisons to CNN’s Jim Acosta – another reporter who has turned White House pressers into performance art – surfaced among the president’s supporters.

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