Opinion: Trump Blames The Media, But The Real Problem Is Himself

It’s apparent to most that President Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, especially with regard to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are some of his “greatest hits” —

Trump, who seems to be more focused on reopening the economy in order to boost his reelection chances, has suggested doing so long before his health experts say it’s safe to.

The president has constantly pushed the drug hydroxychloroquine in spite of no medical evidence showing it to work against COVID-19, telling Americans, “What do you have to lose?” in taking the medication. Later, it was revealed that taking the drug resulted in more people dying as opposed to conventional treatment methods for coronavirus.

This past week, Trump appeared to suggest that scientists should look into using disinfectants, injecting the chemicals inside of people, to clean the body of the disease.

These incidents, and many more like them (as this is by no means an exhaustive list), have led the American people to sour on their trust of Trump. Initially giving him positive marks in the early days of the crisis, a majority of Americans (54 percent) now say they can’t believe a word he has to say about the disease.

Trump’s gaffes and poorly thought-out medical advice for the American people have been observed not only by the media or the citizenry, but also by his staff. As Axios has reported, a number of advisers are telling him his press briefings are causing more harm to his image than good.

“I told him it’s not helping him,” one adviser told the site. “Seniors are scared. And the spectacle of him fighting with the press isn’t what people want to see.”

Trump was initially resistant to these advisers’ words, pushing back on them by citing the ratings numbers he was getting during the briefings. But the latest response to his “disinfectant” suggestions seems to have been his eye-opening moment.

Trump, of course, is not one to take responsibility for his actions — the troubles that seem to follow him are always, in his mind, someone else’s fault, and this time is no different. On Saturday, Trump tweeted out who the real culprits were: the media.

“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?” Trump asked rhetorically on Twitter.

Yet, the media is reporting what Trump has said, and occasionally correcting his words so that viewers or readers don’t do something stupid (like drink or inject bleach) based on his advice and suppositions. They cannot be faulted for the words that emanate from his own lips, particularly if they pose a danger to the public.

If there’s anyone to blame for why the American people aren’t happy with Trump’s press conferences or have lost faith in what the president has to say about this crisis, it lies entirely with Trump himself. No amount of gaslighting can change what the American people have seen with their own eyes what the president has done, or heard with their own ears what he has said.

If the cameras are rolling, and Trump says something foolish or dumb, he cannot blame the media for discussing it. It behooves him, instead, to become a better, more reasoned leader — but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen anytime soon.