The New York Times is consumed with using the coronavirus crisis against President Trump, with Monday’s front-page “news analysis” mocking the idea of presidential leadership during the pandemic in “Trump Shifts Image: Leader For ‘Wartime.’”
Reporters Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, and Reid Epstein stacked the deck against Trump’s reelection right from the lead.
With the economy faltering and the political landscape unsettled as the coronavirus death toll climbs, a stark and unavoidable question now confronts President Trump and his advisers: Can he save his campaign for re-election when so much is suddenly going so wrong?
The option, which he has brazenly pushed in recent days, is to cast himself as a “wartime president” who looks in charge of a nation under siege...This gambit, however, requires a rewriting of history -- Mr. Trump’s muted approach to the virus early on -- and it’s far from clear if many voters will accept the idea of him as a wartime leader.
The reporters fretted voters might ignore anti-Trump stories and instead swallow Trump’s “wartime president” propaganda. They cited their favorite liberal historian for backup:
In perhaps the best-case scenario for Mr. Trump, the patina of a “wartime president” could prove to be influential with casual voters who don’t dig into the details of his belated response to the coronavirus, which included dismissing the criticism of his handling of the threat as a Democratic “hoax” and contributing to a slow start in testing for the virus.
“He is counting on people being so traumatized on a day-to-day basis that they will forget his inaction,” said Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University....
The reporters dourly noted the rise in Trump’s polling ("seized on by his political advisers”) before smearing Trump’s welcome change of attitude regarding the coronavirus as cynical.
....In his new posture, he is trying to rewrite recent history, erasing his comments from as recently as a week ago when he told Americans that they needed to “just relax” because “it all will pass.” It is also undercut by his resistance to calls for additional federal action from governors in hard-hit states.
Mr. Trump, so far, has struggled to feel anyone’s pain, unlike past presidents, while continuing to play out the fights with the news media that enliven his base. Last week, he lashed out at a journalist who had prompted him to explain what his message was to the millions of Americans watching him from home, who felt scared.
The above is a truncated version of the NBC reporter’s hostile baiting of Trump at a press conference.
The story ended with laughable promotion of likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“You can see the contrast between the steady, assured, informed and strong leadership that Vice President Biden has shown and the bungling, chaotic and dishonest start-stop approach that Mr. Trump has shown us since the beginning of this crisis,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party.