WASHINGTON. It’s often said there’s nothing like a near-death experience to quicken the mind. That may explain why Vice President Joe Biden’s coronavirus “shadow briefings” isn’t attracting much attention. His last endeavor to enlighten his countrymen on the make-believe measures he would enact if president garnered just under 3,000 viewers. Most likely, many the media propping up the former Vice President.
Down the rabbit hole with Joe
At a time of global calamity, Americans understand how important it is to entrust the levers of power to serious men and women. They understand it is better to leave the unserious, feeble-minded, and irrational down the digital rabbit hole of the Internet than trust them with life and death decisions.
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby even questioned Biden’s relevance in the current crisis.
“Biden himself came across as little better than sluggish. His remarks weren’t engaging or stirring. It’s hard to imagine that anyone watching, with the possible exception of Biden’s most devoted fan, came away more enthusiastic or encouraged. Without the energy of a crowd to buoy him, he seemed lost and unconvincing. At one point he could be seen frantically gesturing when his teleprompter stopped moving.”
A job well done
With that in mind, President Donald Trump saw a six-point spike in Gallup’s presidential approval survey.
And while Congress crafts emergency legislation to provide life-saving medical equipment to overburdened hospitals and stimulus to an economy convulsing from a sudden recession, Democrats work to pad the measure with riders that fund PBS, the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, and other cherished hobbyhorses.
On a more positive note, a CBS poll finds “respondents saying they believe the president and the news media respectively… with 90 percent saying they trust Trump for accurate information compared to 84 percent who said the same of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
That last finding is particularly interesting. You may recall how the president expressed hope after French researchers released a study that found the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, used in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, proved an effective treatment for the Chinese flu.
“I think it could be a game-changer,” says Trump.
A CNN headline spoke to the media’s general reaction:
“Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times.”
First of all, it’s not all that surprising Americans view Trump as more credible than the white-coated incompetents at the CDC. Back in 2014, these medical geniuses accidentally shipped live anthrax bacteria to laboratories in nine states.
And since the president has been right about most things, it’s not surprising Americans view Trump as more credible than the negative ankle-biters of the fake-news media. Or the beleaguered former Vice President Biden.
That has to be crushing for a press that has worked tirelessly to paint the president as incompetent, a traitorous “asset” in service of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, or a pestilence as virulent as the Wuhan Flu.
A war president vs. toy soldiers
And the nation’s rising confidence in Trump-inspired something of a panic among the folks at the New Yorker magazine,
“Could this horrid experience, along with the economic pain it will inflict, actually help Trump get reelected in November?”
It will when Americans in the current crisis must compare the real with the real. Have you noticed how little is heard concerning transgenders? Or a woman’s right to kill her unborn child? Are they forgetting those flatulent cows warming the planet to near extinction?
That’s because serious, real-world problems distract from, well, unserious distractions.
And where Joe Biden and the fake-news media are concerned, Americans see them as feeble and irrelevant distractions who inspire them – virus-like – to mutate social distancing into outright social ostracizing.
Top Image: Vice President Joe Biden holds coronavirus shadow briefing. Screen capture.