Should broadcasters televise Trump’s performances?

How many righteous, informed and intelligent people have said, “No! Stop broadcasting these things he does, stop giving him publicity!”

The reasons they object:

  • Once again, as in 2015-16, he’s being given a free sales platform to promote himself in the midst of a presidential campaign.
  • His “Corona conferences” are an inglorious hodgepodge of lies, false statements, endless repetitions, absurdities, dangerous misinformation, ignorance, preening, and then the chorus line of mediocrities who are not permitted to speak without praising Trump to the skies as the Dear Leader of uncommon brilliance.
  • The few actual experts summoned to speak and who have genuine information, advice and facts to offer us, are hobbled by the requirement not to contradict Trump and to insert phony encomiums somewhere within their factual presentations.
  • Any reporter, especially a woman, who asks him a question we’d all like him to answer gets called names. The questions are never answered. It’s fairly obvious he doesn’t understand them or hasn’t prepared for the logical ones.
  • He’s a clownish nightmare. He has nothing to offer us except sneers, irrationality, bombastic ignorance, stupidity and pointless yammer.
  • And they’re afraid — that is, as pundits and professionals they’re afraid he’ll seduce us into supporting him.

And those are the same reasons why these press conferences should be televised.

Before I lay out my thinking, I’ll tell you how I deal with these press conferences. I listen to a minute or two, count up the lies and garbage nonsense and when one of two things happens — either he reaches five dimwitted pronouncements or I start screaming at him — I turn the TV to my music channel. And, simultaneously, get Twitter up on the computer.

Because professional journalists, lawyers, MDs, historians, activists, fact-checkers, regular human beings and satirists have voluntarily sacrificed their own well-being to watch and report on this creature so that I don’t have to. They report what he’s said and what everyone on stage is doing.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting here eating the last of my popcorn and listening to Beethoven’s Fifth.

Call me a coward. No, let me call myself a coward. Still, I am perhaps representative of millions of people who live in this nightmare with me. None of us voted for Trump in 2016. What he’s doing in the White House is not going to win our votes. Indeed, it’s horrible but a vilely strong medicinal antidote to watch this thing that is called The President prance and blather as he does.

This is what he is, people. A minority voted for him and this is the awfulness, the wreckage of our country which we must endure until we can get rid of him.

I feel that people who don’t want their TVs taken over nightly by this six-year-old bad seed are afraid that his television performances, like his reality TV series, are capturing the attention and applause of his voter cult.

Whatever he did on his TV show to win an audience, he is not, cannot do it now. For his show he was given a script to follow. He’d read it and, reportedly, screw it up. Never mind. The film went into the editing room, and the editors snipped Trump into a semblance of a sentient performer.

We all can see now that Trump can’t even read scripts effectively. Either he can’t read well or he is incapable of performing a written script as any competent actor can do. He sounds leaden, dronish, fake, like a drunken uncle in a local amateur production of The Wizard of Oz. He repeats a few words over and over and over.

That is until — because Trump can’t bear to read someone else’s lines — he breaks into his bizarre, appalling, irrelevant, nauseating ad libs. Then we get to hear the Compleat Trump: infantile, stupid, ignorant, ugly, unintelligible, monstrously all self.

It is possible that some people who voted for him think this performance is terrific. It is not possible that everyone who voted for him sees this and is ready to support it again.

Whatever you think the polls are saying, Trump is not winning voters. Whatever these “shows” are selling, it ain’t him.

What he is doing — and why TV needs to continue the broadcasts — is showing the rest of us a regularly scheduled, repetitive horror movie. It is our reality.

We shouldn’t duck from it, or demand that news media ignore him. If they failed to broadcast it, failed to cover his press conferences, they would not be punishing him. They’d be punishing us and themselves, by abdicating their responsibility to show us the facts of life, even when those facts turn our stomachs and blow our minds.

Anyhow, who tied you down to your couch, propped your eyes open with toothpicks and forced you to watch Trump?

If you hate it so much, turn it off, put on some music. Eat some popcorn. It won’t kill you. But not facing what he is might.

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