While everyone from Tucker Carlson and the great Mollie Hemingway to Jake Tapper and Rachel Maddow were busy virtue signaling their appreciation for “the seriousness” of the Chinese Virus, I was ferociously documenting my certainty that the only real carnage ahead would be political in nature and manufactured by the media expressly to damage President Trump before the November election.
And I was right.
And as the threat of the virus becomes less dire and the media’s attempts to weaponize it against President Trump become more obvious, Americans everywhere are emerging from their panic rooms and nodding along with the small handful of us who were sounding that alarm early on.
Despite being a well-documented germaphobe, I think President Trump probably knew the truth also.
I should note: Having spent 20+ years as a salesperson often selling at the C-level in the business community, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of “overcoming objections.” And one thing I like to do is manage objections before they’re even leveled. So in several of my pieces this past week I responded to this easily anticipated “objection” from those who would disagree with my assertion that the virus would never net even a fraction of the damage that we’d been led to believe was imminent…
“Yeah but even the integrity-rich healthcare community is sounding the alarm. And even your boy Trump is!! If the virus wasn’t really gonna be a big deal, then why would they all be making it a big deal also!?!?!”
My best response came in the first piece I wrote about it…
I hear you. But what you don’t appreciate, from my seat, is that the massively powerful and influential media is more than capable of creating levels of hysteria that a) empower the health community to assert its worst-case-scenario authority and b) create such panic and havoc that virtually everyone including President Trump have to respond in kind or the damage — caused by fear, not the virus itself — will only get worse.
That, I believe, is why President Trump ended up diving on the panic button right alongside the media.
But as we start turn the corner on this and I don’t see him even begin to budge from that position, something else is starting to become clear.
He’s a showman. And I know this will come as a shock to many of you but I’m one of his earliest and strongest supporters so please don’t shoot the messenger — but the fact is, sometimes, he’s a little fast and loose with the truth. And sometimes he exaggerates in order to score points and earn capital and one-up his opposition. And I’m pretty sure that just like he turned “fake news” around on them (it was actually a term that CNN’s Brian Stelter first made famous until Trump stole it from him and eventually began claiming he invented it), he’ll turn the media’s Chinese Virus hysteria around on them too.
I predicted several days ago that when this whole thing was over and it didn’t net even a fraction of the death and medical destruction that the media said it would, that the media would take credit instead of being held accountable for creating the panic that decimated our nation’s economic and social order.
Now I’m watching President Trump, instead of leaning into the notion that the media created this national humiliation to hurt him in two ways (first by destroying the economy he planned to run on, and second by giving them fresh leverage to call him incompetent and unserious) — instead of calling the media out for that, he’s still playing the game right alongside them.
Because even though he knows now, and maybe even knew all along like many of us did, that this will never be as bad as the media wanted everyone to believe — even though he knows that, he sees an opportunity to claim that he was the hero who stopped it.
And frankly if anyone deserves that credit, it truly is him. Because the travel ban(s) he instituted, starting way back in January, were gutsy and tough and may have done more to thwart a domestic spread than anything else. And there’s no way other presidents would’ve acted so decisively and unapologetically.
But I also don’t think the Chinese Virus was ever going to do near the damage that the media terrorized our nation into believing it would. And I think if President Trump didn’t know that before, he does now. And I think he’s still playing the game because he plans to use the mess the media created to elevate himself as the real savior.
And if that’s really what he’s doing, and having thought about it I can’t imagine him going about this thing any other way, then he’s yet again proven to be a much more agile and shrewd leader and fighter than I could ever hope to be in my wildest dreams.
I’d be yelling from the rooftops — as I have been — that the media deserve to be called out for their dishonesty and carelessness, and for the damage they caused. But President Trump, several steps ahead either by genius or divine intervention that’s repeatedly afforded him fantastic political fortune, isn’t attacking the media any more or less than he ever did before. He’s leveraging the panic they created, knowing full well it will never manifest with the severity that the media said it would, for his own political gain. He’s going to just let their lies and deceptions stand, because in the end he can exploit it to make himself the hero who thwarted “what promised to be a once in a hundred year catastrophe.”
This doesn’t have to all be some grand plot. To put it all more simply: The media ginned this up to hurt him, and rather than call them out for it he — wittingly or not — leaned into their hysteria to his own benefit. And now that the carnage the media promised will never come, Trump will take credit for thwarting it.
I believe that’s exactly what we’re about to see.
Meanwhile, I was worried that…
1. The media would crush the economy that millions of Americans depended on and that President Trump was going to run on in November
2. The media would use the Chinese Virus “crisis” as a means of bludgeoning Trump for incompetence, unseriousness, and of course (yet again) RACISM!
3. Just like they all claimed to be heroes for their Russia reporting even though their outlandish conspiracy theories all blew up in their faces, they’d again claim to be the heroes of the Chinese Virus hysteria by insisting that it was their great reporting that helped stave off death for millions if not billions of people
4. While celebrating themselves as heroes, they would continue bludgeoning a nearly helpless President Trump in every way possible to inflict as much damage as possible before the November election
That’s what I was worried about. But it appears, instead, that…
1. President Trump got way ahead of them yet again by playing their game instead of pulling the curtain back on it, and thus none of their hopes and dreams for this thing will come to pass. Just like he did with the Ukraine call when he completely destroyed their planned narrative by releasing the transcript right away, he’ll have completely upended their disgraceful and dishonest attempts to use this virus to damage him and disenfranchise the millions of Americans who voted for him. It’s like, whether it’s a very public fight or a completely silent one, his ability to “punch back” and win while doing it simply knows no bounds.
It just seems like the guy is always several steps ahead. And again, I don’t know if it’s genius or divine intervention. But I’ve spent the last week really sweating that the media had him/us dead to rights this time. And it occurred to me tonight as I heard the phrase “once in a hundred year crisis” said several times on CNN, that President Trump is actually going to capitalize on the hysteria the media created by — instead of calling them out for over hyping this whole thing — going right along with their narrative and claiming that he’s the leader who thwarted what they promised would almost assuredly spell disaster.
That’s the good news.
The bad news, aside from the economic damage and millions of lost jobs that the media created with this disgusting ploy: The media won’t change and when they realize their plan failed and Trump is taking the credit instead screaming into the void that the media “did this on purpose,” they’ll just change the story again. They’ll pretend none of this ever happened. And they’ll just go back to their normal script: he’s a racist, he’a a rapist, he’s a Russian spy and/or he’s literally insane.
Good thing he has four solid years of experience crushing them in the face of those lies, too.
Still not tired of winning.
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