Prominent figures around the nation erupted in a chorus of disgust and criticism today after President Trump blew his top at an NBC reporter for daring to ask him to address the millions of frightened Americans looking for leadership and reassurance in a time of uncertainty and crisis.
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“I say that you are a terrible reporter. That’s what I say…you’re doing sensationalism. And the same with NBC and Comcast. I don’t call it Comcast. I call it ‘Con-Cast,” jeered the President at Peter Alexander and his “nasty question” in a tense confrontation during today’s coronavirus press conference.
NBC's @PeterAlexander asks Trump what he'd say to Americans who are frightened.
Trump goes on rant against Alexander, says he asked a "nasty question," calls him a "terrible reporter" and attacks NBC and Comcast. pic.twitter.com/vZAk3M4mqR
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 20, 2020
It was an appalling show of unhinged vitriol and an astonishing abdication of leadership from our ostensible commander-in-chief. Trump is clearly well aware of the role his deliberate neglect played in exacerbating the crisis, which in his mind implicitly frames any kind of discussion of its tangible consequences as an indictment of his presidency — which it is. Since any criticism or blame is utterly anathema to the hypersensitive Trump, his decaying brain could only respond with spiteful venom.
Politicians, intellectuals, and media figures alike took to social media this afternoon to share their astonishment at the president’s refusal to show any kind of leadership and the implications of his astounding incompetence.
A real president would answer:
We will tap into the immense talents of the American people to find effective treatments and a vaccine and produce all the ventilators and gear we need.
We’ll respect and care for each other even at a distance.
That‘s how we’ll get through this. https://t.co/IQM2IG3XQ5
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 20, 2020
donald trump’s rant against @PeterAlexander reveals the extent of trump’s incompetence, insecurity, & juvenile petulance. He is not & never has been a leader. He is a national disgrace. https://t.co/YJ5F5EweaH
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 20, 2020
I hope Trump is forever known by this disgusting, insensitive moment.
Peter Alexander asked him a basic question about what he had to say to Americans who are afraid.
And Trump lashed out.
Peter and NBC has a colleague die today to the Coronavirus.
I loathe this man. pic.twitter.com/rR4d9g6o1T
— Shaun King (@shaunking) March 20, 2020
And an outstanding guy. Covering Trump in India, security repeatedly refused to let me take my breast pumps/cooler into a news conference until @PeterAlexander and @Acosta stood up for me and said if my medical devices weren’t going in, none of us were. They finally said OK. https://t.co/QLWrl22OWt
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) March 20, 2020
The best part of the president’s insane fascist tantrum at the press briefing today is that Peter Alexander served up a softball question that could have come from OANN and got housed for it anyway.
— Jonathan Myerson Katz (@KatzOnEarth) March 20, 2020