Wall Street Journal Editorial Slams Trump for ‘Wasted’ and ‘Off Key’ Coronavirus Briefings

The Murdoch-owned publication took a hard stance Thursday, but offered Trump advice

In an opinion piece published Wednesday, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal dismissed President Donald Trump’s coronavirus briefings as “wasted” time for him to lob “off key” attacks on the press and political rivals, but not do much else.

The editorial began, “A friend of ours who voted for President Trump sent us a note recently saying that she had stopped watching the daily White House briefings of the coronavirus task force. Why? Because they have become less about defeating the virus and more about the many feuds of Donald J. Trump.”

It did mention that the briefings were originally a “good idea” designed to inform Americans about a very serious pandemic and its effects on public health and the economy. The Journal’s editorial board isn’t the only group of people to think this way, either: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has said they’re “nothing.” During one of the briefings, sharp-eyed viewers even questioned whether Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson fell asleep.

“One of the ironies of this Presidency is that Mr. Trump claims to despise the press yet so eagerly plays its game. Every reporter knows the way to get a TV moment, and get a pat on the back from newsroom pals, is to bait Mr. Trump with a question about his previous statements or about criticism that someone has leveled against him. Mr. Trump always takes the bait,” noted the Journal’s editorial. Trump has, in turn, praised a One America News Network correspondent and lambasted a Fox News reporter, among many others, during his briefings.

The Journal also said Trump’s “outbursts against his political critics” are “notably off key” and won’t help him win re-election against former vice president Joe Biden. Instead, the editorial board offered, he could appeal to viewers — and voters — by shortening the briefings and letting Vice President Mike Pence run them and keep them on-track.

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