Accuracy in Media


Media frustration with President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings giving reached a new low on Wednesday when MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle floated the idea that Joe Biden form a “shadow government” to counter the president’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

Ruhle was discussing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) endorsement of Biden with former President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff of operations, Jim Messina, when Messina commented on how Warren and Obama would help paint Biden’s leadership as steadier than Trump’s.

“When you see President Trump with his erratic leadership, his daily clown-show press conferences … to have real upstanding leaders like Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren talk about Joe Biden in personal terms – the kind of leader he would be – that contrast is really important right now,” Messina said. “And it’s a contrast that the Biden campaign is going to bank on going forward.”

That led Ruhle to ask Messina whether Biden should be countering Trump with his own version of a daily coronavirus briefing.

“Then do they need to do it in a bigger way?” Ruhle asked. “What did you just call it, the president’s daily clown show — that’s his press briefing?

“Should Joe Biden be counter-programming that?” Ruhle asked. “Should he be creating his own shadow government, shadow cabinet, shadow SWAT team — and getting up there at a podium every night, saying, ‘Here’s the crisis we’re in, here’s what we need to do to address this’?”

Messina replied: “Well, he’s done some of that, right? He’s released the most comprehensive plans of what to do during this COVID crisis,” referring to Biden’s April 12 op-ed in the New York Times.




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