It is possible, though not likely, that we may soon be freed from the daily spectacle of Donald Trump spewing semi-coherent words out his word-hole under the pretense of "pandemic" press briefings. While his advisers seem to fully recognize that the appearances are frequently disastrous, this has been a near-impossible thing to drill into Trump's own thick head; it's not likely he would give them up out of a recognition that he was doing himself harm.
But he may end up ending them for a more Trumpian reason: In the immediate wake of suggesting doctors maybe try injecting COVID-19 patients with bleach or, you know, whatever, he's having a tantrum over the press being mean to him.
The short story is this: On Thursday, Trump had one of his now-usual minor fits at a CNN reporter, telling her during the day's televised briefing that "CNN is fake news. Don't talk to me." Immediately before the next day's briefing, that reporter was told by the White House to change seats so that she was near the back of the room, bringing another reporter into her seat.
As The Washington Post explains, that is not how things work. The White House Correspondents' Association is in charge of the press room's assigned seating, not the White House, and it has been that way for decades. (The intent, obviously, is to preclude the sort of punishments the Trump White House thinks nothing of dishing out, when a specific reporter or news outlet upsets Dear Leader with news he doesn't want to hear.) Both reporters refused. Both reporters continued to refuse even after an unnamed White House official threatened to use the Secret Service to enforce the seat change.
The White House gave up, and the briefing took place as planned—with one noticeable change. Trump refused to take press questions, bolting after twenty minutes or so.
Yeah. The man fled the room rather than face questions from a reporter from an outlet that peeved him.
Trump spent the weekend ranting about the press on Twitter, which is nothing new for him. But he did inject the notion that well maybe he'd just take his ball and go home, rather than put up with such indignity.
Will he go through with it? Could we be so lucky?
Not likely. The nation does not need Donald Trump, but Donald Trump needs those cameras. With no cameras, and no rallies, and no audience, the man would starve. It is very nearly a medical condition.
Still, though, there may be a glimmer of recognition there that no, the news outlets are still not going to treat him like the unquestionable, unchallengeable Dear Leader he imagines himself to be. He can and does fire anyone in government who has the indecency to disagree with his pronouncements; he cannot, however, fire CNN.
And really now, if you can't deal with the likes of CNN what the hell is wrong with you. The network built you, Donald. They covered you without laughing. When the rest of party leadership abandoned you, during your campaign, they explicitly hired on new no-names who would say nice things about you. The network frosted your cake and served it to you, you ungrateful septuagenarian brat.
Eh. It's not about CNN; not really. This is more about the reality of the world getting away from Donald, or rather his growing realization that no matter how much he lies, his brainless virus opponent is not going to cower into submission for the sake of his own ego. Donald's entire narcissistic life has consisted of bullying, of cheating, and of lying. Those do not turn out to be the tools needed to solve a worldwide crisis.