POTUS’s real reality show:
Mr. Trump became a prime-time star through TV, a political figure through TV and a president through TV. But he has not, as president, had what he had with NBC’s The Apprentice: a regular TV show in which he plays an executive in control.
Now, the coronavirus briefings have given him a new, live and unfiltered daily platform before a captive national audience. True to his résumé, he has conducted them as a kind of reality TV, or rather, create-your-own-reality TV.
In this reality — often subject to later fact-checking by the press or to backpedaling by staff — help and needed equipment are always just around the corner. Accurate reports of his conflicts with governors over federal support are ‘fake news.’ And no one could have anticipated a pandemic like this, despite warnings, playbooks and public-health infrastructure intended to do exactly that.
In its short life, for all its dead-serious subject matter, the program has developed the structure, rhythm and characters of a weekly reality show.