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Trump throws a hissy fit at Fox News as his usual media partner fails to meet his expectations

Trump throws a hissy fit at Fox News as his usual media partner fails to meet his expectations

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Despite the daily regurgitation of his administration’s talking points by anchors like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and others, Donald Trump seems furious that Fox News isn’t 100% all Trump all the time.

Forgetting the distinction between the “political analysts” — who are free to substitute their opinions for facts over the Fox News airwaves — and the few actual journalists who show up in the non-prime time hours and must restrict themselves to reporting real news, Trump threw a tweeted hissy fit at the Rupert Murdoch-controlled cable channel this afternoon over Fox News‘s refusal to completely adhere to his own twisted view of reality.

Perhaps the executives at Fox News are hedging their bets as they read their own polling data for the upcoming presidential election and see Trump’s performance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic meltdown. Thus, they may be trying to pretend to show a modicum of impartiality in their news coverage to shake the widespread impression that they are the president’s version of state-controlled media.

This — like so many other things — does not appear to be something for which Donald Trump is mentally and emotionally prepared, judging from this Twitter thread.

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Trump displays the real reason for his anger in the third tweet of the thread.

By thanking himself for Fox News‘ ratings, he betrays the fact that he can’t stand sharing the limelight with anyone else and feels that people watch the channel not to hear the warmed-over right-wing talk radio rhetoric that is the network’s specialty but to see Trump’s orange-hued face spout phony “alternative facts” day in and day out.

While Trump may fancy himself the greatest TV-programmer that ever lived and a better arbiter of quality journalism — a term which in his mind equates with grandiose praise for himself and his self-serving policies — than the “Noble” Committee (which doesn’t actually award prizes for journalism), he appears to be enraged by the fact that his schtick is falling flat on Fox News as the network prepares for an onslaught of liability lawsuits by the families of people who watched its anchors channel the president’s downplaying of the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic and — ignoring the recommendations of medical professionals pooh-poohed by the like of Hannity and Ingraham — went on to catch the virus and die.

Having vented his spleen at his former besties at Fox News, the president widened his aim to the “Lamestream Media” in general for his next menacing missive.

Trump proves that his instincts are diametrically opposed to how any rational person would respond after finding that their Secretary of Health and Human Services had bungled the handling of the crucial early days of the COVID-19 outbreak by hiring an inexperienced former Labradoodle breeder as the head of his pandemic response team.

Firing Alex Azar would be viewed by most people as a justified reaction to the administration’s molasses-slow response to the coronavirus as it began reaching American shores from China and Italy, if a poor substitute for having the buck stop where it belongs and having the president at least resign if not commit seppuku.

Sure it would be viewed as another case of scapegoating, but the public is so used to Trump’s blame-casting that most people wouldn’t even notice.

In fact, the “Lamestream Media,” as the president refers to them, doesn’t need to do anything “to create the perception of chaos & havoc” in the White House. That is the one job that Trump handles quite well on his own, as his shambolic, incoherent, misinformation-filled press briefings demonstrated very clearly.

The most damning line in this last tweet is Trump’s declaration that Secretary Azar is doing “an excellent job” when hospitals and care facilities lack protective gear, testing kits for the virus are still in short supply, and coordination of efforts seems non-existent.

Perhaps if compared to the president’s own performance, one could say that Alex Azar has done an excellent job.

But that’s a damn low bar to clear.

At least Trump’s tweets today have earned some sympathy for his First Lady Melania Trump. If this is how the president celebrates his wife’s birthday, Melania at least gets some personal time on her special day without having to pretend to smile at his non-existent attention.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

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