The love affair between President Donald Trump and right-wing media may be hitting a rough patch.
Fox News analyst Brit Hume called out the president on Thursday for a tweet in which he lashed out at the Wall Street Journal. The paper had on Wednesday evening published a piece from the editorial board criticizing Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings that have been filled with misinformation.
“Mr. Trump opens each briefing by running through a blizzard of facts and numbers showing what the government is doing—this many tests, that many masks, so many ventilators going from here to there, and what a great job he’s doing,” wrote the editorial board, which is typically a prominent defender of the president. “Then Mr. Trump opens the door for questions, and the session deteriorates into a dispiriting brawl between the President and his antagonists in the White House press corps.”
Even this description was far too kind, as it ignored the fact that Trump regularly lies and doles out dangerous advice from the White House briefing room.
But the piece clearly got under the president’s skin, so he did what he always does: lash out on Twitter:
The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2020
“This is a ridiculous tweet,” tweeted Hume in response. “He could get his views across without bragging, endlessly repeating himself, and getting into petty squabbles with the junior varsity players in the WH press corps. And he could stop talking much sooner to give Pence, Fauci, Birx and Giroir more time.”
Of course, neither the Journal nor Hume are likely to admit what the tweet is evidence of: Trump’s spectacular unfitness for office. It’s not just a momentary slip or poorly conceived post. It encapsulates Trump’s entire approach to the presidency: attack enemies, focus on public relations, and only care about how events affect him personally — rather than the country.