As President Trump addressed reporters in the White House briefing room this Tuesday, many agreed that his tone was markedly different as he acknowledged the country would likely experience more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, even in a best case scenario.
Trump’s ‘new tone’ was commented on widely throughout the press, with some speculating that he finally understood the full gravity of the growing health crisis. But according to Daily Beast, Trump’s new tone was just part of his skills when it comes to manipulating the media.
One source speaking to the Daily Beast said even Trump himself bragged about this skill, specifically during a dinner in 2017 where he said it’s “so easy” to get the media to shift its impression of him.
“All I had to do was be a little nice…and do something beautiful [and now they’re] saying all these terrific things about Trump,” he reportedly said.
“During that conversation, Trump was referring to several high-profile TV personalities who usually were highly critical of him, but who were suddenly being ‘fair’ to him for a news cycle, the source recalled,” writes the Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng, Justin Baragona, and Sam Stein. “The dinner took place not long after the president addressed a joint session of Congress in February 2017 for the first time since his inauguration. During his speech, Trump honored the widow of a Navy SEAL who was killed in Yemen, in a nationally televised moment that was heralded as emotionally moving.”
“Trump’s occasional turn towards acting sober-minded has been a long-standing feature of his attempts to drive media coverage, those who have worked alongside him say,” they continue. “He is acutely aware that one of the things that keeps viewers interested in what he has to say is if the programming he provides remains unpredictable. And so, he occasionally changes the script.”
Read the full piece over at The Daily Beast.