'It Would Be Great If We Could Really Give The News Correctly'

The scariest part of the President's idiosyncratic method at distorting the truth and gaslighting us, is when he doubles down in spite of empirical evidence that he is lying. Scarier still is when he does it while conveying information vital to our national health and security.

That's what he did Sunday when he began a press briefing updating the nation on our national health emergency by attacking the press for correctly setting the record straight when, during a press briefing on Friday, he misrepresented that the White House was working with Google to launch a new website that would help triage Americans for the COVAD-19 infection.

The press reported it wasn't Google that was developing the website, but Verily Health Sciences, a sister company of parent Alphabet Inc., that said it was going to roll it out as a limited test in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Google's own communications department immediately tweeted this statement below saying just that, moments after the President misinformed the American public.

It should have been a small lie for the President -- just a misstatement, really -- but then he chose to double down and make it a really big lie by trying to bend reality and reshape the truth.

It's one thing to do that when boasting about the size of your inauguration audience. It's quite another thing to do it when trying to calm the nation's anxiety about a pandemic threat by conveying reliable and credible information.

By doubling down and refuting the press' factual accounts, as well as Google's and Verily's own statements, the President has managed to magnify what should have been an innocent and relatively benign error into a full-blown gaslighting attack on all Americans during a time of genuine crisis.

What troubles me most about the way he handled it was the way he used a prop as evidence.

"I want to thank the people at Google and Google Communications because, as you know, they substantiated what I said on Friday," the President asserted, brandishing a piece of paper that ostensibly was his proof.

He then referred to the "head of Google" as a "great Gentleman," whom he said "called us and apologized."

"I don't know where the press got their fake news, but they got it from some place," the President continued, clasping the piece of paper between his fingers and adding, "As you know this is from Google. They put out a release and... uh... ," and then he proceeded to chuck it off to his side like it was a hot potato.

It gave the impression that prop disgusted even him.

"You guys can figure it for yourselves how that got out and I’m sure you’ll apologize," the President continued, then adding most ironically of all:

"It would be great if we could really give the news correctly. It would be so, so wonderful."

I am going to assume that he used the pronoun as the "presidential we," and was actually referring to himself and/or his White House, because it's clearly not what the truth was.

The statement posted by Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Sunday confirmed the site the President misstated about Sunday was in fact a test by Alphabet's Verily Health Sciences division (see below).

18 comments about "'It Would Be Great If We Could Really Give The News Correctly'".
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  1. Daniel Ambrose from, corp., March 16, 2020 at 11:14 a.m.

    Nicely done Joe.  Thank you .

  2. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, March 16, 2020 at 11:22 a.m.

    Can someone tell me when all the "winning" is going to start?

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 16, 2020 at 11:39 a.m.

    Joe, what Trump doesn't seem to realize that playing his familiar game like this when it's a matter of health---which most Amercians take seriously----is badly hurting his chances to stay in office. People may not know much about The Ukraine and how the State Department functions or even about foreign interference in our elections---but getting sick with a mysterious virus and maybe dying, plus the whole country shutting down and lot of people forced to stay home---that's quite another matter.

  4. TV Fan, March 16, 2020 at 12:01 p.m.

    Can you let the attacks on our President go for just a few weeks.  We are in uncharatered territory.  We remember the lies told about Russia, Ukraine and the twisted stories.  Let it go.

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, March 16, 2020 at 12:24 p.m.

    @TV Fan from Self: When he stops attacking, I'll stop reporting on it. I also remember his lies about Russia, Ukraine and his twisted stories. Don't need any reminding. But thanks, anyway 

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 16, 2020 at 12:32 p.m.

    Until enough people feel enough personal pain, nothing changes. Keep talking comrade puppet. He and his spawn now have pyramid charges filed against them that his position can't protect any of them. True ? He wanted to buy the German company working on a vaccine for American use only. His definition of American ? No, we can not let this go for a second.

  7. Arthur Tung from Presbytery of Philadelphia replied, March 16, 2020 at 2:15 p.m.

    Why are you trotting out the cliché of "unchartered [sic] territory"?  Actually, what Joe has just done is to chart and clarify.  

  8. Frank Anthony from Self, March 16, 2020 at 9:39 p.m.

    More fake news.  As if we don't get enough of it from CNN, nightly.  Better yet, how about MSNBC on Sunday reporting that more republicans will die vs. democrats.  Way to go national news media!

  9. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, March 17, 2020 at 4:56 a.m.

    A look at history suggests that no President in the history of the US ever got disasters, issues with other nations or other major problems 100 percent correct. I can see issues with the way Trump has handled the virus that could be better.  However I never nickpicked small details with any US President especially when we may not have all the details and a short time period between changes within the problem they face. 

  10. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, March 17, 2020 at 9:05 a.m.

    @Craig Mcdaniel: "Nitpicked?" The column was about the President for once again attacking the media for accurately reporting and setting the record straight when he misrepresented how the White House was working with a media company to manage a naional health emergency. We are a media industry publication. It's the heart of what we cover.

  11. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc replied, March 17, 2020 at 9:08 a.m.

    Hey - Perhaps YOU should turn off FOX News and OAN.  The reporting on CNN and MSNBC on Sunday was that Republicans were more likely to believe that Coronavirus is either a hoax or overblown by liberals in order to harm the President. This belief will undoubtedly cause more of these people to ignore the experts and more of them will suffer the consequences. 

    So thus more Republicans may die because they live in the FOX bubble.

  12. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 17, 2020 at 9:32 a.m.

    You are correct, Joe. There is a dangerous virus out there and this one is not called corona.

  13. Mark Laurence from Greater Media replied, March 17, 2020 at 10:24 a.m.

    Sadly, it's true that those who don't take the virus threat seriously are more likely to die. They're the ones exhibiting dangerous behavior, partying and working in large groups, shaking hands, and acting like nothing's wrong. The virus does not care who you voted for. But the polls show far more Republicans have not changed their risky behavior, because they don't believe COVID-19 is a threat. As Trump always says, "We'll see what happens."

  14. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC replied, March 17, 2020 at 6:33 p.m.

    @Joe, you can be successful either in the media business or the political commentary buisness but not both at the same time. I personally think you are brilliant in media and advertising.  My advice, stay in media and not in political news.

  15. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, March 17, 2020 at 7:06 p.m.

    @Craig Mcdaniel: Not sure I'm brilliant at anything, but I only cover politics when it IS media industry news. If you think politics and media are not integrated, well, it probably explains why you don't agree with what I write.

  16. Ken Kurtz from creative license, April 1, 2020 at 4:34 p.m.

    True that, Craig. Joe repeatedly demonstrates that he is a wholly currupted, entirely biased political hack that only denigrates what he actually gets right about media by repeatedly going where he plainly, and simply cannot stop going. He can't help himself. It's a leftist disease...

  17. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, April 1, 2020 at 4:40 p.m.

    @Ken Kurtz: Correction: I am not a political hack, just a trade advertising hack who occasionally writes about media and politics.

  18. Ken Kurtz from creative license, April 1, 2020 at 5:09 p.m.

    And as Craig intimated, you'd do well to stay away from the politics, and focus on media, which you appear to have a good grasp of.

    "If you call someone a hack, you mean they're not great at what they do — especially writing. A mediocre writer is called a hack."

    You're not a "mediocre writer" Joe. Especially when you stick with media/advertising. I see that you've married yourself to the idea that media/advertising, and politics cannot be separated, however, that is the degree to which you make it clear that you are "a sorry bitch to your leftism." The degree to which you demonstrate your disease.

    And make no mistake, leftism is a disease. One is either "at ease," or at disease. And leftists are somply never "at ease" about anything. 

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