One is affecting the other. It has to do with his daily press conferences about COVID-19, which run as long as two hours at a time. Most of the time, they feature Trump's ramblings or his attempts at a campaign rally, sans the rally.
FiveThirtyEight.com, in looking at a number of polls, says after a rise in approval ratings to (45.8%) on April 5, up from March 14, 42.3% (a day before announcing the original 15-day stay-at-home stuff) -- his numbers have drifted lower (44.3%) on April 14.
All this comes as daytime viewing data on cable TV news networks shows a slow decline since mid-March.
The quality of the content, mostly from Trump and his growing angry demeanor, includes attacks on the media and others. And it may be having an effect. Others would say it is more basic: The content doesn't offer much truth and facts.
This includes the good, the bad, and the possible side effects. Consider the questionable treatment of hydroxychloroquine: “What do you have to lose?” Trump asks, in taking the longtime malaria treatment for COVID-19. He didn’t answer that question.
But others did. One chloroquine study has been halted over the risk of fatal heart complications — which would put a crimp a voters' participation in the November elections. In addition, the FAA has barred pilots from taking the drug.
From all this, Trump’s TV brand awareness keeps growing. But it doesn’t tell us if consumers are buying in.
Watching any TV-video content needs an air of credibility, entertainment value, or a combination of both. Concerning news content, you have the obvious. Straight-ahead TV news organizations look to sources — public, private, on-the record and off — who are reputable. Information that can be confirmed.
Some TV news networks have made the iffy decision to let Trump's COVID-19 conferences run in their entirety. Others are pulling away from the live presser periodically to fact-check, since Trump imparts information that is not always accurate.
What to do? TV Watch has said when it comes to Trump or any source of dubious information, there is an easy decision: avoid it, until proven otherwise.
Presidential actions? Sure, that’s a different thing. Entertainment value? Teenage-bullying words, name-calling against politicians and/or reporters at a time when bodies keep piling up, may work for some. But not for Americans who expect leadership and vision in a crisis.
Viewing for the first hour of the COVID-19 briefing is down to 9 million viewers on Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC collectively (April 8) from 10.4 million on March 23.
Science, history and biology tell us vaccines and treatments are a long way off -- months (for treatment) if not a year and half (vaccine). So we have more of this to endure.