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Media Beat: October 05, 2020

Never underestimate a sore loser – Part 2

Following Part 1, published Thursday, more about how media chases its collective tail and become supporting actors in a conspiracy of manipulation. Specifically, how news media this past weekend fanned the implausible, even as the trail of facts didn't quite square. What follows is my take on what (may or may not have) happened.

Savaged by what many have described as an indecorous presidential performance during last Tuesday's debate, White House officials may have conspired to deflect criticism by concocting news on Friday that POTUS and FLOTUS had tested positive for covid.  What we know for sure is that the president was airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center where it is reported that he was placed on a respirator for oxygen and dosed with a cocktail of experimental drugs.

The First Lady remained at the White House where, presumably, she was able to maintain her daily regimen of beauty care and restorative treatments.

On Saturday, presidential contender Joe Biden and former President Obama separately offered their best wishes for a speedy recovery for the president who spent a considerable amount of his ailing time tweeting his base and posing for autographs.

On Sunday, the president or his stand-in again became the day’s top headline, briefly leaving the hospital to headline an elaborately staged motorcade that had him or his likeness seen waving to a cheering crowd from a customized bullet-proof Cadillac limo, colloquially known as "The Beast".

While it is widely reported that the fan-meet was a “surprise,” it could well be that Republican party organizers had been working the phones and sending e-mails well in advance to loyalists, and perhaps had even arranged for buses to bring them to the staging area. It is even possible these organizers handed out pre-printed placards to complete what appears to have been a choreographed photo op that would become the lead news item across North America and many other countries around the world.

Casting doubt on the virulence and maybe even the veracity of the covid claim, the president’s advisors told numerous sources that their boss was expected to be back at work on Monday.

In other weekend news, Kanye West has said he is quitting the music business to become lead defenceman for the Arizona Coyotes, Elon Musk has announced Tesla’s first fleet of fossil fuel cars will be delivered in 2022, and the Harvey Weinstein My Life and Loves biopic became the first movie to gross ten-dollars in its opening weekend.

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