Background Briefing: April 14, 2020


Trump Has a Meltdown When the Press Finally Challenge His Lies

We begin with President Trump’s meltdown yesterday at his daily briefing which began with a propaganda video the White House concocted to blunt the devastating revelations in Sunday’s New York Times of Trump’s willful negligence in allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to get out of control. Although Fox News describes something completely difference from what was on display, it was a Fox reporter who finally challenged Trump’s ritual lying which has been tabulated at 18,000 lies so far, when she pushed back against his absurd claim of absolute power by saying “that’s not true”. Then Paula Reid of CBS challenged Trump’s propaganda video saying it omitted all of February when Trump did nothing as the crisis worsened. That was when we saw the opposite of what we want in a leader during a crisis. Not calm and confident reassurance, but rather a ranting tantrum from a man-child who only cares about his image not the fate of the American people or the future of the country. Dr. Lance Dodes, Analyst Emeritus with the Boston Psychiatric Society and Institute who was a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is a contributor to the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, joins us. We discuss how, when the press does its job and presses Trump, he can only meltdown and fire back with insults because he actually has nothing to say. And indeed for all the verbiage spewing forth from these briefings/campaign rallies, there is no actual information except what we hear from the medical professionals. But clearly Dr. Fauci, who Trump forced to make a partial retraction of a remark critical of the president, is in a bind and is hanging in there because if Trump were to fire him and replace the truth-teller with a sycophant, then the American people would not get any accurate information on the pandemic threatening their lives and livelihoods.


Is Trump Trying to Put the USPS Out Of Business to Stop Mail-in Ballots?

Then with many speculating that the president is deliberately trying to put the United States Postal Service out of business before the November election in order to prevent mail-in ballots which Trump has made clear he opposes, we examine Trump’s war on the U.S. Postal Service. Joining us is Steve Hutkins, a literature professor who teaches “place studies” at the Gallatin School of New York University and edits and administers the website Save the Post Office. With Trump and Mnuchin refusing to fund the USPS while their revenues diminish due to the crisis and postal workers fall ill and die as a result of the pandemic, we will assess whether the grassroots pushback coming from across the country and in particular the rural Red States, will be enough to save the post office.

The Sociopathic Aspects of Wall Street Capitalism

Then finally we speak with Whitney Curry Wimbish, a reporter and creative writer whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Baffler where she has an article “Misery Makers: The arch-goons of private equity“. She joins us to discuss the obscene inequity of Wall Street’s least deserving and most profitable enterprises, the hedge funds, asking for a bailout and how the sociopathic aspect of capitalism they represent is leading majorities of young American adults to embrace socialism.