There’s a LOT to dissect in this interview that Trump did with Axios. It was upsetting to watch in SO MANY ways. The way he just talks without purpose and rambles through his talking points with nonstop self-congratulatory references and refusal to answer Swan’s challenges. He’s being asked questions about public health and responds with bragging about his ratings. It’s just frustrating to watch and triggers all of my anxiety points.
BUT. Specifically, to me, this is just a huge demonstration of what happens when you take someone who has been able to surround themselves with Yes Men their whole lives/career and put them in front of someone who doesn’t feel like they *have* to play that role. Like the moment where Trump is trying to use his data to explain why the US is doing better with the death rate than anyone else and Swan says, “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.” See…Trump’s people have figured out ways to present him data, and Fox News reports on the SAME DATA constantly, that frames the US as doing “great” with the death rates and suddenly this guy points out how that doesn’t actually mean the good thing Trump tries to present it as and Trump is just like: “YOU CAN’T DO THAT.”
This is a problem with people with too much money or power. They are able to fire/punish anyone that tells them things they don’t want to hear so you get asshole Billionaires who think taking advantage of tax loopholes is something to be *proud* of while they pay less in taxes than most middle class Americans.
This guy has a whole news channel that delivers affirmative messaging in his favor and he calls everything contrary Fake News. So this interview is SO CONFUSING for him because none of his usual schtick works and Swan challenges him in very productive ways. BUT IT IS A TOTAL MESS. Trump has no idea how to respond to a point blank correction. The most important part is how many times Swan says, “WHO?” when Trump says, “Many people say…” and he rarely answers,”WHO,” because he allows his people to tell him, “Many people say…” and he never asks, “Who?” because he doesn’t care.
I don’t like watching interviews with him because they make me cringe, but jeezus, this one is so telling in SO MANY different ways and I think it’s important to watch it to remind us what we’re fighting against.