Ever since Robert Mueller charged Michael Flynn with one felony count of lying to the FBI, sh-t has gotten crazy. Even more crazy than usual. One of my favorite shows on MSNBC is Nicolle Wallace’s show, and she’s been making the case every single day for weeks that Donald Trump knows the walls are closing in on him, and once you look at everything he does, says or tweets from that image, it makes perfect sense. Everyone around Trump is basically trying to settle him down and keep him from losing his mind even further, like they’re soothing a wayward, tantrum-prone toddler. So what does the sucky baby known as Bigly do to soothe himself? He downs a dozen Diet Cokes a day and watches as much as eight hours of television a day. For real. The New York Times did a story called “Inside Donald Trump’s Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation” – you can read the story here. Some highlights:
Trump watches four-to-eight hours of television a day. NYT: “Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.” The president is also eager to comment on whatever is on TV and “he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff.”
Trump’s mood can rise and fall based on morning shows. It has long been clear that Fox and Friends, the headquarters for inane pro-Trump babble, is a primary driver of Trump’s tweets. (The Times reports that “aides monitor ‘Fox & Friends’ live or through a transcription service in much the way commodities traders might keep tabs on market futures to predict the direction of their day.”) But sometimes, Trump starts his day off with CNN or MSNBC, saving Fox’s daily Trump affirmations for later, via his presidential “super TiVo.” If he doesn’t wake up with a healthy dose of Fox propaganda, Trump is “likely to be in a foul mood,” which, in our delightful reality, makes the odds of nuclear armageddon tick upward by about 0.8 percent.
He only enjoys news about himself: One former top adviser said Mr. Trump “grew uncomfortable after two or three days of peace and could not handle watching the news without seeing himself on it,” the Times reports. Trump is obsessed with media in general and as much as he likes to rail against reporters he “is still delighted when he sees his name in the headlines.” And he gets nervous when it isn’t there, which would go a long way to explain his sometimes difficult-to-believe Twitter rants.
He sees his presidency as a TV show. “Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals.”
I like diet soda too (I’m not a coffee drinker, so I have to get caffeine some other way!) but 12 diet sodas a day is INSANE. Even if you’re tired, even if you need a caffeine injection, do you know how jittery 12 Diet Cokes would make one person? It’s not healthy. As for the television stuff… I mean, we already knew that Trump is the Peak Fox News Viewer: he’s old, he’s white, he’s angry, he’s racist, he’s stupid, he’s mean, he’s cruel and he’s profoundly ignorant. Of course he watches Fox News constantly. I’m also not surprised that he checks in with CNN and MSNBC, because he regularly tweets about them and it’s clear that he’s obsessed with personally “slapping back” at anyone who criticizes him.
None of this is normal, by the way. I mean, even though this NYT report doesn’t surprise me, that doesn’t mean we should ever forget that NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL. The president of the United States sits around watching his own version of “state propaganda” for as much as eight hours a day, then he tweets about it as he’s guzzling 12 Diet Cokes. We’re all f–ked.
Photos courtesy of Getty.