Recommend @AlexGibney ’s ‘Totally Under Control,’ on *preventable* catastrophe of US Covid response

Very reminiscent of documentaries on chain-of-catastrophe in Vietnam / Iraq, w difference that it is “history" from this very year.

And many heroes trying to alter course
@alexgibney 2/
Trump himself is central point of failure, more culpable than LBJ/GWB

But the others – counterparts to McNamara/ Westmoreland w Vietnam, or Cheney/ Wolfowitz/ Bremer w Iraq—worth remembering in same way:

#1 Alex Azar
#2 Jared K / Pence
Also: Kadlec, Birx, Redfield
3/ Site is here

4/4 And, sorry, right tag for film maker is @alexgibneyfilm

Site for movie, again, is watch.neonrated.com

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More from @JamesFallows

9 Sep
This in unbelievably grotesque.

“You’re mentioning something the Prez allegedly said to Bob Woodward”
-“It’s ON TAPE.”

“The Prez was right. The virus *will* go away at some point.”

2/2 She is 100% lashing herself to the mast.

“The Prez never downplayed the virus.”
On tape: “I’ve always downplayed it.”

Here’s a press secretary who resigned when prez did something he couldn’t defend: nytimes.com/1974/09/09/arc…
3/ This briefing will go into the archives along with Baghdad Bob’s.
Read 5 tweets
4 Sep
1/ If you didn’t read @TheAtlantic story by @JeffreyGoldberg last night, please read it now: theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

Even if you already read it, read it again.

Of course Trump denies it, but track record is that his denials are always false. And these quotes are consistent..
@TheAtlantic @JeffreyGoldberg 2/3
… w what he has said in public, about: Capt Khan, Sgt Johnson, the Vindman brothers, of course John McCain.

And WaPo confirms story washingtonpost.com/politics/trump… as does AP: ktar.com/story/3543762/…
@TheAtlantic @JeffreyGoldberg 3/3 Most coverage presents the story with the claims about Trump’s comments, then notes Trump’s denial.

Here is NYT framing:

Read 4 tweets
21 Aug
1/ Mini-discourse on categs of political speech.

#1 “Formal” speeches, read from page or prompter. This is harder than it seems. Trump is genuinely horrible at it: acts as if seeing words for first time, and they don’t sound like him.

Biden just gave that kind of speech, well.
#2 Extemp or “riffing” speeches. Most politicians are good at this (it’s how they got elected.) For Trump it’s the center of what he likes about the job: Big crowd, having them cheer or laugh as he tells his “Sir, he said” stories. He’s a skilled emcee.

Biden is fine at this.
#3 “Under pressure” speaking, in debates or under real questioning. Trump thinks he’s good at this but it’s because he’s so rarely exposed to real thing. Can schmooze w Hannit, change topic or walk away at “press conferences.” C Wallace and J Swan sessions showed his brittleness
Read 4 tweets
4 Aug
This really must be seen to be believed.

Great credit for poise and preparedness to @jonathanvswan

Setting also very relevant. Trump usually only tolerates such sessions w Hannity, Fox&Friends etc. He is simply defenseless against a prepared, unflappable questioner.
@jonathanvswan 2/2 Full-length Axios intvw w @jonathanvswan is here axios.com/full-axios-hbo…

These things are all true:
-Swan fearlessly/effectively challenges him many times;
-Could have challenged 3x more, virtually every sentence from T;
-In context T’s answer on death rate looks even worse
@jonathanvswan 3/3 Because you don’t always see him this close, from this angle, another striking part of Axios intvw is how Trump (and team) decided that this was the look he wanted, for a sustained, up-close, High Def session.

(Does he apply it himself? Only thing that would make sense.) Image
Read 5 tweets
29 Jul
1/4 As Covid toll mounts, DOJ and related revelations increase, election nears, etc, I find this a useful way to think about GOP members of Senate.

GROUP 1: Those who have voted against or criticized Trump on at least some big issues. Image

GROUP 2: Those are not running again this year, and in principle face no ballot-box or fund-raising risk if they criticized Trump. Image

GROUP 3: Those who are running this year, and so in not challenging Trump tie their own futures and campaigns more closely to his. Image
Read 4 tweets
14 Jul
1/2 Not to go into the other intramural aspects of this NYT note, but starting premise *has* to be called out:

*No* journalistic / political organization “anticipated" Trump win, including Trump campaign and RNC.

Check out Fox News stories the day before election. ImageImageImage
2/2 A thousand things (Comey, “but her emails,” etc) broke a certain way, to lead to the results we’re now coping with.

But “Oh, we don’t know the country!” reflex led to a zillion “guy in a diner” stories.

(I speak having spent 2013-2016 mainly in places that voted R.)
3/To spell it out, having spent all those years in SD/ SC/ KS/ MS/ MI ourtownsbook.com I learned:
-IF you ask “guy in a diner” about *national* politics, it’s like turning on cable news
-If you ask about schools, econ, kids, immig, it’s very diff
Read 4 tweets

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