A seemingly already triggered Peter Navarro approached a gaggle of media reporters on Friday morning and proceeded to rant for over 10 uninterrupted minutes. Following his opening filibuster, Navarro took a couple of questions and then whined about the media’s coverage of President Trump before storming off in a huff.
Things got heated when reporters dared to ask the White House trade adviser about why only a few convention-goers wore masks and did not practice social distancing during Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday night.
Navarro ignored the coronavirus precaution questions and instead bragged about how he finds “talking points” used by media unfriendly to Trump and then compared them to state-controlled propaganda in China and Russia.
— Peter Wade 🤦♂️ (@brooklynmutt) August 28, 2020
“OK, yeah. So, I thought it was interesting this morning, what I do, my protocol every morning — just so I kind of figure out what the talking points are for everybody, is to watch the first fifteen-twenty minutes of six different shows,” Navarro said.
Reporters tried to cut in, but an obviously peeved Navarro had some whining to do and would not be interrupted.
Navarro continued, “Yes. Squawk Box. There’s Maria, for the financial markets. It’s Morning Joe, it’s New Day, Fox and Friends and a couple of others. And I thought it was really interesting that we got solid convention coverage on Fox and Friends, Squawk [and] on Maria Bartiromo’s show.”
Again reporters tried to get Navarro to focus on the safety concerns but he refused and went on with his media critique while speaking over them.
“But, but, both. But, both. But, both. But, both CNN and MSNBC went with those talking points. So, I’m not going to address those,” he said. “Here’s my problem with the ‘fake news.’ What we’ve got now, and I think it’s troubling. If I may finish, if I may finish. You asked me a question and I’m going to answer it my way, OK.”
Navarro continued, “I’ve been around a long time. Thank the Lord, OK. And what I’ve seen in Russia is Pravda, which is their propaganda organ which spreads lies of Russia. What I’ve seen in communist China is things like the Global Times and the People’s Daily, which spreads the lies. I never thought, I never thought that this country would fracture into news outlets, which would eventually be talking points for political parties.”
Reporters tried to break into Navarro’s journalism lecture but to no avail.
“Look, here’s what’s gonna happen. It’s like you’re gonna hector me like this and then you’re gonna try to, you’re going to try to get a headline out of this. I’m telling you that MSNBC and CNN and NBC and CBS and 60 Minutes, they need to go to the mountain top and decide whether they want to go back and cover the news like Walter Cronkite used to do or whether they want to be talking points for the Democratic Party and Joe Biden,” Navarro said.
Navarro then took his ball and went home, blaming the reporters for arguing with him.
“So I’m going to leave it at that since I don’t like arguing with folks. I’m here to give you a policy perspective. Thank you. Thank you,” he said.
The lack of self-awareness in Navarro’s meltdown runs deep. A Trump surrogate going full-victim about media bias and holding up Fox and Friends as a shining example of even-handedness is rich, to say the least. But perhaps Navarro was trying to stonewall in order to avoid giving the answer another Trump official gave CNN’s Jim Acosta when asked why there were few coronavirus precautions at the RNC: “Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.”
On the lack of social distancing or face masks at Trump’s #RNC2020 acceptance speech in the middle of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, a senior White House official tells @Acosta: “Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” 🤯 pic.twitter.com/0T5e6r3BSx
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) August 28, 2020