HBO host Bill Maher warned the establishment media on his show Friday that their dishonest and sensational reporting during the coronavirus pandemic might help President Donald Trump get reelected.
During the “New Rule” segment of his show, the “Real Time” host laid into journalists for pushing a sense of gloom and pessimism, which he said could lead to President Trump cruising to a second term.
“Now that we’re staring to see some hope in all this,” Maher said, while asking reporters, “don’t hope-shame me.”
“The problem with non-stop doom and gloom is it gives Trump the chance to play the optimist,” Maher said, “and optimists tend to win American elections.”
The host then displayed a graphic of former President Barack Obama’s 2008 “HOPE” campaign poster, while also showing examples of establishment media headline, which he used as examples of news publications sensationalizing the pandemic.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Recalling former President Franklin Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” quote, Maher said: “As full of s—- as [Trump] is, I could see Trump riding that into a second term and then there will be no hope left for you to shame.”
“News sources have to rein it in. Everyone one knows [COVID-19] is no walk in the park, because you literally can’t walk in the park,” he joked.
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“But at some point the daily drumbeat of depression and terror veers into panic porn,” the liberal host said.
He then called out a common narrative from establishment news outlets, which he said are claiming that “life will never be the same,” and shamed reporters for constantly showing a zoomed in, microscopic graphic of the coronavirus.
“Everything looks scary if you magnify it a one thousand times,” he said.
“Just tell me millions are out of work without the flashlight under the chin and I’ll decide how I feel about it,” he said. “Giving a proper perspective on the truth isn’t covering up the truth, it is the truth.”
Maher concluded that the establishment media reporters have not been treating Americans like “adults” and warned that their coverage of the coronavirus gives Trump credibility when he criticizes them.
“We need the news to calm down and treat us like adults. Trump calls you fake news, don’t make him be right,” Maher said.
Maher was heavily criticized last week for bucking his fellow liberals in describing the coronavirus as a “Chinese virus.”
“Scientists, who are generally pretty liberal, have been naming diseases after the places they came from for a very long time,” Maher said.
“This has nothing to do with Asian Americans, and it has everything to do with China. We can’t afford the luxury anymore of non-judginess towards a country with habits that kill millions of people everywhere. Because this isn’t the first time. SARS came from China, and the bird flu, and the Hong Kong flu, the Asian flu,” Maher said on April 10, The Wrap reported.
Maher concluded that he was scared “that there are people out there who would rather die from the virus than call it by the wrong name.”
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