Biden campaign pounces on Trump's excessive TV watching

Trump boasted yesterday about his obsessive interest in conservative cable news programming. It didn't take long for the Biden campaign to seize on this.
Image: Donald Trump Joe Biden
Evan Vucci; Gerry Broome / AP file

As is his wont, Donald Trump spent some time at a White House press briefing yesterday describing the investigation into the Russia scandal as "the biggest political scandal in the history of our country." The president added that he's optimistic that an investigation into the investigation will pay political dividends -- an assumption bolstered by some of his favorite television shows.

"You know, you have people -- I watch some of the shows. I watch Liz McDonald; she's fantastic. I watched Fox Business. I watched Lou Dobbs last night, Sean Hannity last night, Tucker last night, Laura. I watched 'Fox and Friends' in the morning. You watch these shows; you don't have to go too far into the details. They cover things that are -- it's really an amazing thing."

Occasionally, Trump gets a little sensitive on the subject of his obsessive television watching, and he tries to paint a picture that no one could seriously believe.

A few years ago, for example, the president told reporters, "[B]elieve it or not, even when I'm in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say that. People that don't know me, they like to say I watch television people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don't get to watch much television. Primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents. A lot. And different things. I actually read much more -- I read you people much more than I watch television."

How he managed to say this with a straight face is an ongoing mystery.

Nevertheless, Trump occasionally sticks to the literally unbelievable line. He added just two weeks ago, "I don't watch very much TV. Nobody knows what I do. I work very long hours, actually, very long hours, probably longer than just about anybody."

And yet, there the president stood yesterday, boasting to reporters about the five hours of Fox programming he watched on Wednesday night, followed by additional hours of Fox viewing on Thursday morning.

But what I found just as interesting was the response soon after from his opponents. Trump boasted about his obsessive television watching around 4 p.m. (E.T.), and within a few hours, Joe Biden's political operation had created a new online video, comparing the number of minutes of TV the president watched over 24 hours to the number of Americans killed by the coronavirus pandemic over the same period.

The last time I looked, Biden's video had been watched on Twitter over 1 million times.