Bill Maher called on the media to stop its “doom and gloom” approach to covering the COVID-19 outbreak.
Watching news coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic day after day can be exhausting if not upsetting. According to Bill Maher, that news coverage could also have a massive effect on the presidential election.
The response of the public and government leaders to COVID-19 has been a major talking point throughout the pandemic. You only need to watch late night shows to know this. Hosts like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers have commented on both the White House failures and those of people ignoring guidelines designed to reduce the spread of the virus.
Yet while those comedians seemed convinced that President Trump’s failures will derail his reelection campaign, Bill Maher isn’t so sure. The Real Time host isn’t applauding the White House response but instead chiding the coverage by media outlets.
On another at-home edition of Real Time, Maher introduced one of his “New Rules.” Maher defended his own optimism on getting life back to normal while warning how pessimism could play right into Donald Trump’s hands:
Earlier this season, Maher warned that President Trump wouldn’t leave the White House, regardless if he was impeached or defeated by a Democrat. But it won’t come to either of those outcomes, according to Maher, if President Trump can capitalize on the media’s “doom and gloom.”
Exaggeration is nothing new in the media so Maher isn’t wrong to say it has been magnified. He argues apocalypse comparisons are over the top when people are still at home watching Tiger King on Netflix. And using sensational headlines and quotes don’t help either, especially if they don’t come from government officials or medical experts.
Maher sums up his case with this message to the media: tell me what’s happening and I’ll decide how I feel about it. It sounds simple enough but the Real Time host struggles to find an outlet that is taking this approach to the pandemic.
If it continues, Maher fears that it will validate President Trump’s “fake news” accusations. The comedian also compares COVID-19 deaths to those caused by the flu, hospital-acquired infections, and more. This argument has been used in some form or another during the quarantine debate. It’s no surprise to see Bill Maher jumping into it head first.
Do you agree with Bill Maher on this? Are you hoping that the media will follow Real Time‘s latest “New Rule?” Let us know in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night On for more from late night television. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.