President Donald Trump's press briefings regarding the global pandemic that's upended daily life in the United States have come under fire for prioritizing the President's vanity over experts' advice.
Even the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal implored Trump to dispense with his habit of lying, berating reporters, or taking cheap shots against his political enemies, and instead rise to the urgency of the moment presented by the virus that's now killed over 22,000 Americans.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, requests to abstain from insults and falsehoods during a national crisis are too much to ask of the President of the United States—at least for the duration of 2020.
As usual, Mr. Trump contends that it's not his behavior that needs changing, but the media's coverage.
His latest attempt to bolster that defense came with a graphic the President tweeted, insisting that a majority of Americans found the daily White House briefings on the virus "helpful and informative."
Trump railed against his all too familiar specter of the "fake news media" when sharing the graphic.
As it turns out, the poll Trump cited is about as reliable as the 16,241 false claims he's made since his inauguration.
First off, the poll originates from the firm Fabrizio Lee, partly named for Tony Fabrizio, a longtime friend of convicted criminals and Trump devotees Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
Fabrizio worked on the Trump campaign, and Trump himself refused to pay for Fabrizio's polling, owing him nearly a million dollars. Whether that was a reflection of poor quality on Fabrizio's part or consistency on Trump's part remains unclear.
Another small detail: Fabrizio's firm was questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine whether or not it relayed private voter information to the Kremlin.
What's more, the poll only sampled answers from 17 states—most of them Republican leaning.
By the time Twitter was done, Trump's graph was holier than Swiss cheese.
Unlike at his rallies, people aren't tuning into the briefings for Trump's performance, but rather for the updates from actual experts on the pandemic response task force.
In case the President needed a reminder...
Pretty graphs won't spare the President from accountability.