It is Friday afternoon here at Happy Acres, and people in protective gear and masks have just shown up at our door, handing out glasses of wine. This is actually true. I did not make it up. Their timing is good.
On the question of injecting Lysol, Charles Sykes writes,
This sort of thing utterly wrecks satire, because how do you write a parody of a caricature of a hoax about something this stupid? There’s seldom been a time with a greater need for a well-honed sense of the absurd, but admit it: it’s hard to laugh at what we know is ridiculous, but also pathetic and dangerous.
There were few critics who have topped H.L. Mencken’s dim view of political idiocy: “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last,” he wrote presciently, “and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
Today, Trump explained that he was just pulling a sarcastic prank on reporters. It was, in Orange Man’s own words, a “very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside.”
Jonathan Chait observes,
In this case, Trump does not seem to be saying it was a haha joke, but some kind of serious prank, in which he would float a completely preposterous idea and see if he could get the White House media to report it as news. The prank required Trump to maintain a completely deadpan demeanor, and to get Birx’s cooperation, and to let the untruth go uncorrected for about 18 hours before finally revealing the gag. Trump was using his briefing on a deadly pandemic that has killed 50,000 Americans already for an Andy Kaufman–esque ruse, with the concomitant risk that his supporters will be killed in the process.