This must be the third or fourth weekend in a row where I’ve led off this post with a variation of “we were supposed to be talking about X this morning but then mega-story Y happened and completely blew up the news cycle.” I mean, really:
Two weeks ago: RBG dies
One week ago: Ginsburg lies in state at the Capitol
Last Saturday: Amy Coney Barrett nominated
Sunday: Trump taxes
Tuesday: Presidential debate
Thursday: Hope Hicks tests positive
Friday: Helicopter carries POTUS to Walter Reed.
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) October 3, 2020
As I write this on Saturday morning, there’s a 99 percent chance that the lead story on Sunday morning will be the leader of the free world being hospitalized with COVID. But don’t rule out the possibility of an alien invasion on Saturday night.
“This Week” and “Meet the Press” don’t even have guests set yet. Trump’s diagnosis and the outbreak among Republican senators is a story so fast-moving that they’ve probably opted to clear the decks, take stock of where things stand on Saturday afternoon, and then start lining up medical experts to comment on the president’s prognosis. As for the remaining Sunday shows, the star guest is probably Gretchen Whitmer, whose emergency coronavirus powers were just nuked by Michigan’s Supreme Court. She’ll be on “Face the Nation” and “State of the Union” to comment on that and to try to thread the needle between expressing sympathy for Trump and scolding him for not taking precautions against infection, especially for the sake of the people around him.
Elsewhere, Nancy Pelosi will appear on “Face the Nation” to discuss the state of stimulus negotiations. With Trump needing something to try to jolt the presidential race, a last-minute deal to keep money flowing to Americans seems likelier than ever. And top Biden aide Symone Sanders will be on “State of the Union” to discuss the state of the campaign, the prospects of debates two and three happening, and how you run against a man who’s in the hospital without seeming like you’re exploiting an unfair advantage. The full line-up is at the AP.