The segments are also conceived to dress up the president’s image, and his reality. After a week of testimonies to Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s empathy, they show Mr. Trump smiling, congratulating, giving. They also smear Vaseline on the lens of his policy positions. His administration has been boldly putting restrictions on legal, not just illegal, immigration — but just look at these five lucky winners!
And putting Mr. Trump in close contact with his guests does visually what much of the convention has verbally: pretend like the pandemic is over. Even the meeting with essential workers took place with no masks, and no real social distancing.
You can say that staging the segments this way is irresponsible for public health. (It is.) That might have political costs, too.
Assuming viewers aren’t ensorcelled into forgetting that Covid-19 exists, they’re seeing the president indulging in the kind of behavior they’ve been asked, for months, to forego for the public good — even lately, if only occasionally, by Mr. Trump himself.