But the other thing to recognize here is that the press was not wrong to desire heroic leaders or institutions that Got the Pandemic Right. The attempt to wish those leaders and institutions into being is a media failure, but the fact that the media looked for them is not.
In the failure to find them, and in the substitution of figures who ended up exposed as corrupt or just incompetent, we can see once again the importance of thinking about how we got Trump in the first place.
Our society’s sickness may be particularly acute in Trump worship, but the affliction is more general. The stink of failure hangs over the liberal and cosmopolitan as well the populist and provincial, the “cuomosexual” parts of the media as well the conservative. And as we hopefully approach the end of this particular emergency, it’s not only Trump’s enablers but a much wider range of leaders and authorities who should feel shame at the stark and shocking number of the dead.