Trump on Monday announced he would resume his daily coronavirus briefings that became made-for-television events from March through April. As James Poniewozik notes, Trump did something similar after The Apprentice's first season had monster ratings. "The finale of the first season of The Apprentice in 2004 was the top-rated show on TV," says Poniewozik. "Afterward the host, finally a mass-media star after decades of courting fame, believed that giving people twice as much of him would be twice as good. NBC agreed, scheduling the show for two cycles the following year (and then a spinoff with Martha Stewart). The Apprentice that returned was more Trump-centric, the host more brash, loud and insulting, his boardroom firings more dramatic and stunt-filled. Mr. Trump himself took to the talk- and comedy-show circuit like a starlet in Oscar season, appearing in ads and on red carpets delivering his trademark “You’re fired” finger-point and sneer. He was everywhere. It didn’t work. The ratings declined, first gradually, then precipitously." Poniewozik says the original daily coronavirus briefings offered Trump "a regular TV platform in which he could speak to a mass audience beyond his loyalist base. For a moment, they allowed him to create the visual impression that he was acting on the pandemic, by going out and speaking on it. For a moment, his approval ratings — and TV ratings — went up. But what you do with the attention turns out to matter, at least when the stakes are hundreds of thousands of lives, not a game-show prize. It matters if you suggest that household disinfectants could be a medical treatment. It matters if you go to war with your own medical experts. It matters if you minimize, on Page 1, a terrible reality that everyone can read about for themselves in the obituaries. Judging by the president’s decision, he doesn’t see this as the problem. Instead the problem is not enough him on TV, giving the people what worked for him before — zinging, blustering, pointing fingers and fighting. His plan to return to prime time was not accompanied by an announced shift in public-health policy. The thinking simply seems to be: People want to see the president doing something. And to Donald Trump, going on TV is the doing-somethingest thing of all."