"Mr. Trump became a prime-time star through TV, a political figure through TV and a president through TV," says James Poniewozik. "But he has not, as president, had what he had with NBC’s The Apprentice: a regular TV show in which he plays an executive in control. Now, the coronavirus briefings have given him a new, live and unfiltered daily platform before a captive national audience. True to his résumé, he has conducted them as a kind of reality TV, or rather, create-your-own-reality TV. In this reality — often subject to later fact-checking by the press or to backpedaling by staff — help and needed equipment are always just around the corner. Accurate reports of his conflicts with governors over federal support are 'fake news.' And no one could have anticipated a pandemic like this, despite warnings, playbooks and public-health infrastructure intended to do exactly that. The daily coronavirus briefings, increasingly timed to run live on cable and broadcast right around the evening news, are a journey. The president begins them by soberly reading statements. (On Thursday, he gave the roll call of the G20 leadership.) He can be expansive — even, astonishingly, praising the media — and he can be peevish. ('I want them to be appreciative,' he said Friday of American governors.) In its short life, for all its dead-serious subject matter, the program has developed the structure, rhythm and characters of a weekly reality show" -- from drama and intrigue to boardroom-style conflict. ALSO: Trump tweets about New York Times' coverage of his coronavirus press conference ratings, but omits "dangerous" public health risk portion.