Multiple media personalities are calling on networks not to cover the Trump administration’s daily coronavirus briefings live, arguing President Donald Trump spreads misinformation and too often injects politics into them.
This is the same liberal media that said the Trump administration was denying Americans the information they deserve by ending the practice of the daily news briefing prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“In previous administrations, regular press briefings have been a centerpiece of the White House communications operation by which the White House both advances their public messaging and engages in a a regular exchange of information with the media on the pressing issues of the day,” ABC News reported.
Methinks the real reason the media don’t want to put the president and his administration officials on the air now is the fear that 2016 will repeat itself.
The then-New York businessman and reality television star was able to dominate the media coverage, and enough Americans liked what the heard to carry him to a rather comfortable victory.
Gallup reported this week that Trump matched the highest approval rating of his presidency at 49 percent, up 5 percentage points from earlier in the month.
Meanwhile, 60 percent approve of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, and no doubt those daily briefings are helping that approval number.
The liberal media clearly do not want to be a party to Trump’s upward trajectory.
President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is up to 49% amid the COVID-19 situation. https://t.co/ViU3RsLMuC
— GallupNews (@GallupNews) March 24, 2020
The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan wrote in a piece headlined, “The media must stop live-broadcasting Trump’s dangerous, destructive coronavirus briefings,” arguing that the president is using the briefings as a “substitute for [his] campaign rallies.”
Most American adults have likely seen at least part of one of these briefings at this point.
They follow a typical pattern: Trump gives introductory remarks, followed by other administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence (point man for the coronavirus task force), as well as experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force’s coordinator.
They are not a substitute for Trump’s campaign rallies; however, the briefings do convey the most up-to-date information on the federal response to the pandemic outbreak.
One of the issues Sullivan and others in the media have taken issue with is the president trumpeting the promising results physicians are seeing in patients treated with the anti-malaria drug chloroquine.
The columnist put that in the category of Trump exaggerating or spreading lies.
“It hasn’t been approved for this use, and there is not yet enough evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness in fighting the virus,” Sullivan wrote.
Tell that to the doctors and patients who have been testifying on television and social media everyday about its effectiveness in saving lives:
?Actor Daniel Dae Kim credits the drug Hydroxychloroquine (the drug president Trump has been talking about) in his #Coronavirus recovery
?Could this be the antidote?
?Of course MSM is trying to refute this guy before he gives ANYONE hope or makes Donald Trump look good! pic.twitter.com/bkqVJUsvYY
— ????Trump Noodle?? (@trump_noodle) March 23, 2020
MSNBC’s finest — Rachel Maddow and Joe Scarborough — have also called for Trump’s briefings not be aired live.
“If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV. Not out of spite, but because it’s misinformation,” Maddow said on her program Friday night.
“If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape,” she added.
“But if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should, all of us should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”
In a Tuesday tweet, Maddow shared another Washington Post column also bemoaning Trump’s positive talk about the “unproven drug” chloroquine.
“During these briefings, Trump has lied that the virus is ‘something that we have tremendous control over’.”
“He has promoted an unproven drug treatment.”
“He is spreading misinformation that could actually put people’s lives in danger.”https://t.co/mRyZwodeHL
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 24, 2020
Of course, Scarborough had to get in on the Trump bashing.
“There is no public benefit to this briefing. The networks should all cut away,” he tweeted Monday.
There is no public benefit to this briefing. The networks should all cut away.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 23, 2020
I noticed on Thursday that CNN did in fact cutaway during the briefing, while Fox News and MSNBC carried it in full.
While Pence was speaking, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and the network’s medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, prattled on about how early on in the crisis in mid-February, when there were 15 confirmed cases in the U.S., Trump said he wanted to get that down to zero.
If Barack Obama had said exactly the same thing as president, would CNN be covering it as a failure in leadership or as chief executive’s aspirational goal as he came to grips with the crisis at hand?
Trump’s COVID briefings are informative.
The president takes time to field several questions from media during these daily briefings, so if reporters truly feel he has said something wrong, or overly optimistic, they can and have raised the issue.
The American people deserve to hear directly from the nation’s leader without the filter of the liberal media during this time of crisis.
The media should keep the best interest of the country in mind, and keep running the briefings in full.
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