A distressing development now is apparently taking place within this country. That being a growing number of corporate news networks have begun bailing out on President Donald Trump’s daily press briefings.
Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist reported yesterday:
A brand new Gallup study — “Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst” — was particularly bad news. When Americans were asked about nine different institutions and political leaders, they gave majority approval to all but the media. President Trump has a 22-point net approval rating while the media’s net approval rating was negative 11 points. The RealClearPolitics approval average for Trump was its highest during his entire presidency.
As Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote, “These White House sessions—ostensibly meant to give the public critical and truthful information about this frightening crisis—are in fact working against that end.” Along with, “Rather, they have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to captive audience members. They come in search of life-or-death information, but here’s what they get from him instead: Self-aggrandizement… Media-bashing… Exaggeration and outright lies.”
One source from NBC News, however, said the White House briefings should be not be ignored, but instead thoroughly covered and aired, albeit with journalistic vetting and fact checking. “I completely get the criticism of the performance.” Then added, “But let’s remember that the White House press corps absolutely torched the Trump White House for eliminating the daily briefings. Now there’s a high-profile daily press briefing that often includes the president and vice president, so you can’t have it both ways.”
An Asian American reporter pressed the president—who has habitually referred to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus”—what he’s doing to combat hate crimes against people of Asian heritage. As Trump stated, “Well, I don’t know. All I know is this: Asian Americans in our country are doing fantastically well. I’m very close to them, as you know. And they’re doing fantastically well. And I think they appreciate the job we’re doing.”
The Federalist piece further told:
While it’s true that good journalists will provide context, that’s precisely what’s been missing in their histrionic and sensationalized coverage of this global pandemic. They share aggregate numbers to inflame passions, they highlight poor performing hospitals and blame the coronavirus, even though the same hospitals were overwhelmed previously, they peddle faulty models that incite horrific panic.
What the media instead are realizing is that they have lost control over the filtering that they are used to providing. They seek to spin the news rather than simply show it and report it. And they justify their bias as being part of a higher calling in the journalism profession as opposed to a glaring failure.
Is this going too far?