CNN Refuses To Air Live White House Briefing, Opting For Regular Programing Instead

CNN Refuses To Air Live White House Briefing, Opting For Regular Programing Instead [Opinion]

CNN has taken its first shot at Donald Trump’s new administration, opting out of airing the White House news briefing live. This comes nearly a week after Donald Trump scornfully accused CNN of being “fake news” and refused to take a question from CNN’s White House correspondent.

There is an inherent threat to the freedom of the press in the Trump administration floating around, with rumors and reports circulating that Donald Trump is looking at removing the White House press corps and opting for other alternatives, such as relocating them. This could have also been a determining factor for executives at CNN for not taking the first press briefing live from Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, as reported by Variety.

There could also be a much greater statement that comes out of this from CNN, which essentially “one up’ed” Donald Trump for his humiliating comments made at last week’s press conference. The message here could be that CNN is refusing to air fake news, instead opting for a delayed air of news coming from the White House so that it may filter out anything that has no relevance, or potentially false news.

Variety spoke with Danna Young, an associate professor at the University of Delaware, who regularly studies politics and its relationship with the media. Danna had an interesting interpretation of CNN’s decision not to air the White House press briefing live.

“CNN’s decision to not air the press conference live illustrates a recognition that the role of the press must be different under Trump. When the White House holds press briefings to promote demonstrably false information and refuses to take questions, then press ‘access’ becomes meaningless at best and complicit at worst,” Danna Young said. “Democracy works best when journalists have access to the executive branch, of course. But that holds true if and only if that access leads to verifiable, accurate information. The decision on behalf of CNN to wait and verify before airing it live suggests that the media are adapting quickly to this new era.”

On the flipside of the incident, CNN did not make a bad choice after all. If CNN were trying to keep fake news, or falsehoods, off their air, they certainly made the right decision following the press briefing that featured Sean Spicer denigrating the press for airing coverage of the audience that turned out for the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Sean Spicer repeatedly attacked the media for airing coverage that he claimed was false. Spicer then claimed that the inauguration of Donald Trump turned out the “largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.”

In the end, Sean Spicer’s comments during the first Donald Trump press briefing from the White House proved to be a falsehood and the media has reported on it extensively Sunday, which led to an instance where Donald Trump aide Kellyanne Conway cited Spicer’s comments as “alternative facts.” Of course, that has led to a firestorm of social media memes and hashtags making fun of Conway for the remark.

When CNN opted out of airing the live White House press briefing, they instead ran their normal programming for Saturday night and used only the newsworthy components of the press briefing to air during later hours.

Apparently, the only thing about the Donald Trump news briefing that was “newsworthy” was the false comments by Sean Spicer, which has been all over several media networks on TV, radio, print, and the web.

There has been no comment from senior officials at CNN about the incident, nor whether or not they have an operating policy moving forward on how they will handle press briefings from Donald Trump.

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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