As Donald Trump‘s approval rating soars amid the coronavirus pandemic, Breitbart reports that some of his critics are chalking the numbers up to evening news, which they accuse of making the president appear more palatable than he is in reality.
In a piece for Press Watch released Wednesday, Dan Froomkin claimed that Trump’s press briefings, which have taken criticism for the president’s false statements, should not be aired in full.
“I totally agree that the broadcast networks shouldn’t break into regular programming to show the briefings live anymore,” he wrote. “Watching them, unfiltered, makes their viewers dumber and less safe.”
Froomkin then accused mainstream media of “cherry-picking” from Trump’s press briefings to make them more coherent.
New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie echoed Froomkin, claiming that news media edits Trump to create a false sense of coherence.
“[E]vening news broadcasts are featuring a truncated Trump who appears more competent than he is as a result of editing,” she tweeted, linking to an article from The New York Times that reported a 42 percent increase in people watching evening news this year compared to the last.
Rachel Maddow calls on TV networks to stop live broadcasting Trump's coronavirus briefings because they are full of lies and misinformation that will get people killed. pic.twitter.com/7iYQ2xSZpv
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 21, 2020
As CNN and MSNBC staffers are reportedly acknowledging the damage of spreading the purported misinformation in Trump’s press briefings, some people are fighting back. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has taken a hardline approach and did not air any sound from Trump’s press briefings on Tuesday when fact-checking the president.
Elsewhere, one cable-network producer claimed that their network is considering a new approach, The Daily Beast reported.
“We might take it from the top and then cut away after the first lie, and return when the lies stop.”
According to an NBC News insider who reportedly spoke with The Daily Beast, Trump should be cut off from media access and quarantined just like the coronavirus. The insider claimed that such an approach would ensure that Trump’s purported falsehoods do not impact the American public.
No, Trump didn't shut down the White House office on pandemics.
Here's where that misinformation is coming from—and what REALLY happened. pic.twitter.com/aH6LXZA3w1
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) March 26, 2020
Despite the push against Trump’s pressers, The Daily Beast claims that some cable staffers want to rely more heavily on live broadcasts because they’re easier to conduct in a time when many network staffers are working remotely. But even among such staffers, there is reportedly an opposition to the president’s misinformation.
“It’s a tougher call than it would be in normal times because we’re all trying to do as much remote work as possible,” said one source who does not support covering Trump’s pressers live and unfiltered.
“Live events alleviate the burden on our incredibly diminished control-room staff,” the source added.