President Donald J. Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at a coronavirus update briefing Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
America’s crankiest stepchild, CNN, has been stomping their feet lately and refusing to cover the President’s daily briefings because they don’t like the things he says and other very mature reasons. In response, Vice President Pence – who is leading the coronavirus task force – has denied the outlet access to their top officials.
In a report on Thursday morning, CNN’s Oliver Darcy characterized the move as an “attempt to pressure the network into carrying the White House’s lengthy daily briefings in full.” Darcy believes cutting out the President’s and Vice President’s commentary but cutting back in to cover health officials is enough due diligence.
CNN often only broadcasts President Donald Trump’s question and answer session, which sometimes includes the health care officials, live on-air.After Trump leaves the podium, CNN frequently cuts out of the White House briefing to discuss and fact-check what the President had said. A CNN executive said that the network usually returns to such programming because of the extensive length of the full briefing that includes Pence, which can run in excess of two hours.
CNN did, however, air the vice president’s portion of the briefing Wednesday night.
But Pence’s office does not believe CNN has earned the privilege of hosting commentary from the likes of Birx and Fauci unless they are willing to get the entire story each day from start to finish. A spokesperson for the Pence team released a statement telling the news network that they can expect to interview top officials when they start covering the daily briefings.
“When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,” a Pence spokesperson told CNN.
Fauci, Birx, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Surgeon General Jerome Adams have all appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox during the last week, despite the fact that the broadcast networks have generally not covered the briefings that have included the vice president and health officials.
But the Vice President’s office has blocked all CNN appearances since last Thursday night.
CNN made its reputation during the Gulf War by being the first network to provide wall-to-wall coverage. It is truly a wonder to see how they have devolved into a “journalistic” institution that refuses to give the same type of coverage to this new war. Instead of giving their viewers all the information and letting them decide for themselves, the powers that be at CNN have decided they know better.
If CNN feels they are doing their viewing public a good service by withholding commentary from our national leaders at a time like this, it only makes sense that the head of the task force to fight coronavirus would, in turn, withhold commentary from CNN. After all, if CNN isn’t going to provide all the information at such a critical time, why on earth would the government trust them with an interview?