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Media flummoxed by White House briefings

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Media flummoxed by White House briefings

Media flummoxed by White House briefings
April 01
19:38 2020

God forbid we should hear from the President directly.  Every day the White House holds a press and public briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak.  President Trump participates in most of them to give an overview and to respond to reporters’ questions.

Let us ponder that last point a bit more.  The press craves access to the President of the United States.  In the past, their common complaint was a lack of access.  As much as he is a critic of a lot of the reporting – especially by a few very biased news outlets – Trump has been more available to the press than any President in history.  It is not even close.

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In addition to the President, these briefings feature key medical professionals serving on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.  It includes some of the most respected medical authorities in the nation according to people on all sides of the issue.

Because of the importance of the issue and the unique role of the members of the Task Force, I have repeatedly recommended that every American should watch these briefings from beginning to end.  As the expression goes, you get the information “from the horse’s mouth.”

Initially, the major cable news outlets would air the briefings from beginning to end – usually running between an hour and two hours.  The most valuable portion was the detailed information presented by the participants.  The least valuable information was in response to the questions from the White House press corps.

For the most part, the reporters in the room asked gotcha questions – hoping to find some response that could be interpreted, twisted and spun into a criticism of Trump.  Other questions were designed to promote the appearance of division and disharmony between Trump and the respected medical authorities.

If you watched the entire briefing, you would discover that there is very little disparity between what Trump says and what the top medical authorities say.  Dr. Anthony Fauci – the principal spokesperson on medical issues – even warned the press, not to intimate any schisms on the administration team.

Still … much of the post-briefing reports continued with the debunked anti-Trump narratives.  They edit comments to make it APPEAR that Trump and Fauci were not agreeing – when in fact they do.  They often ignore much of what Trump said that does not support their preconceived anti-Trump campaigns.

The problem the left-wing media faces is that the millions of people who watch the briefings can see the gross dishonesty of the folks on MSNBC and CNN.  Perhaps this is partially why Trump’s ratings have been going up and up even as the media folks in New York and Washington are constantly beating up on him.

And if you are not convinced that the press is beating up on him, consider this.  In one half hour on MSNBC the entire time was devoted to criticizing Trump’s handling of one facet or another the of Coronavirus issue.  He was referenced negatively — by name or title – 67 times.

Apparently, the press has come to see their problem.  Their own credibility and the partisan political narratives are at risk when we the people can hear directly from the President and the top medical officials.  So ……. In anticipation of their next move, they started to mischaracterize the briefings as “Trump rallies.”  You cannot make this stuff up.

That led to the folks at CNN and MSNBC to stop full coverage of the Task Force briefings.  In other words, we should not hear the actual words and reports of the Task Force – the top medical experts — but only the mendacious interpretations concocted by the producers of television news and the editors at the newspapers.

It is what MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski blurted out when people were not buying the reading of her script.  “It is our (the media’s) job to tell the people what to think.”  That is exactly the sentiment that has led the major television news services to censor the briefings of the Task Force.

In one case, I flipped between a station airing the Task Force and MSNBC.  The latter had gone back to studio programming (Trump bashing).  As Vice President Pence talked of the improving situation with the manufacturing and distribution of ventilators and Hazmat suits, MSNBC was blasting the President for “a deadly shortage of ventilators.”  The criticism was being advanced by armchair media authorities even though every mayor and governor said that they had not yet run short.  They were concerned about the future.

While Fauci was agreeing that they could be looking at relaxing restrictions in some regions if the data supported that decision (exactly what Trump said), MSNBC was peddling the false narrative that Trump wanted to relax restrictions everywhere in the near future.  They then harshly condemned Trump on the bases of the strawman argument they had created.

The level of MSNBC’s distortion of the facts was astounding – but not surprising.  When the press talks about confusion or chaos, it is the confusion and chaos that THEY cause with their inaccurate reporting.  It is caused by different networks creating their own inconsistent narratives.

If the press was really committed to INFORMING the public instead of CONVINCING the public, they would air the Task House briefings in full.  It does not seem like too much of a burden for stations that fill up 24 hours of airtime with repetitious reports.  But the sad truth is they do not want us to hear what the key players have to say.  They want only to interpret and spin them.

I go back to my previously stated advice.  Watch the briefings where you can – and then turn to the movie channel before the elitist news media tells YOU what you should think.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Phil in TX
    Phil in TX April 04, 12:47

    AMEN! I have only to watch one of the network’s nightly news programs to see the blatant hippocracy in their reporting. Lie after lie after lie, all twisted around to make our President look bad. They can’t help themselves because they are in the pocket of the DNC and other Democratic fundraising organizations. Bought and paid for!

    Phil in TX

    Reply to this comment

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