Take his mike away
More and more each day, President Trump is using his daily briefings as a substitute for the campaign rallies that have been forced into extinction by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
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.
Rather, they have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to captive audience members …
“There is a very real possibility that in broadcasting these press conferences live or in quickly publishing and blasting out his words in mobile alerts, we are actively misinforming our audience,” Alex Koppelman, managing editor of CNN Business, wrote in an email for the network’s Reliable Sources newsletter.
Koppelman stopped short of overtly calling for the radical solution. That’s not so for Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York University who wrote on his PressThink blog that the media needs to switch into “emergency mode”for covering Trump and clearly communicate that change to its readers and viewers.
“We are not obliged to assist him in misinforming the American public about the spread of the virus, and what is actually being done by his government,” Rosen wrote.
The news media, at this dangerous and unprecedented moment in world history, must put the highest priority on getting truthful information to the public.
Taking Trump’s press conferences as a live feed works against that core purpose.