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Politics Networks face decision: How long to stick with Trump?

05:05  24 march  2020
05:05  24 march  2020 Source:   ap.org

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NEW YORK -- Six television networks began showing President Donald Trump 's briefing on the coronavirus outbreak late Monday, but only Fox News Channel stuck it Networks had been starting to hear criticism of how much time they have been showing the president answering questions live

Network executives wouldn't speak publicly about whether pulling away from Trump was a consideration. But in at least two network newsrooms, there was a strong thought Yet with Trump , they have a president whose staff is more used to doing battle with the press than working in concert.

NEW YORK (AP) — Six television networks began showing President Donald Trump's briefing on the coronavirus outbreak late Monday, but only Fox News Channel stuck it out to the end nearly two hours later.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It was a notable turning point in coverage of the president's now-daily briefings. Networks had been starting to hear criticism of how much time they have been showing the president answering questions live, reminiscent of a similar debate in the past about showing Trump's campaign rallies.

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Network executives wouldn't speak publicly about whether pulling away from Trump was a Yet with Trump , they have a president whose staff is more used to doing battle with the press than working in Deciding how much of a president's appearance to air is often a game of chicken, those involved say

If Republicans choose to stick with Trump then, he’ll correctly conclude that he’s above the law. But we know how public opinion works. As long as Republicans choose to stay relatively united, either in denying Just to emphasize: Trump really does appear to believe he makes “all” the decisions .

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Still, there's a difference between political rallies and a White House discussion of a national emergency.

ABC, CBS and NBC all covered Trump at the beginning of Monday's briefing, which began about 6:10 p.m. Eastern. After 20 minutes, they switched to the network evening newscasts, never to return to Trump. The president spoke until shortly after 8 p.m.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington, as Attorney General William Barr listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington, as Attorney General William Barr listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The cable news networks have given Trump blanket coverage for his briefings, but CNN cut away Monday at around 7:20 p.m. MSNBC followed within five minutes.

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Of its own decision to stop showing Trump live, CNN said that “if the White House wants to ask for time on the network, they should make an official request. Otherwise we will make our own editorial decisions.”

MSNBC, through a spokesperson, said that “we cut away because the information no longer appeared to be valuable to the important ongoing discussion around public health.”

The network's top star, Rachel Maddow, had said Friday night that television networks should no longer show Trump live. She cited examples of what she called false or misleading statements the president had made in past briefings, from general suggestions that the government had the virus under control to more specific discussions about drug treatments.

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On Monday night, as expected, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin informed House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, that he would not be handing over President Donald Trump 's tax returns.

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“All of us should stop broadcasting it, honestly,” she said. “It's going to cost lives.”

The Washington Post's media critic, Margaret Sullivan, wrote Monday that the briefings were beginning to sound like substitutes for Trump's campaign rallies, and were working against the goal of giving the public critical and truthful information.

“They have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to captive audience members,” she said.

On Monday, after he had dismissed most of the administration officials who had stood near him on the podium, Trump talked about his briefings. By then, only Fox was televising him.

“I don't want to stand here for two hours and do this but I think it's important,” he said. “I call it getting it out of your system. We don't want to just answer two questions and leave.”

He said some of the questions were repetitive, but others were good and led to problems being solved.

“At least you can say I'm very transparent,” he said.

He spoke to an emptier room of reporters. More space has been placed between reporters since it was revealed that one correspondent had a suspected case of the disease.

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Mitt Romney’s decision to hold a high-profile event with Donald Trump , whose buffoonish claims about President Jason Zengerle wrote a fantastic profile of Fehrnstrom in GQ not long ago, and the dominant personality +Comments Leave a Comment. Why Romney Decided to Stick With Trump .

The briefings have attracted public interest, perhaps in part due to more people being at home and able to watch. For the three cable news networks, five Trump briefings last week each had more than double the audience the networks had for the same time period a year earlier, the Nielsen company said.

For example, Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC attracted 8.28 million viewers for Trump's briefing Friday, nearly half of them watching Fox. The audience for those networks a year earlier was 2.82 million, Nielsen said.

“When people are tuning in in droves to watch a news event, that tells you that they're interested in it — and you have to pay attention to that,” said Jonathan Klein, a former CNN president.

One option for news executives worried that Trump might try to mislead the public could be to air briefings on tape delay so inaccuracies could be pointed out, he said.

Given the importance of the story, though, “I don't think they have a choice” but to air the briefings, said Klein, who spoke in an interview shortly after Monday's session began.

White House Will Not Reopen Obamacare Enrollment for Virus .
President Donald Trump will not reopen the Obamacare exchanges to allow uninsured Americans to purchase health care coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, a White House official said Tuesday night. © Bloomberg   The decision comes after the president said last week he was considering a special enrollment period to allow individuals to purchase insurance during the crisis -- a move that had been endorsed by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade organization representing health insurers.

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