Vice President Mike Pence’s office has blocked CNN’s access to administration health officials over the way the network has covered the Coronavirus Task Force daily briefings.
For the past week, Pence’s office has refused to make available health officials, such as Drs. Deborah Birx or Anthony Fauci, for appearances on CNN, according to the network. CNN has frequently refused to air the opening portion of President Trump’s daily press briefings, only to cut in when Trump begins taking question from reporters. As CNN reports:
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.
The White House has approved two non-health officials, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and White House economic adviser Peter Navarro, to appear on CNN within the past week. Pence’s office has not blacklisted any other network from bringing on administration officials.
“When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials, then you can expect them back on your air,” a Pence spokesperson told CNN.
Trump has conducted daily Coronavirus Task Force press briefings since late March, bringing in various department heads and experts in his administration to showcase how the government is working to slow the spread of the pathogen. During the briefings, he often gets into contentious exchanges with members of the press.
Trump touted the briefings’ ratings on in a pair of tweets on Wednesday, comparing the briefings to Monday Night Football and The Bachelor.
“The Radical Left Democrats have gone absolutely crazy that I am doing daily Presidential News Conferences. They actually want me to STOP! They used to complain that I am not doing enough of them, now they complain that I ‘shouldn’t be allowed to do them,’” Trump said.
“They tried to shame the Fake News Media into not covering them, but that effort failed because the ratings are through the roof according to, of all sources, the Failing New York Times, ‘Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale’ type numbers (& sadly, they get it $FREE). Trump Derangement Syndrome!” the president added.
…the Fake News Media into not covering them, but that effort failed because the ratings are through the roof according to, of all sources, the Failing New York Times, “Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale” type numbers (& sadly, they get it $FREE). Trump Derangement Syndrome!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
The media at large received mixed reviews on its handling of the coronavirus last month. A Gallup poll of 536 adults conducted between March 13-22 found that 44% of Americans approve of the media’s work, while 55% disapproved. The Pew Research Center surveyed 11,537 adults in its American Trends Panel between March 19-24, finding that 54% of adults said the media has done an excellent or good job while 46% rated the media’s coverage as fair or poor.
Trump’s average approval rating has fallen about two points since a high of over 47% in late March in the early stages of the government’s coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic. It now sits at 45.2%, according to Real Clear Politics.
Author: Tim Pearce
Source: Daily Wire: Pence Blacklists CNN After Network Cut Back Airtime For Coronavirus Briefings