‘When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Vice President Mike Pence has said he will block health officials, including Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, from appearing on CNN if the network refuses to air additional portions of the daily White House 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.
Pence, who the officially oversees the White House Coronavirus Task Force, chided the network for airing only the question-and-answer portion of the briefings while cutting away before the two leading pandemic experts spoke in order to devote time to “fact-checking” President Donald Trump’s statements.
That typically includes cutting away from Pence’s own segment of the briefings as well.
Left wing media—including CNN, MSNBC and even some public broadcasting affiliates—have sought to smear Trump, claiming he has mishandled the coronavirus response and spread misinformation while attempting to justify their kneejerk disdain for the briefings.
The public approval for Trump’s handling of the crisis has been high, prompting some—such as MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Rachel Maddow—to declare that media should boycott the briefings altogether.
According to CNN, though, there was another underlying issue: A network executive acknowledged that broadcasting the non-Trump parts were simply too boring and tedious.
Instead of the dry and erudite analysis of the other task force members, the executive conceded, CNN viewers prefered to hear the sensationalist, left-tinged commentary of its anchors.
“[T]he 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 said.
Ironically, Fauci has become something of a folk hero and media darling for the Trump-bashing Left due to his second-guessing of Trump’s statements, both during the briefings and in interviews.
Some of Fauci’s own projections have proven false, such as his quick dismissal of the drug hydroxychloroquine, on which he urged restraint despite Trump’s robust advocacy. Considerable anecdotal evidence suggests the anti-malaria medication has been extremely effective in treating some critically ill coronavirus patients.
Fauci appeared in five CNN town halls prior to the vice president’s ban being implemented, reported the network.
CNN complained that it was being targeted for unfair treatment due to its ongoing feud with the Trump administration.
“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,” it griped.
Trump and Pence likewise had refused to make themselves available for interview, CNN added.
The president has “declined CNN’s repeated requests for an interview, instead appearing only on Fox News for softball interviews multiple times during the national emergency,” it said.