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You are here News Journalism & Media CNN and MSNBC Staff Push Back on Airing Trump’s Coronavirus ‘Lies’

CNN and MSNBC Staff Push Back on Airing Trump’s Coronavirus ‘Lies’

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The nation’s television news outlets, especially the three major cable-news networks, are grappling with a nagging paradox as President Donald Trump continues to orchestrate his White House briefings on the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On the one hand, their ratings have never been higher, and viewers’ appetites for the live sessions have shown no signs of dwindling. On the other hand, journalists and executives at MSNBC, CNN, and the often Trump-friendly Fox News—which scored an impressive 6.2 million viewers for Sunday’s installment of the Trump show, according to Nielsen—are increasingly facing the likelihood that they are becoming an uncritical and unvetted transmission belt for propaganda and misinformation.

“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,” wrote Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, summarizing such concerns. “Rather, they have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to captive audience members. They come in search of life-or-death information, but here’s what they get from him instead: Self-aggrandizement… Media-bashing… Exaggeration and outright lies.”

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