A month ago, I wrote a piece urging cable networks to stop airing Trump’s daily
press conferences propaganda sessions live. In fact, I went further, saying that the reporters in the room should get up and walk out en masse the moment the Liar-In-Chief begins berating any of them.
Now, in a NY Times op-ed, Charles M. Blow reiterates those points, adding that carrying them without a filter only provides Trump with free media exposure, just like in 2016, when he received more unexpurgated coverage than all the other candidates — Democrats plus Republicans — combined. That’s a mistake that must not be repeated. To bolster his point, Blow quotes one of the wisest elder statesmen of journalism:
I shudder to think how much “earned media” the media is simply shoveling Trump’s way by airing these briefings, which can last up to two hours a day.
Let me be clear: Under no circumstance should these briefings be carried live. Doing so is a mistake bordering on journalistic malpractice. Everything a president does or says should be documented but airing all of it, unfiltered, is lazy and irresponsible.
As the veteran anchor Ted Koppel told The New York Times last month, “Training a camera on a live event, and just letting it play out, is technology, not journalism; journalism requires editing and context.” He continued, “The question, clearly, is whether his status as president of the United States obliges us to broadcast his every briefing live.” His answer was “no.”