America’s largest news outlets will be reducing coverage of President Donald Trump’s Wuhan Virus press briefings.
Although such a move has sparked tons of internal debate. Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast notes that “On the one hand, their ratings have never been higher, and viewers’ appetites for the live sessions have shown no signs of dwindling.”
He also pointed out that “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. ”
Despite complaints from producers and journalists throughout the week, the bigwigs at MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News decided to air Trump’s press briefings on March 26, 2020;
Several establishment journalists have been critical of the press briefings and believe that they are becoming conduits for 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,” sustained Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan. “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.”
Some of MSNBC’s leading anchors have already made the case for not airing Trump’s briefings.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made a tweet during Trump’s briefing on March 23, 2020 saying that there was “no public benefit to this briefing,” and urged the cable news networks should “cut away.” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, the network’s leading commentator, also called for news networks to stop carrying Trump’s statements live on multiple occasions. She said that the president’s daily comments help spread misinformation.
“If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV,” Maddow said earlier this week on her show. “Not out of spite, but because it’s misinformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape. But if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should, all of us should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”
An NBC News insider apparently said that the White House briefings should not be ignored but should be covered and aired instead. The caveat is that they receive journalistic vetting and fact checking.
“I completely get the criticism of the performance,” the NBC insider said. “But let’s remember that the White House press corps absolutely torched the Trump White House for eliminating the daily briefings. Now there’s a high-profile daily press briefing that often includes the president and vice president, so you can’t have it both ways.”
The NBC News insider believes that Trump should be held accountable for spreading misinformation and added: “I think the best way to handle the president in the briefing is that you handle the president like you handle the virus. He has to be contained and quarantined and his falsehoods have to be scrubbed so that they don’t rub off on you.”
. Trump’s press briefings have triggered the media so hard that they are now willing to cut away from the briefings “when newsworthy facts and figures—usually shared by federal public-health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci—give way to unsupported presidential speculation and outright falsehoods.”
“We might take it from the top and then cut away after the first lie, and return when the lies stop,” remarked one cable-network producer.
“Sunday was like open-mic night,” an MSNBC staffer remarked. The Daily Beast, adding that Trump might still be reaping the political benefits from this crisis and seeing his approval ratings rise for his leadership during the pandemic because “people want to believe he’s got this. So they crawl toward the mirage, and when they realize it’s a mirage, they eat the sand.”
“They’re so full of misinformation. Someone has already died from it,” a different MSNBC insider asserted, referencing the story of an Arizona man who took fish-tank solvent, chloroquine with phosphate, after hearing Trump praise that key ingredient in its prescription-drug form during one of his press conferences.
On Monday, both CNN and MSNBC cut coverage from Trump’s briefing after an hour, while the Fox News Channel continued airing it until the end.
“Of course they did,” a CNN employee mockingly commented. “And yesterday [Tuesday] they produced a propaganda show”—a reference to the Fox News town hall with Trump in which anchor Bill Hemmer, with the president in the White House Rose Garden, and Harris Faulkner in her makeshift home studio, asked him a series of softball questions.
Instead of doing their jobs, the mainstream media would rather cover events that fit their narratives just to spite Trump.
It’s no surprise why people are tuning out from their shows in record numbers.
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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