In the same vein as their coverage of Donald Trump’s innumerable rallies in the lead-up to the midterm election last year, MSNBC made an executive decision today to refuse to air a press briefing which was announced by Sarah Sanders a mere 3 minutes before it was to begin, and at which Donald Trump himself would be making an appearance.
It’s rare for a network not to televise a press briefing, but if the reasoning is the same for MSNBC as during “rally season” for the President, their major concern is being able to fact-check the commander in chief — a lack of which Trump relied on to hold successful rallies. During those gatherings, the daily average of lies that Trump told most generally skyrocketed, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker, which has now recorded well upwards of 7,000 lies told by the President in just under two years in the Oval Office.
Kyle Griffin, the producer of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, first announced the network’s breakaway from the broadcast:
MSNBC has broken away from the Trump briefing appearance.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 3, 2019
As it turned out, it was a wise decision on the network’s part, if the impetus for them not broadcasting it was to refuse airtime to unvetted and possibly propagandist material from the White House. That’s largely what the briefing consisted of, with the President gathering in some Border Patrol agents and everyone basically discussing how desperately a wall is needed. In other words, not any of the “news” that’s supposed to come out of a White House press briefing, but rather more arguments from the President to justify his extended government shutdown over border wall funding.
Replies to Griffin’s tweet were almost entirely some variation of “switching from CNN to MSNBC right now,” and “good for them!” Perhaps other networks will pick up on both the popularity and the propriety of MSNBC’s decision.
Featured image via screen capture