Station Says They'll Stop Airing Trump's Live Virus Briefings To Protect People
Seattle, WA – A Seattle public radio station has announced that it will no longer air President Donald Trump’s live COVID-19 briefings due to an alleged “pattern of false or misleading information.”
KUOW released a statement about the decision to sensor the President’s daily live addresses on Wednesday.
“We will continue to cover these briefings – but believe it is imperative that they are fact-checked, which is a challenge during a live broadcast,” the radio station said. “KUOW weighs each decision about preempting regular programming individually, based on perceived news value in the moment and whether a preemption is of the highest value to our local audience.”
KUOW denied allegations that the move was “politically based.”
“After airing the White House briefings live for two weeks, a pattern of false information and exaggeration increasingly had many at KUOW questioning whether these briefings were in the best service of our mission—to create and serve a more informed public,” the radio station’s statement read.
KUOW said it was especially concerned about the “potential impact of false information on the health and safety” of the community.
The radio station said it decided to nix the live broadcasts due to alleged “exaggerations and false information” President Trump made regarding chloroquine, empty store shelves, and the amount of foresight officials had pertaining to the looming pandemic.
KUOW said it will continue to share “relevant” information from the briefings “in the format most useful to our listeners.”
“KUOW will continue to treat all opportunities for live preemption on a case-by-case basis weighing for importance, news value and immediacy of need-to-know,” the statement concluded.
On Thursday, Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) President Mike Solan said that COVID-19 is a public safety issue that should not be politicized.
“In light of the recent decisions made by a local public news affiliate, SPOG will be live streaming all the White House’s press COVID-19 briefings on our social media channels,” Solan said in a statement.
“This is not a time to play partisan politics,” he admonished. “Seattle’s community members deserve the most up to date information during this crisis; this includes life saving medical information from our nation’s Surgeon General and top doctors.”
SPOG said it will continue to do everything in its power to protect and serve, to include live-streaming all White House briefings for the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere said it was “not surprising” that certain media outlets “would choose to block their audiences from receiving accurate, up-to-date information” regarding how the federal government is working to slow the spread of the pandemic, The Hill reported.
By censoring the briefings, such outlets are also failing to fulfill their “duty to the American people,” Deere added.
“No other Administration has been as transparent and as accessible as this one, and we will continue to make sure this Nation hears from its leaders and top health experts during this global pandemic,” he told The Hill.
On Monday night, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC and CNN all cut away from Trump’s briefing – some after just 20 minutes, Business Insider reported.
FOX News covered the briefing in its entirety.