As President Donald Trump reaches record-high approval ratings for his handling of the coronavirus and overall job performance, a growing number of liberal news networks have begun bailing out on his daily press briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Daily Beast, journalists and executives at NBC and CNN are beginning to call for the networks to stop broadcasting the sessions with some privately telling reporters they believe Trump is benefiting politically from them.
Who's calling for this?
Among the most outspoken figures insisting the news organizations begin filtering Trump's comments or end transmitting them entirely are MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Rachel Maddow.
On Monday, Scarborough tweeted there was "no public benefit to this briefing," and said the cable network should "cut away." Maddow has echoed similar calls for censorship, under the guise the president's daily briefings are misleading the public.
"If it were up to me, and it's not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV," she said on her show last week.
MSNBC employees are also concerned they may be unwittingly contributing to Trump's re-election.
"Sunday was like open-mic night," a staffer told the Daily Beast, adding that Trump might be benefiting politically from 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."
Meanwhile, one news agency has already decided to stop their live transmissions. A public radio station in Washington state, KUOW-FM, will no longer air the White House's press briefings on the coronavirus "due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time."
The calls to censor the president's daily coronavirus briefings could be the result of numerous polls showing Americans rallying around him during the national crisis. A Gallup study released Tuesday found that 49% of Americans approve of Trump's overall job performance, matching the highest figure ever of his presidency.
Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones noted:
Trump's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic may be behind his higher overall approval rating. Americans give the president generally positive reviews for his handling of the situation, with 60% approving and 38% disapproving. Ninety-four percent of Republicans, 60% of independents and 27% of Democrats approve of his response.
The poll also found that Americans are likely to trust the Trump administration and Congress' handling of the situation than they are the media. Only 44% of the survey's respondents approve of the news media's response to coronavirus, while 55% disapprove. This is compared to 60% and 61% who said the same of Trump and Pence, respectively.
A Harris Insights study found similar results with 50% of Americans approve of the job the country's 45th commander-in-chief is doing as president.