The Seattle Police Officers Guild criticized Thursday night the recent decision of the local National Public Radio station’s decision to stop broadcasting the daily White House coronavirus task force briefings.
“In light of the recent decisions made by a public news affiliate, SPOG will be live streaming all the White House’s press COVID-19 briefings on our social media channels,” SPOG president Mike Solan said in a statement. “This is not a time to play partisan politics. Seattle 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.” (RELATED: Here’s What Every State Is Doing To Combat Coronavirus)
However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time. (2)
— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) March 24, 2020
“We, at SPOG, see COVID-19 as a public safety issue and are continuing to do all we can to serve you and protect lives in our community,” he added, echoing sentiment expressed by the White House on NPR’s decision.
“It’s not surprising, but also a failure of their duty to the American people, that some media outlets would choose to block their audiences from receiving accurate, up-to-date information on President Trump’s whole-of-government approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told Daily Caller. “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.”
Multiple news outlets have signaled they could stop broadcasting the task force briefings in full.
Producers at both CNN and NBC told the Daily Beast the briefings contain “misinformation” from President Donald Trump that cannot be fact-checked live. “We might take it from the top and then cut away after the first lie, and return when the lies stop,” on producer claimed.
“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,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow suggested. “Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”