CNN and MSNBC cut away from airing President Donald Trump’s daily CCP virus briefing when the president began airing a video that highlighted how some in the media attempted to downplay the virus earlier this year.
The video included a series of clips from CNN, Fox News, and other broadcasters. “The media minimized the risk from the start,” viewers saw, before seeing some anchors, reporters, and pundits claiming the virus was similar to the flu and likely to have little impact on the United States.
The video also highlighted actions the Trump administration has taken in response to the pandemic, including halting most travel from China and Europe, before showing Democrat and Republican governors praising the president.
CNN left the briefing room as Trump started playing the footage.
“To play a propaganda video at taxpayer expense in the White House briefing room is a new—you can insert your favorite word here in this administration,” CNN anchor John King said on air in explaining the decision.
MSNBC also stepped away from the White House.
“We are cutting into what was not a White House coronavirus briefing,” Air Melber, a host, told viewers.
Neither network immediately responded to requests for comment.
The video montage was “to keep you honest,” Trump told reporters.
“I have educated a lot of people as to the press. I would love to say we have an honest press. There would be nothing I would be more proud of if the press would work. I do not mind being criticized, but not when they are wrong, not when people have done a great job,” he added.
Trump speaks most days along with the White House Coronavirus Task Force to reporters about updates on the response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. He and the press frequently clash. The president has said he feels he is treated unfairly by reporters, while reporters repeatedly claim he lies and has done a bad job as president.
The briefings have garnered high ratings. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC began cutting away from portions of them last month.
“If the White House wants to ask for time on the network, they should make an official request. Otherwise, we will make our own editorial decisions,” CNN said in a statement at the time.
Trump has said he feels the briefings are informative and earlier Monday posted a poll showing about three in four respondents said they found them helpful and informative.
CNN was widely criticized for the chyrons, or blocks of texts emblazoned across the bottom of the screen, that it included during the time it did air the briefing on Monday. The network at one point claimed: “Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session.” Another chyron stated: “Trump melts down in angry response to reports he ignored virus warnings.”
Pictures of the chyrons were shared by a number of CNN reporters.
Trump shared a video on Twitter of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson asserting CNN actually had the meltdown, telling viewers: “Imagine the rage of the 24-year-olds in the chyron booth writing those,” Carlson said. “‘He’s so bad.’ Hilarious.”
Petr Svab contributed to this report.