Speaking to listeners on his radio show Friday, Sean Hannity briefly addressed the controversy surrounding cable news networks’ decisions to air President Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus press briefings.
But while producers and journalists at CNN and MSNBC have expressed concern about Trump daily spreading misinformation to the American people, the Fox News host has another idea about why they might not want to give free airtime to the president’s rants.
Hannity was going off on the “mob in the media” when he attempted to get in the head of the president’s critics at any news outlet that is not Fox. “Well, maybe we shouldn't cover these press conferences, he's doing too well, he looks too presidential, he's actually doing all of these things,” he imagined them thinking.
The Fox host appears to be confused on two counts.
One, members of the press complaining about Trump’s press conferences are primarily concerned about their inherent lack of value to viewers.
Rachel Maddow, Hannity’s time slot competition on MSNBC, put it best on her show this week when she explained, “If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV Not out of spite, but because it’s misinformation. 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. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”
Secondly, despite the protestations of on-air talent like Maddow, Joe Scarborough and others, MSNBC and CNN have continued to air the press conferences nearly in their entirety on a daily basis, likely because they continue to generate impressive ratings.