March 11 marks the one-year anniversary of the last White House televised daily briefing conducted by the press secretary.
Team Trump killed the daily press briefing as part of its effort to control the political narrative and evade accountability.
Prior to that last briefing by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Trump administration had held less than half the number of daily press briefings than the Obama and Bush II White House did during their first three years in office, according to Reporters Without Borders.
The press group wants the televised press briefing back.
“On the one-year anniversary of the last official, televised White House press briefing, RWB is calling on the Trump administration and all future presidential administrations to re-establish this long-standing American democratic tradition,” Dokhi Fassihian, executive director of RWB USA, said in a statement. “President Trump’s use of ‘chopper talks’ and other press formats create the illusion of transparency, but this is smoke and mirrors. The reality is that a once-guaranteed, direct line of sight into the government has been extinguished.”
Those chopper talks held in front of the noisy Marine One, which has its blades whirring, seldom last more than a couple of minutes. They give the illusion that Trump is available to the press even while he’s on the move. RWB pans chopper talks because they are “performative, rather than substantive.”
The first White House briefing occurred in 1896 during Grover Cleveland’s administration, when a reporter for Washington Evening Star stationed himself outside the building to pick up scuttlebutt from officials entering and leaving the building. Other journalists soon followed suit.
Teddy Roosevelt invited the gang inside and gave them their own permanent space in the West Wing.
Stephanie Grisham, who succeeded Sanders, might as well turn the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room into a museum.
The public isn’t buying the misinformation spread by Donald Trump about coronavirus.
The president has said people could go to work while sick and that Covid-19 is going to mysteriously disappear as the weather warms.
He has downplayed coronavirus as just another seasonal flu and has a “hunch” that the World Health Organization’s estimate of the Covid-19 death rate is “false.”
Americans aren't falling for Trump’s sunny outlook. 90 percent of us view coronavirus as a serious threat, according to the “United States of Anxiety” survey from APCO Worldwide.
Sixty percent of Americans worry about catching Covid-19 and most of the respondents expect the virus will disrupt their workplace in 2020.
As for presidential prognostics, only 10 percent of Americans rely on Dr. Trump for information about coronavirus.
His “fake news media” are the leading sources of Covid-19 information, cited by 58 percent of respondents.
People turn to national media at twice the rate than they do the Centers for Disease Control (28 percent), which was the site of Trump’s big March 6 photo-op in which he held up a picture of the virus.
That image of the red-hatted president playing the role of scientist-in-chief will provide rich fodder for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Poor timing department. The World Travel & Tourism Council has postponed its global summit that was penciled in for late April in Mexico to the early fall as the group is optimistic that the industry, which is hammered by the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, will have begun its economic recovery by then.
WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara looks forward to hosting the summit in the autumn and expects that it will serve as a “global platform to discuss the sector’s recovery and future plans.”
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