Egomaniacs: Journalists Again Make Daily WH Coronavirus Briefing About Themselves

Daily White House Briefing

For yet another day, the American people tuning in Friday into the White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing saw another embarrassing display of self-centeredness by groaning journalists about how President Donald Trump doesn’t like them.

Along with the now-infamous exchange with NBC’s Peter Alexander, Friday’s egotists included CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, the Associated Press’s Jill Colvin, and taxpayer-funded reporter Yamiche Alcindor from PBS.

Unfortunately, both sides only moved on for a few moments because CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins decided to pause asking questions that are pertinent to the American people and their safety, she did what Jim Acosta, boss Jeffrey Zucker, and her other colleagues would want, which is fixate on her fellow journalists as an aggrieved class.

“You said the other day you compared yourself as a wartime president right now, leading the country through this pandemic that we are experiencing. Do you really think, you know, going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate when the country is going through something like this,” Collins complained.

Just like he did with Alexander, Trump unloaded (click “expand”):

TRUMP: I do because I think Peter is — you know, I’ve dealt with Peter for a long time and I think Peter is not a good journalist when it comes to fairness.

COLLINS: But he’s asking for your message to the country and you went off on Peter.

TRUMP: Oh, I think it’s a good message because the country has to understand that there is indeed, whether we like it or not, and some of the people in this room won’t like it, there’s a lot of really great news and journalism and there’s a lot of fake news out there and I hear it all and see it all and I understand it all because I’m in the midst of it. So, when somebody writes a story or does a story on television, and I know it’s false and I know it’s fake and when they say 15 sources have said and I know there’s no sources. There’s no sources. They’re just making it up, I know that and I call Pete — I call Peter out but I call other people out too. This is a time to come together, but coming together is much harder when we have dishonest journalists. It’s a very important profession that you’re in. It’s a profession that I think is incredible. I cherish it, but when people are dishonest, they truly do hurt our country.

At 12:47 p.m. Eastern, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated a previous point about the need to crack down on misinformation spread by other countries and hostile actors (i.e. Chinese state-run media spewing propaganda that’s so eagerly peddled by American journalist).

The Associated Press’s Jill Colvin interjected to kvetch with this doozy (that Pompeo ignored: “You want the American people to be coming to trusted sources of information. Does it undermine you at all when the President stands up here and attacks news outlets, calling us untrustworthy?”

And before Pompeo left the briefing, Alcindor added another entry into the NewsBusters files and provided yet another audition tape to be deemed the female Jim Acosta. Here’s how part of that went (click “expand”):

ALCINDOR: Mr. Secretary, what — what message do you think it sends to other countries when you have the presence of the United States lashing out at reporters?

POMPEO: I have had my frustrations with reporters too. All I ask when I talk to the media is that you listen to what we say and report it accurately and it’s frustrating.

ALCINDOR: But what message does it to other countries?

POMPEO: It’s frustrating when you see — when you see — when you see that that doesn’t happen. It’s enormously frustrating. We have a responsibility to tell the American people the truth, and those who are reporting on what it is we are doing have an equal responsibility to report accurately.

This may seem crazy to some, but it is entirely reasonable and possible to set aside whatever you want to believe about the President rhetorically smacking reporters and still think that there’s no profession that loves itself more than the liberal media. And, beyond that, one can also set aside the President and conclude that many journalists are incredibly thin-skinned when presented with criticism from outside their Statist bubbles in New York and Washington D.C.

So, yes, multiple things can be true at once. Imagine that!

To see the relevant transcript from March 20’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, click “expand.”

White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing
March 20, 2020
12:40 p.m. Eastern

KAITLAN COLLINS: You said the other day you compared yourself as a wartime president right now, leading the country through this pandemic that we are experiencing. Do you really think, you know, going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate when the country is going through something like this?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I do because I think Peter is — you know, I’ve dealt with Peter for a long time and I think Peter is not a good journalist when it comes to fairness.

COLLINS: But he’s asking for your message to the country and you went off on Peter.

TRUMP: Oh, I think it’s a good message because the country has to understand that there is indeed, whether we like it or not, and some of the people in this room won’t like it, there’s a lot of really great news and journalism and there’s a lot of fake news out there and I hear it all and see it all and I understand it all because I’m in the midst of it. So, when somebody writes a story or does a story on television, and I know it’s false and I know it’s fake and when they say 15 sources have said and I know there’s no sources. There’s no sources. They’re just making it up, I know that and I call Pete — I call Peter out but I call other people out too. This is a time to come together, but coming together is much harder when we have dishonest journalists. It’s a very important profession that you’re in. It’s a profession that I think is incredible. I cherish it, but when people are dishonest, they truly do hurt our country.

(….)

12:47 p.m. Eastern

SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO: We want to make sure that Americans go to trusted sources for their information. But we’ve made clear. We’ve spoken to these countries directly that we know that they need to knock it off and we don’t approve of it and there are a handful of other things that we’re engaged in to make sure the right information is out there and accurate information is given. This idea of transparency and accurate information is very important. It’s how we protect the American people from something like this ever happening again.

JILL COLVIN: You want the American people to be coming to trusted sources of information. Does it undermine you at all when the President stands up here and attacks news outlets, calling us untrustworthy?

POMPEO: Does anyone else have a question?

(….)

12:54 p.m. Eastern

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Mr. Secretary, what — what message do you think it sends to other countries when you have the presence of the United States lashing out at reporters?

POMPEO: I have had my frustrations with reporters too. All I ask when I talk to the media is that you listen to what we say and report it accurately and it’s frustrating.

ALCINDOR: But what message does it to other countries?

POMPEO: It’s frustrating when you see — when you see — when you see that that doesn’t happen. It’s enormously frustrating. We have a responsibility to tell the American people the truth, and those who are reporting on what it is we are doing have an equal responsibility to report accurately.

ALCINDOR: But what message does it send to countries when you’re lashing out at reporters?

[INAUDIBLE QUESTIONS]

POMPEO: I have seen many things about the state department be reported at wildly and accurately on multiple occasions and I have spoken to those reporters about it each and every time. And I will continue to do so.

March 20, 2020 6:00 pm

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