Federally Funded NPR Station Crosses Line, Refuses to Carry Trump’s Live Press Briefings

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A public radio station that gets some of its funding from the federal government just made an absurd decision to stop airing Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings live.

KUOW Public Radio, based in Seattle, announced Tuesday they would no longer broadcast the WH daily press briefings live. Disgraceful.

“KUOW is monitoring White House briefings for the latest news on the coronavirus — and we will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners,” the station tweeted.

“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,” the station added.

From EPT:

KUOW is a member station of NPR, a nonprofit media organization that is funded in part by the federal government. According to NPR, its member stations get four percent of their funding from federal, state, and local governments.

NPR says that “federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public” and that “elimination of federal funding would result in fewer programs, less journalism—especially local journalism—and eventually the loss of public radio stations, particularly in rural and economically distressed communities.”

The Seattle station says on its website that it opened a new broadcast center in Seattle in 1999, funding in part by tax-exempt bonds. It says that over 92 percent of its revenue comes from contributions from people, businesses, and corporations.

Most organizations have carried the press conferences, which can last for up to around two hours, live through the duration but on Monday NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC switched to other programming before the briefing ended. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere called what happened “pretty disgraceful” and thanked Fox News, which aired the briefing in its entirety.

Broadcasters indicated similar situations may arise in the future.

“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.

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