A public radio station that relies in part on federal funding is refusing to carry live press conference from the White House, a move that provoked widespread ire and calls of censorship.
President Donald Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which features the top medical experts in the country, have been giving daily briefings from Washington, disseminating updates from the response to the CCP virus.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Partys coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Media outlets have been airing the briefings live but KUOW Public Radio, based in Seattle, said Tuesday it would no longer do so.
“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 said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
The station didnt immediately respond to a request for further information on its decision.
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 radios 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, funded 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.
KUOW has published a number of “fact checks” on its website written by NPR reporters, including ones examining Trumps comparisons between the new illness and the flu and Trump comparing the Defense Production Act to nationalization.
Fact checks are pieces examining claims and statements, often made by government officials.