CNN Declines to Air White House Press Conference Live

CNN Refuses to Air White House

CNN this evening declined to air live a press conference with the nation’s new White House Press Secretary, pointing to a growing rift between the embryonic Trump administration and the press corps that covers it and undermining the credibility of Sean Spicer, a longtime Republican operative who has become the new spokesman for President Donald Trump.

Producers at the cable-news outlet, owned by Time Warner, this evening decided to see what was said at the press event, according to a person familiar with the network, then play relevant parts as deemed necessary. Despite a robust amount of evidence to the contrary, Spicer during the conference insisted that Trump’s inauguration Friday drew “the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” The statement is a deliberate falsehood: TV ratings data issued Saturday by Nielsen show that fewer people watched Trump’s swearing-in than President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. What’s more, photos of Friday’s crowds showed that a smaller number of people had come out to Washington, D.C.’s Mall to take part. Data from the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority also suggested fewer people were attending the inauguration than in years past.

Spicer chastised the press for reporting the evidence about inauguration attendance accurately, then declined to respond to questions. CNN declined to make executives available for comment.

Trump and CNN have already sparred. During a press conference that took place before the inauguration, Trump labeled CNN as “fake news” after it reported that a synopsis of memos containing allegations against Trump  had been included in classified materials presented to both him and former President Barack Obama.

Now, at a time when TV-news outlets have seen their ratings thrive thanks coverage of the colorful and fiery politician, CNN’s decision could be a momentous one: Trump and his representatives have been known to obfuscate and lie. CNN’s refusal to take the live feed suggests executives there are reluctant to put false statements on air, and, what’s more, do not think the new White House press representative is entirely credible. President Trump accused CNN of peddling fake news, and perhaps CNN is now doing the same.


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“CNN’s decision to not air the press conference live illustrates a recognition that the role of the press must be different under Trump. When the White House holds press briefings to promote demonstrably false information and refuses to take questions, then press ‘access’ becomes meaningless at best and complicit at worst,” said Danna Young, an associate professor at the University of Delaware who studies politics and the media. “Democracy works best when journalists have access to the executive branch, of course. But that holds true if and only if that access leads to verifiable, accurate information. The decision on behalf of CNN to wait and verify before airing it live suggests that the media are adapting quickly to this new era.”

To be certain, news outlets routinely make decisions about whether to air press events live, usually based on projections about news value. But this press conference, held just a day after the President’s inauguration, would have been a hot prospect for a cable-news outlet, and could have sparked hours of debate and follow-up on CNN’s schedule.  In an unusual and aggressive maneuver, CNN aired its regular weekday lineup this Saturday, underscoring heavy interest in breaking news of a series of massive protests by women across the nation in response to Trump’s presidency as well as the new President’s first few days in office.

CNN has not established a policy about airing White House press conferences live, the person familiar with the matter said, preferring instead to make editorial decisions as circumstances demand. And it was not immediately clear Saturday evening whether its decision might prompt other news outlets to do the same. Spokespersons for CBS News, NBC News and MSNBC were not able to offer an immediate response. ABC News and Fox News Channel declined to make executives available for comment. Several outlets, including CBS News live-streaming CBSN and Fox News Channel, ran the White House press conference live. Broadcast networks typically only break into coverage when White House press events are of immediate national importance, but will play excerpts from the events during various programs.

Across the spectrum,  several TV journalists viewed the White House conference with a skeptical eye. During a Saturday broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” panelists were heard noting that the Spicer event could not be considered a press conference because the press secretary took no questions.  Others were more blunt: “I’ve run out of adjectives,” said Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Twitter.

CNN’s decision may draw its own criticism. In the early days of the presidential campaign, the network came under fire for how much air time it devoted to Trump as candidate – particularly when it aired many hours of Trump speaking at rallies with little comment or editorial filter. “You never knew what he was going to say. You never knew what was going to happen there,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, while speaking at Harvard University in October. The CNN chief said at the time that he regretted giving the candidate as much air time as he received.


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  1. Annie Hanse says:

    CNN: Are you being paid by the Russians?

  2. Marcus T. Morris says:

    This is just a lie, The white house isn’t airing this by choice. also it’s not just CNN that is only getting audio only but MSNBC, FOX, and CSPAN.

  3. Budly Dooright says:

    Amusing reading these comments in retrospect.
    Now, CNN is going to be BEGGING to do a press conference!….lol

  4. Barry ly says:

    CNN lies like a rug. They are not worried about ratings but just to put out constant propaganda. Blitzer, Cuomo and Lemon are freaks. Totally lying sos’s…

  5. cnn lies says:

    umm cnn are not including international viewing figures or online viewing figures.

  6. Gloria says:

    CNN SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES FOR SPONSORSHIP OF FFRF!!! North America is a Christian society. They need to stop trying to cause all the problems they have been causing, but since they are Atheist they love to cause problems forever. Hence all the problems they are causing for the Trump administration. They repulse me. So my main aim is to discourage their continued negative programming.

  7. I just read that the responsible news media have been blocked from attending White House press meetings.
    I guess that means no news will be coming out of those “press” meetings that I would need to hear.
    If professional, reasoned, principled news organizations are blocked from attending the vaudeville show this amateur wants to stage it doesn’t seem much of a loss for the American electorate that thinks responsible, vetted, accurate REPORTING is necessary to evaluate what is ACTUALLY happening in our government. Or in any other news throughout the nation and the world.
    The infection that has taken over our Presidency, our Congress, our “news” media serves the proletariat well.
    The Enlightenment vision of a democracy that is responsible to the electorate to ensure good and stable government requires straightforward, honest reporting of events. Putting out manufactured lies does not let the citizens of a democracy evaluate accurately what they need to know to take part in an actual democracy.
    Pandering is not reporting. Mudslinging is not reporting. Giving one view only is not reporting.
    Making every effort to gather as much ACCURATE information as is available then checking the information given is reporting.
    That may disappoint people who want just their fantasies put out for the public to read. And most certainly will disappoint those people when further investigation into what has been put out reveals the inaccuracies or even the lack of actual facts.
    But in a democracy accurate reporting may reveal both sides of an issue. That may disappoint someone who had hoped that their assessment of what should have happened in a situation did not happen. Which usually requires a responsible individual to weigh the actual truth against what had been hoped for.
    If there is no balanced reporting, just wishes and snarking, it leaves a vacuum that precludes responsible assessment of circumstances. The press is required to avoid fulfilling someone’s dearest dreams by publishing a lie. The person whose dearest dreams have been trashed has therefore received accurate information required by the Founding Fathers to assess the truth, not deepest desires held by an individual, but the truth of circumstances to make a decision or assessment.
    So, if a group of people only permit their cronies innto see what they are going to say, the Founding Fathers might be disappointed. Because Democracy REQUIRES accurate reporting.

  8. none o business says:

    The reason that liberal media news journalists don’t want to run live broadcasts, is so that they can edit out the bits that they don’t like, all to put their own spin on it. Creative editing gives them allot of power over what the president says that way. They can put words in his mouth, or take words out. They can take thing’s out of context, and run a slander piece if the so choose. They do this in Canada with ALL Conservative leaders: Preston Manning, Day, Harper, all of them. And yet, libtards like our new leader Justin Trudeau can say “Budgets balance themselves” and never get any flack. But Harper says “He’s just not ready” about Justin, and every headline is “Harper’s Campaign of FEAR!” And “We think he is ready!” But he wasn’t. Now we are broke, and soon going to have speech laws, which forbid criticism of Islam. Bloody liberals!! They are all traitors!!

  9. none o business says:

    In Canada the media has always taken sound bites that Conservatives have said way out of context; or they’ve simply obsessed on silly things, while ignoring the important things. Our last good Conservative Government avoided the press when he could. The CBC accused him of all sorts of bad things. But it was a good move, for it cut down the “fake news” by a lot. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak out like Trump did. And when the CBC was getting their budget cut, they did their worst, and turned the public against Him. Now, a year later, the new LIBERAL government that the Media helped to put in power, is destroying us. We are doomed. :(

  10. ray says:

    Thanks ok. We benefit from their fake news anyway.

  11. Jeanne Baktis says:

    Totally agree with CNN’s decision !
    Thank you !

  12. Tom Mozdzen says:

    Good. Why cover random non-sense spewed by a moron?

  13. Hal Blegen says:

    CNN was working for DNC and Hillary,,,,who cares if they cover ANYTHING?,,,,,,,,,they are a broken record of left wing propaganda

    • Steve Sickels says:

      Brian — please don’t say “deliberate falsehood”; say “lie.” (In your second paragraph.) There’s absolutely no reason to soften things with language that’s a bit indirect.

  14. JB says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with CNN’s decision. I wish MSNBC would join them. I am so sick of (Donald Chump, his subordinates and fox news) spewing their lies, that I can’t stomach them and their “alternative facts” another day. And yes, fox was intentionally placed in small letters because they are a propaganda, not a news channel.

  15. D Deangelis says:

    This is just hysterical. CNN, you have had a long and nice ride. Sorry that it is over. Alternative news sources are here to stay.

  16. Watchdog says:

    What difference -information false or accurate CNN will distort it to condemn Trump and malign him.

  17. Marcus S says:

    Who watches CNN anymore?? It’s liberal biased coverage of the news is a JOKE!!! Looks like they have to find another name for the Clinton News Network.

  18. Janet Speakman says:

    and I will again change channels. They can give me the (cough) highlights so I can forego the lowlights. It takes everyone a day or two to decipher what he said/wanted to say/should have said etc. after nearly every speech anyway, so I’ll wait.

  19. Judith Bixler says:

    I would like to see the news media, totally black out all statements, tweets, Sean Spicers conferences, for at least a week. They relish the attention they get from the media, and really like all the controversy they create.

  20. hdo says:

    So you are going to pull the liberal TV bit and change what you don’t like as the alphabet channels have done in the past several years. You are a joke vis a vis “freedom of the press.” If someone does not agree with your liberal slant, you will just alter it. Shame on you. But, who cares if CNN is banned or decides not to report news–choosing not to report news it does not agree with is, I believe, called censorship. And, we all know that CNN, ABC, NBC are so biased they cannot report the truth, only their liberal slant. So, who cares it CNN does not cover FACTS and America’s choice? Face it, Hillary LOST even with her being given the debate questions before hand. This should tell you REAL AMERICANS ARE FED UP!!!!!

    • The Truth says:

      Shame on you for claiming to be a “real American” when “America’s choice” (3 million votes short in the popular vote) routinely trashes American values and brazenly lies repeatedly. “Just alter it” is the default response when hard facts reveal how disgracefully deceitful Trump and his team are. Real Americans and world citizens are fed up. That’s why you’re seeing protests all across the country and around the globe. Your head is so far up your ass, you wouldn’t know a fact from a fart.

  21. PK says:


    As far as everybody knows CNN got the boot from the White House Press pool they’re not allowed in there, kind of hard to report something when you’re not allowed anywhere near the event.

  22. Marcel says:

    Well, the decision of CNN to not live broadcast the news conference leads down a dark path. I expect from a news agency to be objective when reporting, to tell me the good and bad. For them to pre-filter the content and to only pick what is along their agenda is very disturbing. I watched the live broadcast myself and I must say that Sean Spicer had some good points on the size of the inauguration crowd (he counted people at the Mall and online, too), as well as on the fact that some new agencies only bring negative stuff about the president and not anything positive.
    I think at this point CNN needs to examine their path forward. Do they want to forget the personal affront that the White House gave to their lead journalist and get back as an objective, credible and trustworthy new organization, or do they continue on an emotional vendetta and loose the majority of their main stream viewers?

  23. Sndra Robertson says:

    Way to go CNN! Stand up for all Americans that support the freedom of the press! Thank you!!! Sandra Robertson

  24. Wyatt says:

    Of course. Too much of the truth can get out, and CNN prefers to give it’s audience spin.

  25. no says:

    Considering it was factually livestreamed by so many other locations this just shows how certain media groups are circling the drain by clinging to failed and intrinsically flawed idiologies.

  26. Brenda says:

    Please stop airing any news briefing of Donald Trump. This man is dictating wants Americans should hear.

  27. Patricia Brady says:

    Thank you just what we need. CNN glad to see you standing up to him

  28. Frogtwanger says:

    It is way past time the press stopped chasing every shiny idiocy Trump dangles. If he won’t answer questions, just refuse to carry his stupid “press conferences” and simply point out his lies and stupidity. His main mission is to intimidate and silence the press. If the press presents the issues honestly and has the guts to call out the lies. they can play a large role in defeating this fascist agenda of Trumps.

  29. Nancy says:

    Hooray for CNN! Don’t give the liars a forum to spread them!

  30. Robin Connell says:

    Who cares I don’t watch CNN and haven’t in months I think all the people that voted for trump and aren’t watching CNN they’ll find out they need us more than we need them sick of them

  31. David Korvet says:

    Talk about “editorial filter”..? “Fuck you!”, Madonna! We’re “Stronger Together”, and like it or not, Trump is President; and talking about blowing up “our” White House, the house for “We, The People”, deliberate in thought, anarchy. – CNN’s studio set is old, dated, and “dark” anyway… no thrill to watching second rate programming.

    • Judy Carney says:

      I’m sick of hearing DT lies and other offensive blabber. I think it’s a wonderful decision. I will wait to hear facts, real informaton. The Press does not work for the President. Their job is to bring facts to the people. Even if the President is not capable of that.

  32. I admire CNN for making this decision and hope others will follow suit. I am so tired of Trump’s lies and behavior he can not control He reminds of a spoiled child who throwing tantrum. I want the news to make sure he is accountable for his actions and words. Please don’t let him lie and show his ignorance. The other thing that concerns me is all the information that has come out during is campaign with no accountability and those that work with him are just as bad as he is. Thank you for the stand you made. I want to know where I can get the truth. Deborah Sundes.

  33. Now all of the rest of the media has to get on board!

  34. PatR says:

    Thank you CNN for verifying before airing. With all of Trump’s lying it nice to know CNN can be trusted.

  35. Lynn Louque says:

    I’m impressed with CNN! The real news of this “press conference” was the outstanding lies and the refusal to take questions. All the other news sources got punked. Very smart move CNN! You can bet Trump and his Goebbels crew were FURIOUS!

  36. E JAckson says:

    is technology making journalists obsolete…do we need them anymore???? journalists may be evolving into simply gossip columnists and they might not like it…

    • measureme2 says:

      Technology? How does technology distinguish between truth & lies, fact & fiction? Journalists are there to investigate and report their findings, question the status quo, and be a watchdog for the citizens. The good ones are still using the 5 Ws when they report. Technology may replace the method of delivery, but technology itself does not replace the human interaction and ability to investigate and question.

  37. Brion Boyles says:

    President Obama not only ridiculed FOX openly for 8 years, he also ridiculed their viewers…and when he ran into disapproval of his policies, he often blamed it on FOX…and solely on FOX, despite other news outlets reporting the very same stories and details. Many FOX hosts invited him to be on air, but he declined –to appear on late nite TV instead. While I find it rather telling that he would chose to go for a few laffs in a “safe” crowd with a fawning host than take the opportunity to directly speak to an audience he claims does not hear him clearly, FOX duly attempted to keep channels open (if not always in step). Now it is CNN’s turn….I don’t applaud Spicer, but the duty of news is to the news, not to their hurt feelings.

  38. Linda Frazier says:

    I’m sick of CNN’s panel of experts. I would rather see what the press secretary of the United States has to say in a press conference.

  39. Gail C Daly says:

    Trump copied his speech from the Bee Movie. It’s all over FB. I can send it to you if you cannot find it. EXPOSE HIM.

  40. rbroska says:

    Fox “News”, when attempting to create a trans Canadian T.V. network, was refused because, “it is against the Canadian constitution to promote falsities under the guise of a news outlet”. Perhaps CNN has learned from our wise ethical neighbors to the north?

  41. Mary Frangipane says:

    CNN is on to something…the way to go forward! Congrats!

  42. CNN totally lied about the number of people who attended the Inauguration, by airing footage taken much earlier in the day as evidence that the ceremony was poorly attended. As for the total count of people who watched the ceremony, why is no one counting the people who streamed the ceremony? Spicer may well be nothing but correct, with that number included

  43. Pat says:

    CNN who cares I don’t watch your lies

  44. Michae says:

    Clinton, I didn’t inhale!
    Hillary, Vince Foster, He’s playing in the park!
    Monica, can’t comment my mouth is full!
    Hey, you lost. Get a grip or immagtate . I hear Haiti’s a nice place!

  45. Joyce T Kirk says:

    Thank you CNN. It is getting much harder to be an educated electorate. I have found that CNN is doing a good job of keeping us informed. This was a brave act in the face of a nasty retaliator. The truth is everything in a democracy and you are on the front lines! Keep up the good work!

  46. MG says:

    Outstanding! I support this. The truth and facts matter. Like many, I’ve been turning the channel the minute the lying brigade (Trump, Spicer, Conway) come on the screen. No one with half a brain is buying their B.S. If the real news stations want to retain eyeballs, they better start curating and fact-checking everything with this pravda-inspired gang, or they will continue to see their numbers plummet.

  47. MadamDeb says:

    Trump is discovering that he needs the press more than they need him.

  48. TheRainiOne says:

    I witnessed the lengths CNN went to at the Democratic Convention to not cover the news. Philly had become a giant Bernie Sanders rally because of the massive voter suppression and fraud during the primary. Bernie won the elected delegate vote . Many Clinton delegates had flipped because of the fraud. The corrupted super delegates were added, and the Democrats stomped all over our Democracy again. Bernie delegates walked out ( the DNC started paying people to fill their seats ). A huge crowd surrounded the Convention center shouting ” Hell No DNC, We won’t vote for Hillary”.. CNN went out of their way to not report, or barely report this. I never listen to them anymore. Trump is very very correct. CNN is FAKE NEWS!

    • Smith Cassidy says:

      If CNN is bad in your opinion because of the provided example, Trump is much much worse because of lie after lie after lie. So you shouldn’t listen to either, and Fox definitely can’t be believed. Guess you should start reading fiction.

  49. Joe Mitchell says:

    One reason fewer people watched the inauguration was that some schools would not allow their teachers and students to watch the event. I know. I work for one. Liberals love playing politics with kids, especially unborn ones.

    • Smith Cassidy says:

      Wow, amazing mental acrobatis to get from A to B. So glad Republicans are in favor of freedom and small government.

      Did high school kids (or younger) vote? In other words, how relevant are they as viewers? Also, I don’t believe the ratings is tallied by eyeballs (lots of school kids) but rather tv sets or set top boxes.

      Still, good try, Trump would be proud.

  50. Brenda Czaya says:

    Thank you, CNN

    • TheRainiOne says:

      You should have been at the democratic convention. What CNN showed and told people was a lie on an Orwellian scale. This Bernie supporter is done with them, and the fraud that the Democratic party has become.

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