It's Time For A 'Seven Second' Presidential Broadcast Delay

The President is right. The White House Press Corps is not doing its job, especially the TV news outlets that cover his virtual campaign rallies, er, I mean, (insert finger quotes here) “White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings” live and unedited.

If that wasn’t evident for the weeks leading up to Monday’s “briefing,” it’s abundantly clear after the President ripped into America’s best news media outlets, said they “are all going out of business,” and then launched a three-and-a-half-minute campaign ad trumpeting how purportedly successfully he has dealt with the pandemic to date.

I was stunned at first by the content of the commercial, as I viewed it live. I then became stunned that the news outlet I was watching -- MSNBC -- kept letting it air.



It took MSNBC three minutes and 43 seconds before Ari Melber broke in with he understatement, “We are cutting into what was NOT a White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing.”

My question is why did it take Melber and his producers so long to realize that the President was pulling one over on them, and milking a national health crisis for political gain. Which is pretty much what he’s been doing most evenings since the crisis began.

It made me wonder why there wasn’t some kind of “seven seconds delay” so TV news producers could censor the President’s campaign messaging the way broadcasters to to avoid inadvertently airing profanity that might otherwise slip through in a live feed.

Better yet, why do the national news outlets air the President’s briefings at all, at this point? Why not just air an edited highlights tape, the way a local TV news sportscaster might. You know, “Let’s go to the videotape.”

Best of all, maybe they should ignore the President altogether at this point, and just report on anything material he actually says, or that the White House actually does? Because the only thing the President is using this precious airtime for is as a replacement for his live campaign rallies: an opportunity to rant and rave, pump himself up, vent his mental disorders, and of course, gaslight America.

I mean, there should actually be a law against the White House using national media for pernicious political activities. Actually there is. It’s called The Hatch Act of 1939. Unfortunately, it exempts the President and the Vice President.

So maybe it’s time for the media stop doing what the President keeps accusing them of: reporting “fake news.” Especially when it’s a free campaign ad.

At least the President got the headline right:

12 comments about "It's Time For A 'Seven Second' Presidential Broadcast Delay".
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  1. David Nola from Alpha Media, April 14, 2020 at 2:21 p.m.

    It's obvious you don't like the President. Secondly, you are getting your news from a decidely left leaning outlet that has no journalistic credibility whatsoever. We finally have a President who calls it like they see it. And your writing is another example of the bias in the media. You reinforce what the other side aisle calls you out on.

  2. Jay Goldstein from Independent, April 14, 2020 at 2:22 p.m.

    Great Job Joe! Been saying this for mire than a month! 

  3. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., April 14, 2020 at 3:21 p.m.

    @David Nola: You are correct. This is biased media, but that's on purpose. Red, White & Blog is a political media blog representing my own point-of-view, not unbiased journalistic coverage. The subhead says it all: "Truth, Mud and the American Way."

    You are also correct that I do not like the President. But there are many Presidents I've disliked. This one is different, because I dislike what he's done to America. And what he'll probably do next.

  4. Donald Frazier from OneVideo Technology, April 14, 2020 at 5:31 p.m.

    Indeed, why not?

    You'd think the fabulously wired-in reporting staff of MediaPost would know exactly how to report this story. And if there isn't a reason? Would not be the first time reporters' questions inspire an actual rethink of practices.

  5. John Grono from GAP Research, April 14, 2020 at 7:09 p.m.

    I want to call on the greatest of American super-heroes.   No, not a politician.   I mean Superman.

    His mantra was - truth, justice and the American way.

    From a distance, and as a keen consumer of international media, the first two principles are being trashed by "calling it as they see it" which seems to have become the new 'American way'.

  6. Rhodes Mason from Internet Video Archive LLC replied, April 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.


    The main point is that these briefings are not fact-filled TV time to assist and comfort the American people during a crisis.  If it was a news conference where Dr. Fauci spoke, then I think it would be worth airing live.  But we see Trump using this time to shame reporters for asking questions on behalf of the American people, pushing false narratives and glorify actions that any administration would be taking in this time.  The video he played was a clear response to the NY Times article that had laid out the administration's missteps and was more a campaign ad than information Americans could use to keep themselves safe in this time.  How do you not see this?

  7. T C from N, April 15, 2020 at 1:40 p.m.

    Sounds a bit like censorship Joe. 

    "Better yet, why do the national news outlets air the President’s briefings at all, at this point?"

    Ironic coming from a "journalist", no?

  8. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., April 15, 2020 at 1:50 p.m.

    @Terry Carmody: "Censorship?" That's what governments do, not journalists. In fact, the 7-second delay is something broadcasters adopted in response to federal regulators' (the FCC) enforcement of obscentity rules. I don't think you understand what journalism is or how it works. American journalism is based on freedom of the press to decide what they cover and what they don't. Other than the Fairness Doctrine, abolished by President Barack Obama in 2011, there has never been federal law requiring broadcast media to air something. Broadcasters are supposed to provide public affairs programming servicing their communites to renew their licenses, but it's up to them to decide what, when, where and why they cover it. Cable news networks have no such requirements.

  9. Jennifer Burk from Space & Time Media Services, April 15, 2020 at 7:12 p.m.

    I have been saying ever since these "Press Briefings" began that the reporters should be asking the experts the questions, not the President.  Wouldn't that be great if the press totally ignored him since he makes up most of what he says!

  10. T C from N replied, April 16, 2020 at 11:34 a.m.

    You are suggesting you limit exposure to one side of the story Joe.  Clearly you feel the public isn't capable of deciding on their own, so you suggest limiting what they can see.  Rather sad and more importantly, a very slippery slope that can effect everyone.

  11. Joe Mandese from MediaPost Inc., April 16, 2020 at 11:53 a.m.

    @Terry Carmody: I'm not suggesting anything. I'm stating explicitly that news media outlets should exercise better judgment about what sides of a "story" they cover as national health crisis news.

    No one is limiting what the public can see. Every American has 100% access to the White House's briefings right here: or via @realDonaldTrump or @whitehouse, or if you prefer, @FoxNews

    The real slippery slope is that the White House is using our tax dollars to produce and distribute the President's unpaid campaign propaganda.

  12. Len Stein from Visibility Public Relations, April 18, 2020 at 11:01 a.m.

    Why doesn't the DC press corp simply walk out of these 'briefings' when they are attacked for asking pertinent questions?

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