President Donald Trump’s press briefing had a flurry of newsworthy statements, updates and some startling moments.
Days after saying that a lot of the media “actually has been really fair” in its coverage of the coronavirus crisis, on Thursday he was back to calling a number of news outlets “dishonest.”
Near the end of the briefing, Chanel Rion, chief White House correspondent for One America News Network, the right-wing outlet, asked him, “Do you consider the term Chinese food racist, because it is food that originated in China or has Chinese origin?”
“No, I don’t think it is racist,” Trump responded.
Rion continued, “On that note, the major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese communist party narratives, and they claim you are racist for making these claims about the Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals and Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here in the White House with direct access to you and your team?”
Trump then went on an extended rant of media coverage of his administration’s response to the crisis. “It is totally fake,” he said, before singling out The Wall Street Journal, which published an in-depth look at how the federal government failed to provide adequate coronavirus testing. He later said that the media was “siding with China. They’re siding with many others. China is the least of it. If we had an honest media in this country, our country would be an even greater place.”
One America News Network, based in San Diego, features extensive reporting largely favorable to the Trump administration. It is owned by Herring Networks.
Other White House correspondents chided the reporter for essentially goading Trump.
Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS Newshour, wrote on Twitter, “It is beyond disturbing that One America News Network is asking lay up questions to Pres Trump packed w/ false information. Moving on, when will everyone who needs a coronavirus test be able to get a test in the U.S.? Trump and VP Pence never answered that key question.”
Trey Yingst, foreign correspondent for Fox News who was formerly with OANN, wrote, “The journalists in that briefing room are some of the finest in the world. Many have covered the White House for decades and tirelessly worked to hold public officials accountable.They are a vital part of our democracy.”