CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter floated an idea he said was sent by a viewer of using a “10 minute delay” whenever President Trump speaks, in order for the network to pick and choose what is aired.
Thursday’s edition of Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter opened with high praise of Nancy Pelosi before pivoting to criticism of Trump. Stelter condemned the president for not taking questions during an impromptu briefing earlier in the day, declaring that Trump “evidently is not confident enough to take questions from the press corps right now.”
The CNN anchor then shifted to whether or not cable news networks should carry Trump events live, noting that MSNBC cut away from Thursday’s briefing.
Stelter published a suggestion under the newsletter headline "How about a '10 minute delay' for POTUS?" he said was sent by “a reader named Mark” via email.
"No radio show takes callers without the old '7 second delay' to dump the caller or 'bleep' the caller. Trump desperately needs a 10 minute delay. Record the press scrum, then edit it down to salient points (if any), or just report that the POTUS went off half-cocked (again) with B.S. & lies,” Stelter wrote, quoting the reader.
Stelter also hinted that CNN would further elaborate on Friday whether or not cable news should air the president live.
“The CNN freak out over Trump continues,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News. ”Either Trump does exactly what the press demand or they want to censor him.”
“There have been repeated attempts to ‘fact check’ him when he's speaking and now they just want to edit him down to the soundbites they want,” Gainor said. "This hints at a huge part of why the press hates Trump. They can't stand that he doesn't need them. It used to be the press would decide the news agenda. Now, Trump sets their news agenda and they are forced to follow his lead."
When asked for comment by Fox News, Stelter replied with a link to the following tweet:
DePauw University professor and media critics Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “a brief technical delay is wise for all live broadcasts, generally, to protect the media outlet from exposing viewers [or] listeners to obscene or indecent content,” but he doesn’t think this should apply to Trump.
“It seems odd, however, to consider a delay to control the direct statements of a sitting president, particularly absent any fear that the president is going to engage in profane or indecent language,” McCall said. “Whatever a president says in the public setting is, in a sense, news, even if it is harsh in tone or factually questionable."
McCall explained that a “more appropriate journalistic approach” would be to let Trump speak and then have reporters follow up with context, fact-checking and informed analysis.
“Instituting a delay just because news producers don't like the policy messaging of the president is an unnecessary restriction that fuels the narrative floating around in some corners of the public that the media is biased against Trump,” he said.