With 73 days left of the Trump presidency, CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter turned off his notifications for Donald Trump’s tweets live on air Sunday during “Reliable Sources.”
“I have a confession to make about the Trump tweets” said ABC’s Jon Karl, former president of the White House Correspondents Association. “I have turned off the notification on my phone for Trump tweets. …They’re less effective when there are so many and when they are filled with so much disinformation.”
“Same here” said CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip, who was also a guest on the show.
“I guess I’ll just go ahead and do it now, Jon, I’m going to follow your lead,” said Stelter, who took out his iPhone and adjusted his settings on air.
On Saturday, CNN and other news networks projected that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. But as The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg said on “Reliable Sources” Sunday, the Trump presidency is not over.
“It might be on January 22 that Twitter decides to suspend his account,” Goldberg said. “But he’ll still find a way to make his views known.”
Here’s what media coverage might look like as Trump serves as a lame-duck president until January and Biden prepares to move into the White House.
How the media will cover President-elect Joe Biden
“President-elect Biden believes that the media is a critical piece of our democracy,” TJ Ducklo, Biden’s national press secretary told Stelter. “That transparency is incredibly important.”
Ducklo emphasized that Biden believes it’s the media’s job to hold him accountable, adding that he welcomes reporters’ role in democracy.
That would represent a huge contrast to Trump’s relationship with the media. Trump calls CNN and other news organizations “fake news.” And at times, Trump has promoted violence against reporters. For example, he recently mocked MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi for being shot with a rubber bullet during protests in May, calling it a “beautiful sight” during a political rally in Minnesota.
“I think it will be, frankly, the polar opposite what we have seen the last four years,” Ducklo said, projecting what the Biden administration’s relationship with the media will look like. “The media has an incredibly important job to do,” he added. President-elect Biden agrees that and believes that, and I think you’ll see – I think you’ll see a huge change in the culture, in the way that this White House treats the media.”
How the media will continue to cover President Donald Trump
Just one day after Biden was announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Brian Stelter said, “As is always the case, Trump sucks up all the oxygen,” adding that the media’s decision not to focus on Trump’s election denial is a “testament to the normalization of his narcissism.”
The Atlantic’s Golderberg said the current political landscape warrants serious conversations in newsrooms about how much attention we pay to lame duck pronouncements. He said journalists need to spend time focusing on the following question: “What is the Biden administration going to do to vanquish the virus?”
“The salience of this administration goes down by the day,” he added, recommending that reporters cover the pandemic, the economy and America’s standing in the world.
Phillip echoed that sentiment.
“As tempting as it is to always center our reporting around only a certain segment of the population – particularly white working-class voters, there are millions of other people who made a very clear statement in this election,” she said.