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CNN's most prominent anchors and reporters have ratcheted up their attacks against President Trump during the coronavirus outbreak as the liberal network continues to blur the lines between straight news and opinion journalism.
On Tuesday night, the network's primetime hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon blasted the president for expressing to reporters at his White House briefing that he wanted to be a "cheerleader" for the country中国体彩票手机版下载 during the national crisis.
"Anybody could tell people what they want to hear and make it easy. And you know what you get? Exactly where we are right now," Cuomo said. "That was the most asinine statement of leadership I have ever heard.
Cuomo then angrily mocked the president, "'I'm a cheerleader so I'm going to lie to you about the realities that your parents, your loved ones, and your kids face. I'm not going to prepare the way I should because it reinforces the bulls--- I'm telling you and I'm going to hope that you're okay with it.'"
In the following hour, Lemon also condemned the president's "cheerleader" rhetoric.
"Tonight, we are closing in on 400,000 U.S. cases and in the face of that, the president says that he wants to be a 'cheerleader' for the country中国体彩票手机版下载... He's got one part of that right -- it's leader. Leader. Not cheerleader," Lemon reacted during his opening monologue. "Telling people what could happen and preparing for that to happen is what you are supposed to do."
He continued, "Yes, Americans do need their president to give them hope, but we also need the facts about what we are facing. Facts could be, well no, they are the difference between life and death. Which means the weeks and months this administration spent not taking this seriously is a bitter pill to swallow on a day that over 1,700 Americans died. No amount of cheerleading can ever bring those people back."
Last week, the "CNN Tonight" anchor urged the network to not air Trump's press briefings live.
"I have said I don't think that you should really listen to what he says, you should listen to what the experts say," Lemon told Cuomo during their nightly handoff. "I'm not actually sure, if you want to be honest, that we should carry that live. I think we should run snippets. I think we should do it afterwards and get the pertinent points to the American people because he's never, ever going to tell you the truth."
He later exclaimed, "It is all a plot! It is all orchestrated. And if you can't see it, I don't know what you're looking at. It's obvious, it's transparent to me. This has become, those press briefings have become his new 'Apprentice.' They've become his new rallies. And he treats the press and the media as if he's talking to the people at his rallies. It's the same thing. It's no different except the audience isn't there."
Media company Grabien founder and editor Tom Elliott said it's "notable" that CNN, who for months chastised the White House for halting the daily press briefing, is "now patting itself on the back" for not airing significant portions of the coronavirus task force briefings, including the president's prepared remarks.
"There's no doubt the coronavirus is the biggest news story of the decade, and the White House is on the leading edge of America's response. That CNN believes it needs to decide on their viewers' behalf whether these briefings are newsworthy suggests they don't have much confidence in their viewers' intelligence," Elliott told Fox News.