Trump excludes CNN from annual lunch — and the other networks abandon their credibility

Trump excludes CNN from annual lunch — and the other networks abandon their credibility
Image via Screengrab.

Donald Trump is taking his war with the media—and CNN in particular—up a notch. He’s disinvited CNN from the lunch presidents traditionally hold with the major networks’ news anchors on the day of the State of the Union address.

It’s not clear, though, what’s a worse statement on the health of the free press in the United States: Trump’s exclusion of CNN because he doesn’t like its sometimes critical coverage of him, or the fact that other networks didn’t immediately and unanimously say their anchors wouldn’t attend either.

This is a stupid tradition begetting shallow news coverage. The lunch “gives the anchors a sense of the president's state of mind before they anchor SOTU coverage,” according to CNN Business. No one would lose anything by this lunch being abandoned entirely, so it’s a particularly bad statement that other networks are willing to effectively sign onto Trump’s attack on CNN in exchange for nothing newsworthy.

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