Broadcasters criticised for giving president access, as fact checking becomes a media event Donald Trump’s speech on the Mexican “border crisis”, delivered live from the Oval Office last week, marked a milestone in his brief but historically chaotic presidency; it revealed serious errors of judgment that weren’t simply down to him. Unfortunately for commercial media outlets, it was their shortcomings that attracted almost as much attention and criticism as the scaremongering speech itself. It is the hallmark of many non-Democratic countries that tinpot dictators appear, at the drop of a hat, on national broadcast outlets. Even in functioning democracies you can measure the importance of a national moment by whether the head of state or government pops up in prime time. For this reason appearances by US presidents on all TV networks were traditionally a relatively rare occurrence. When they do happen, the decision to run them is made on an ad hoc basis by the heads of those networks.
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