Analysis: While Trump defies coronavirus safety guidelines at rally, TV networks exercise caution

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It has come to this: The major TV networks decided to stay outside while President Trump held a rally inside a manufacturing plant in Nevada on Sunday, marking his first fully-indoor rally since Tulsa in June. News outlets exhibited more responsibility than the president.I understand that Trump’s “what pandemic?” attitude is shared by many of his supporters — and it feels good, viscerally, to pretend to “get back to normal” — but Trump’s disregard for social distancing guidelines and other safety measures is a shocking contradiction of his own government’s recommendations and a violation of Nevada’s restrictions on gatherings of 50 people or more.On Sunday I spoke with five people on the ground in Nevada and another five who are involved in news coverage decision-making back at HQ. The takeaway: Trump’s defiance of Covid safety guidelines is forcing news outlets to make tough decisions about how to make staffers safe. Sources told me that all the major networks, from CNN to ABC to Fox News, decided not to send their crews and correspondents into the Trump event due to Covid-19 concerns. Correspondents like CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reported from an open-air location, which experts say is much safer than a confined space …

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