For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2020
Government Accountability Project Condemns Potential Censoring of Federal Officials
Pence’s Proposed CNN Ban Represented a Strike Against Press Freedom
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, CNN reported that Vice President Mike Pence refused to permit members of the Coronavirus Task Force to appear on CNN, purportedly in order to pressure the network into carrying task force briefings in full because, in the past, CNN has cut away from task force briefings following the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s remarks in order to fact check them. It was announced today that Pence has reversed his decision.
Government Accountability Project Executive Director and CEO Louis Clark condemns the potential censorship such a decision would have imposed, saying,
“The Vice President’s willingness to refuse to allow federal officials charged with managing the government’s response to COVID-19 to communicate directly with the public represents a threat to the information that Americans need to keep themselves and their families safe during this international pandemic. It also was a legal bluff. Under federal whistleblower and appropriations anti-gag laws, it would be unlawful to enforce against whistleblowers speaking as individuals rather than government spokespeople. At this time of uncertainty, truth has never been more important.”
Contact: Andrew Harman
Phone: (202) 457-0034 ext. 156
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.