Broadcast networks ignore Trump campaign announcement

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When Donald Trump announced Tuesday night that he would stage another race for the White House – a rare case of a former president seeking his old job – the country’s three major broadcast networks chose not to air his speech. live.

ABC, NBC and CBS have all decided to stick with previously scheduled entertainment programs – reality show “Bachelor in Paradise” on ABC, sci-fi drama “La Brea” on NBC and a fictional FBI show on CBS.

On cable, Fox News Channel aired most of the speech live while CNN aired the first 25 minutes before returning to a panel discussion after Trump officially announced his 2024 candidacy. MSNBC, however, chose to not airing the speech, opting instead to stick with Alex Wagner’s 9 p.m. show.

Former President Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race on Nov. 15 at Mar-a-Lago. (Video: The Washington Post)

Fox’s decision to carry the speech is notable given that several network commentators expressed a clear preference on air last week for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to take over as the Republican standard-bearer of 2024 after the party’s disappointing performance in the midterm elections. Two other properties in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, also signaled a preference for DeSantis last week, with the Post declaring him “DeFUTURE” on the tabloid’s cover and editorial board. of the Journal stating that “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.

During the 2016 presidential race, CNN was frequently criticized for giving enough airtime to Trump’s speeches. The new head of the network, Chris Licht, told employees on Tuesday that coverage decisions regarding Trump as a candidate would be made on a case-by-case basis.

While ABC, NBC and CBS did not pre-empt prime-time programming to air the speech, the networks all had correspondents stationed at Mar-a-Lago who reported on the announcement earlier in the day. the evening during nightly newscasts hosted by David Muir, Lester Holt and Norah O’Donnell.

Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington told conservative Real America’s Voice earlier in the evening that such a move amounted to censorship. “They don’t want the American people to hear directly from the greatest leader of the greatest political movement in our history, so I suspect they will try to censor and cut,” she said.

Fox host Sean Hannity, who informally advised the former president during his years in the White House, said on his primetime show Tuesday that Trump was “setting a marker” by announcing his 2024 campaign so soon. “I look at this president at this hour and I see a guy who looks like he’s focused,” the host told viewers.

Fox News host Pete Hegseth said during a break in live coverage that Trump was “in as good shape as you’ve ever seen him,” while the former Arkansas governor , Mike Huckabee, called the speech “perfect” and Trump unbeatable “if he keeps it up tonight.

On CNN, two former Trump aides harshly criticized the speech. Mick Mulvaney, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, called him the “only Republican who could lose” in 2024, while former communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin said Trump was “totally unfit to be working again”.

Yet neither Fox nor CNN carried the entire speech. As Trump discussed what he called the “enormous problem” of transgender athletes, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper pivoted to coverage of a missile that killed two people in Poland.

Fox also cut, and by the time Trump’s speech ended, after just over an hour, 10 p.m. host Laura Ingraham was instead receiving comments from her colleague at the Hoover Institution. , Victor Davis Hanson.

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