Do we need any more evidence that we have a failing legacy media complex? Not after last Monday’s caucuses in Iowa.
That event was covered across every legacy media network from ABC to CNN to News Nation. Traditionally, all candidate speeches are aired in full, especially the speech given by the night’s winner. But on Monday night, the winner was former President Donald J. Trump. And outlets like MSNBC and CNN decided that his victory speech should not be heard.
Never mind that international news outlets, such as Sky News based out of Australia, allowed Trump’s victory speech to be heard in full, even summarizing it as they called out their fellow American newsmakers for clear bias. What’s tragic is that our own news outlets, whose viewers have a vested interest in the race’s outcomes, refused to give preference to the winner.
These outlets wonder why no one trusts them and why their ratings are in the toilet? Monday’s Iowa caucus night was Exhibit A.
Here’s how the situation played out at MSNBC. The projected winner graphic was on their chyron, but when the feed cut to Trump, host Rachel Maddow had his speech muted, interrupting with this “explanation”:
“The projected winner of the Iowa caucuses has just started giving his victory speech. We will keep an eye on that as it happens. “We will let you know if there is any news made in that speech, if there's anything noteworthy, something substantive and important.” [Emphasis added.]
Notice Maddow didn’t even bother to mention Trump’s name.
Despite her inferences, the speech was indeed newsworthy. Here we have a former president who is under multiple indictments and whose competitors spent roughly $14 million on ads, yet he still won the contest with an historic 30-point lead ahead of his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. So, what gives Maddow the authority or knowledge to make the judgment that a victory speech does not meet these standards?
The next part of Maddow’s statement should chill you to the bone:
“[T]here is a reason we and other news organizations have generally stopped giving an unfiltered live platform to remarks by former President Trump.”
Wow! Maddow now knows his name. How hard was it for her to say that? Probably bitterly so.
“It is not out of spite. It is not a decision that we relish. It is a decision that we regularly revisit and honestly, earnestly, it is not an easy decision, but there is a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things. That is a fundamental truth of our business and who we are, and so his remarks tonight will not air here live. We will monitor them and let you know about any news that he makes." [Emphasis added.]
WE will let you know if Trump makes any news. If WE deem he has made news, then you’ll hear about it. Otherwise, you’re simply out of luck.
The truly terrible part of this incident is Maddow’s disdain for viewers and voters. You see, Maddow assumes you cannot decide these things for yourself.
No wonder people flock to Twitter/X. Since Elon Musk acquired the platform, actual news outlets that truly cover news can use the platform to disseminate it.
And Americans can use that same platform to speak out against such network tyranny, too, as Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl did this week, calling MSNBC “state run media”:
This is beyond disturbing for our Democracy. This is how State run media operates quietly in dictatorships,except here they are explaining and openly justifying it!Americans should be able to hear and decide for themselves. Do you want candidates speech monitored and censored? https://t.co/LL1aNn0gwt— Bruce Pearl (@coachbrucepearl) January 16, 2024
No, Coach Pearl, most Americans do not want candidate speech monitored and censored.
It used to be that if you didn’t like something being reported or said, you could click the remote and move on. From cancel culture to this selectively targeted “news” coverage, the unmitigated arrogance of Maddow and her ilk is mind boggling, especially since Maddow spent several years of the Trump presidency breathlessly spewing out baseless and incorrect Russian collusion nonsense. Thus, she has great nerve to say “there is a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.” This is exactly what Maddow and other MSNBC hosts do all day, every day! Yet Maddow wants to make a pretense of standing as the arbiter of what is “noteworthy,” “newsworthy,” and “important.” If these are our standard bearers, we are truly living in scary times.
Sadly, Maddow was not alone in this disdain for the viewing public, for CNN host Jake Tapper joined her in deciding what Americans would like to hear. “Donald Trump declaring victory with a historically strong showing in the Iowa caucuses,” Tapper said. “Here he is right now, under my voice you hear him repeating his anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
Tapper fails to remember that part of the reason Donald Trump rode to victory in 2016 is because he made the southern border a centerpiece of his campaign. December 2023 showed the largest surge of border crossing in two decades, with President Joe Biden doing little to nothing to quell the flow of illegals invading the country.
Thank goodness for outlets like Sky News, 1819 News, and a few other independent organizations, because these actions from MSNBC and CNN prove that most journalism is on life support!
Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, As the Girl Turns, is an investigative journalist, author, opinion analyst, and contributor to 1819 News, Redstate, and other publications. Jennifer writes on Politics and Pop Culture, with occasional detours into Reinvention, Yoga, and Food. You can read more about Jennifer's world at her As the Girl Turns website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].
Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.