In response to former President Donald Trump’s indictment and subsequent arraignment in Manhattan, New York, mainstream news outlets provided wall-to-wall coverage. Many media personalities could barely contain their glee as they detailed the charges against him.
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who now has her own show on MSNBC, addressed fellow Democrats directly in an on-air segment, advising them to suppress the desire to openly celebrate.
“As much as you may want to, now is not the time for a mass order of lock-him-up T-shirts and mugs,” she said on Sunday, claiming that is “exactly what Trump and his supporters would do.”
After dedicating countless hours of coverage to the developing narrative, however, many of the same outlets saw no need to devote much time to airing Trump’s own remarks in his defense.
Although ABC News did air the post-arraignment speech he delivered from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida this week, the network reportedly opted to blur a message posted on the podium encouraging viewers to support him via text.
ABC News blurred out "TEXT TRUMP TO 88022" pic.twitter.com/goSD5NgrcD
— Wojciech Pawelczyk (@WojPawelczyk) April 5, 2023
An ABC source reportedly blamed the move on a “misunderstanding,” but Trump supporters were not convinced.
One Trump 2024 campaign insider confirmed that the team knew about ABC’s decision to blur the message, asserting that the network “better be able to show past examples of doing this to Democrats.”
On MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow was in front of the camera as Trump delivered his speech — and she made the decision not to air any of it. Instead, she unleashed a partisan tirade against the former president under the assumption that she already knew what he would be saying.
“As far as we can tell and what we’re prepared for here is that this is basically a campaign speech in which he’s repeating his same lies and allegations against his perceived enemies,” she said.
Although she acknowledged that the address was “just getting started,” Maddow claimed that Trump was “just giving his normal list of grievances,” adding: “We don’t consider that necessarily newsworthy and there’s a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.”
The move drew some support from Maddow’s fellow leftists, but sparked backlash among many others, including former CBS Los Angeles reporter Brittney Hopper.
“Isn’t that called censorship?” she asked. “He’s a former President of the USA. This is a historical moment in our history.”