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CNN, NBC and other media outlets move away from Trump's speech| GuyWhoKnowsThings


Several major networks parted ways with former President Donald J. Trump on Friday during an appearance that had been billed as a news conference at Trump Tower and devolved into an incoherent and misleading speech.

It was the latest example of television journalists having to weigh the news value of a major political moment (in this case, the criminal conviction of a former president) against the challenges of reporting on a candidate who regularly speaks falsehoods.

Trump's unfiltered comments were broadcast live on cable news channels and NBC, which broke into its regular daytime programming to cover his appearance. In the minutes before he began speaking, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News aired advance camera shots of an empty lectern.

Trump began speaking in his usual discursive and covert manner. He unleashed a litany of false statements about his trial in Manhattan, attacking witnesses, calling the judge a “devil” and falsely accusing President Biden of being involved in the prosecution.

NBC aired Trump for 20 minutes before host Lester Holt intervened. “We were told this was going to be a press conference,” he told viewers, before bringing in two legal analysts to analyze and verify the facts. “There is no evidence that Biden was behind any of this,” Holt said.

ABC and CBS did not interrupt their regular programs.

On MSNBC, where hosts have sometimes refused to carry Trump live, the former president's appearance aired for about 20 minutes before the network split. Later, an on-screen graphic read: “Trump's post-verdict comments riddled with lies and attacks.”

CNN aired Trump for 18 minutes before cutting to a fact-checking segment. Several networks told viewers they would return to Trump's appearance once he began speaking to reporters, but the former president did not answer questions from the press. The New York Times, on its website, livestreamed Trump's appearance for about six minutes before cutting off the broadcast and continuing to post written updates on his blog.

Fox News aired Trump's appearance in its entirety.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump angered television reporters when he sparked a “major announcement” related to his past lies about Barack Obama's birthplace. Networks aired his remarks live, but the appearance quickly turned into a campaign rally.

“The Trump campaign played us again,” CNN's John King he said at that time.


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