Viewers are noticing the extreme amount of airtime that CNN and MSNBC are devoting to Donald Trump, and they don’t like it. Over 200,000 viewers have signed a petition telling the two cable networks to stop promoting Trump’s “racist and homophobic” campaign.
Within hours of Donald Trump proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, both MSNBC and CNN interrupted their evening programming to broadcast live footage from a Trump campaign rally in South Carolina. MSNBC took it a step further, quickly announcing that Trump would appear live on its Morning Joe program the next morning, for the second time in just eight days.
The media’s obsession with Donald Trump has gone too far. By relentlessly chasing ratings and devoting massive airtime to Donald Trump interviews and live coverage of his speeches, MSNBC and CNN are providing Trump with free publicity that is fueling his campaign.
MSNBC and CNN should be covering Trump as a candidate, but should not be giving him a near 24/7 national platform to promote his racist and Islamophobic views.
The media’s obsession with Donald Trump has real consequences for our Democracy. Desperate for ratings, the cable news networks have decided to broadcast nearly-continuous coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign at the expense of giving real issues the coverage they deserve.
We aren’t suggesting that MSNBC and CNN should ignore Donald Trump entirely, but the near-continuous coverage of recent weeks has got to stop. And when they do cover Trump, they should contextualize their coverage by pointing out his long history of racism, Islamophobia and hate.
Trump can’t be ignored. He is the Republican front runner, so news organizations have to cover him as a candidate. What MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and NBC have done has gone beyond coverage. The networks have turned the Republican nominating contest into a new Donald Trump reality show. It is all Trump all of the time on CNN and MSNBC.
A recent study revealed the broadcast network newscasts have virtually blacked out Bernie Sanders and more than half of the coverage dedicated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign has focused on her emails.
The media claims to be confounded by Trump’s rise while ignoring the critical role that they have played in elevating his sexist, homophobic, racist, and bigoted campaign. Donald Trump is still relevant because the media gives him endless free coverage. Trump would tumble down the polls if the media stopped propping up his campaign.
Trump boosts ratings, so the media is boosting Trump.
The mutually beneficial partnership between CNN, MSNBC, and Trump is bad for our democracy. The corporate press has placed profits ahead of their duty to inform the public.
Vote with your remote and tell CNN and MSNBC to stop promoting Donald Trump.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association