Excerpt from: CREDO Action
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.
As policy fights play out in the halls of power in Washington, DC, large swaths of the electorate remain uninformed, with cable news coverage largely limited to live coverage of Trump campaign rallies and shouting matches between pundits over whether Trump’s latest racist proposal will help or hurt him among Republican primary voters.
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. As Arianna Huffington promised in a piece this week, the Huffington Post will continue covering Trump’s campaign, but at the same time will “constantly remind the public of what he stands for”:1
His enthusiasm for creating a database of all Muslims in the United States.
His ongoing lies about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.
His status as birther-in-chief, cynically sowing doubt about President Obama’s legitimacy as the duly elected President of the United States.
His misogyny — here’s just one HuffPost piece on this, but there’s no shortage of these.
- His xenophobia and scapegoating of immigrants, including his lies about Mexican immigrants and his ardent desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
- His unmistakable passion for bullying. Again, there’s no shortage of examples, but you could start with his defense of supporters who roughed up a protester at one of his rallies or his ridiculing of a disabled New York Times reporter.
- Donald Trump absolutely has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants, no matter how hateful. And the news media should cover him as a leading presidential candidate. But it’s irresponsible and dangerous for MSNBC and CNN to provide Trump with a free national platform to bolster his campaign fueled by bigotry and racism.
Petition to MSNBC and CNN:
“Stop providing free publicity for Donald Trump’s racist and dangerous rhetoric by giving his interviews, speeches and rallies massive airtime. Dump Donald Trump.”
Tell MSNBC and CNN: Stop promoting Donald Trump’s racist presidential campaign. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for everything you do.
Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets