Something is changing. President Trump is raging, but the American media no longer wants to convey that without comment. His allegations of post-election fraud go too far for many. A new tone sets in.
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“Twitter is out of control” – said the angry US president Friday. The most powerful man in the western world can fire nuclear warheads, but he is no longer allowed to make uncontrollable false or misleading claims on Twitter. And that’s not all: In President Donald Trump’s appearance on Thursday, several US media outlets interrupted their live broadcasts because his allegations of alleged electoral fraud were as sharp as unsubstantiated.
Three days after the election, there are clear trends: Democrat Joe Biden appears to have won the election, so Trump is fighting all the more, but the US media does not want to convey that uncritically – regardless of the venerable presidency.
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Broadcast break for the president
The USA Today newspaper, which is not particularly critical of Trump, stopped the live stream of Trump’s press conference and removed the video from all platforms. “Our job is to spread the truth – not baseless conspiracy theories,” said editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll of the media company’s decision. “President Trump has claimed without evidence that the presidential election was corrupt and fraudulent,” Carroll wrote.
Statements and press conferences from the president are usually broadcast in full by the major US broadcasters – regardless of the political tendencies of the media. But his performance on Thursday night (local time) crossed a line: broadcasters ABC, CBS, CNBC, NBC and MSNBC cut their live signal uncommented during Trump’s speech. “Here we find ourselves again in the unusual situation of not only interrupting the President of the United States, but also correcting the President of the United States,” said MSNBC presenter Brian Williams.
Trump is only trying to use the right airtime at night to spread his crude theses about the allegedly stolen election victory during the current vote count, ABC moderator David Muir said. “We are not witnessing anyone stealing anything tonight. This is democracy, and we have asked the people of America to be patient,” Muir said.
Trump, the “fat turtle”
Trump-critical broadcaster CNN and Trump’s home broadcaster Fox News broadcast the performance live. But afterwards, the – always critical – moderators on CNN almost felt that the emperor was out of clothes from their point of view. “This is the President of the United States, this is the most powerful person in the world. And we see him lying on his back like a fat turtle in the hot sun, lashing out because he realizes his time is up,” said Anderson Cooper. “But he didn’t accept it, and now he wants to drag everyone along, including this country,” Cooper said.
Even at the rather neutral business broadcaster CNBC, the confusion seemed to be spreading in light of Trump’s 16-minute performance. Commenting on the live signal shutdown, presenter Shepard Smith, formerly of Fox News, said: “In my 30-year career, I have never interrupted a President of the United States. “But if someone else were to use our platform to lie to our viewers, we would stop them. And to be honest enough.”
Fox News: Trump Seeks an Alternative Path to Victory
Even at Trump-related broadcaster Fox News, a presenter said after the broadcast that no evidence of Trump’s allegations had yet been seen. The broadcaster’s White House correspondent John Roberts, who is usually also appreciated by Trump, said the president would be aware of his defeat given the vote count status. Therefore, he is trying to “find an alternative way to preserve the White House” through lawsuits and lawsuits.
Even Trump’s medium of choice, the short messaging service Twitter, where he has 88 million followers, seemed to give the president less and less pleasure. His profile there looks like a collection of warning messages since the election. “Some or all of the content in this tweet is controversial and could be misleading as to an election or social process,” warned warnings ahead of Trump’s messages. Twitter also limited the ability to distribute the tweets. Trump saw it as censoring a liberal elite. “Twitter has gotten out of hand,” he raged on Friday morning – in a tweet.
The conflict is likely to worsen in the coming weeks if Biden’s foreseeable election victory is confirmed. Trump will remain the rightful president until January 20 – and he leaves no doubt that he will fight for victory until the final trial. However, it seems that the US media no longer wants to reflexively convey its partly baseless claims. Unlike the atomic bombs, Trump, the commander in chief of the US military, has no control over the media.