Donald Trump returned to the limelight on Sunday with a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, but news networks have taken different approaches to covering the event.
Fox News broadcast the speech live, but CNN and MSNBC did not.
The last two networks covered the speech: CNN had Jim Acosta and Donie O’Sullivan in Orlando, while MSNBC stayed with Al Sharpton Political nation. Sharpton opened his show by blowing up the speech, saying it “proves how happy the Republican Party is to be kept in the dark.”
On CNN, presenter Ana Cabrera took to Acosta, which aired snippets of Trump’s opening remarks, then challenged one, saying “there has never been a trip. more successful than the one we have been in ”. Acosta noted that Trump lost the election. CNN did subsequent segments on Trump’s appearance, with a chyron reading, “Trump serves the same old lines, the same old lies at CPAC.”
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Trump opened his speech by saying, “Hello CPAC. Do you still miss me? He teased the possibility of running in 2024 while again claiming he won last year’s election. “Who knows, I might decide to beat them for the third time,” Trump said.
He made some news, dismissing reports that he was considering setting up a third party. “I am not starting a new party. This is fake news, ”he said.
Trump’s speech was a bit unusual in that former presidents typically wait longer to criticize an incumbent. Banned from Twitter, Trump has been relatively silent since the inauguration, but gave interviews to Fox News after Rush Limbaugh’s death and after reports of a serious Tiger Woods car crash.
His CPAC speech was a bit of a catch-up exercise, as he criticized Joe Biden’s administration, particularly for overturning policies in areas such as immigration and the environment. He also went to some of his biggest hits – like attacks on news media, ‘cancel culture’ and windmills – and feared Biden would get credit for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Never let them take the credit for it. Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place, ”he said.
The difference in approach to Trump’s speech is not a huge surprise. Even when he was president, CNN and MSNBC cut back on the number of live events they would host, fearing that Trump was a given platform to spread disinformation.
Newsmax TV, BBC News 24, BBC World, Sky News and C-SPAN also broadcast the speech, according to research firm Medium Buying.