Donald Trump’s latest rally was another greatest hits of media attacks, 2020 election falsehoods and long-held and more recent grievances, and while it drew a large in-person crowd in Wellington, Ohio, it did’t get an audience on the three major cable news networks.
The reason: They didn’t carry it.
C-SPAN carried the rally as part of its Road to 2024, as Trump is a potential candidate in the next election, and it also drew coverage on right wing outlets Newsmax and One America News Network. Fox News stayed with its Saturday night lineup of Watters World and Justice with Judge Jeanine; CNN featured an interview with former Vice President Al Gore, among other segments, and MSNBC had The Week with Joshua Johnson.
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A big question following the 2020 presidential election was the level of coverage that news networks would give to Trump, who has the news value of being a potential contender in 2024. Yet as a former president no longer in the White House, he doesn’t automatically warrant attention for his every utterance.
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The rally itself was intended to support Max Miller, a Republican challenging Anthony Gonzalez, in next year’s primary. Gonzalez was among those who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection.
Trump continued to claim that the election was stolen from him, allegations that have come to be known as “the Big Lie” because he and his allies consistently failed in their court challenges to the results. But Trump has continued to push the claims that the 2020 results were rigged, and some of the biggest applause at the event came when he called out Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO who contends that Trump will soon be reinstated. Trump did not say if he would run in 2024, but said, “We won the election twice, and it is possible we might have to win it a third time.”
The former president also got in his digs at the media, referring to “fake news CNN” and “MSDNC.”
“Fox hasn’t been so great either, have they?” he added.
Trump also went after big tech, as his accounts on major platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were suspended following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He accused Democrats of aligning with those major firms, even though lawmakers on the left have been critical of the major platforms. Just this week, the House Judiciary Committee passed a series of antitrust bills aimed at big tech, including one that could lead to the breakup of Facebook and Amazon. The legislation advanced in the committee primarily with the support of Democrats, with most Republicans against it. Among those who voted “no” was the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was among the speakers at today’s rally.
Trump also went after military leadership. “You see these generals on television? They are woke.” Although he did not name him, Trump was referring to Gen. Mark Milley, who in a congressional hearing this week pushed back against attacks by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who had pressed him and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on critical race theory.
“I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin,” Milley said. “That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding, about the country for which we are here to defend?” Milley also said that “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”
Those comments from Milley also drew attacks from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who on Friday said of the general, “He’s not just a pig, he’s stupid.”
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