What if President Donald Trump held a big July 4th parade and nobody but Fox News Channel viewers watched? As the broadcast networks make other plans and cable news outlets MSNBC and CNN are set to turn their focus elsewhere, that might be what will happen with Trump’s tank- and flyover-fueled “Salute to America” Fourth of July Celebration in Washington D.C. on Thursday.
Fox News will cover live Trump’s portion of the day, which begins at 6:30 PM ET at the Lincoln Memorial with a focus on U.S. armed forces: tanks, military units and drill teams, flyovers by the Navy Blue Angels and the new Marine One (and possibly Air Force One), and a speech from Trump. The daylong event (see the complete schedule below) concludes with what is being called one of the biggest fireworks displays ever in the D.C. region.
The event’s scope and the involvement of Trump, who has wanted a military-focused event since attending a Bastille Day parade in France in 2017, has raised questions about whether the usually nonpartisan event might have political tinges (Trump has just launched his re-election campaign), and whether taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.
The criticism even led PBS to tweet out a reminder that its annual a Capitol Fourth concert event on the West Lawn of the the U.S. Capitol, which is scheduled immediately after Trump’s event, “remains unaffiliated with any other July 4th events around the country and in other locations in Washington, D.C.”
As for news outlets, PBS and C-SPAN will join Fox News in providing live coverage of “Salute to America,” while CNN and MSNBC have said they will only break in to regular programming as news warrants.
The broadcasts networks will rely mostly on their streaming channels for Trump’s portion of the event — ABC News Live, CBSN and NBC News Digital will all provide live coverage — and report stories for use on their respective evening newscasts.
NBC has its own July 4 celebration, its annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, which will air from 8-10 PM ET/PT, with a one-hour encore at 10 PM.
All other broadcast networks are airing regular programming in primetime.
Here is the official schedule of events in D.C. (all times ET):
National Independence Day Parade
(Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street to 17th Street NW)
11:45 AM-2 PM
Salute to America
A Capitol Fourth Concert
West Lawn the U.S. Capitol
Editors note: This story was originally published July 3.