by Lee Fang at Lee Fang’s Substack
This commentary is a collaboration with Unherd.
Here we go again. About 30 minutes into counting the first votes of the Iowa caucus, the Associated Press, CNN, NBC, and various other news networks called it for Donald Trump.
There was little doubt that the former president would easily dominate the rural state. But the rush to declare him the victor — in violation of policies that prohibit such calls before the polls close — was a blatant attempt to soak up the election night audience.
This followed another departure from traditional editorial practices when MSNBC and CNN refused to screen Trump’s victory speech. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, casting herself and her network as defenders of the republic, justified the unusual decision with typical, exaggerated commentary. Maddow said her network would suffer by “knowingly broadcasting untrue things.” The Iowa primary heralded “democracy falling to an authoritarian and potentially fascist form of government.” For his part, Jake Tapper of CNN suggested his network had to shield viewers from “anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
Trump responded in kind. “NBC and CNN refused to air my victory speech,” he said at a rally in New Hampshire the following day. “Think of it — because they are crooked. They’re dishonest, and frankly, they should have their licenses or whatever they have taken away.”
And with that, election season has started,…Continue Reading