Commentary

When The News Warrants It

I'm no twit, but the best way to have watched the Florida man's announcement Tuesday night was on the dual screen of a TV set and Twitter's feed so you could simultaneously see how the major news networks were treating it -- and how people were reacting to that -- in real-time.

The first thing you would have noticed was how people reacted when CNN cut away -- midway through his announcement -- to hear the network's talking-head panel observations.

Many people seemed surprised, but not nearly as much as when Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity also cut away from the live announcement to get "snap reactions" to it, even as the Florida man continued to speak.

Hannity called it a "very powerful speech," adding "this is game time for him," even as he muted the Florida man's audio feed.

"This is literally like when you talk about grandpa while grandpa's right there in the room with you muttering about what's on television," The Atlantic Staff Writer Tom Nichols tweeted during his excellent play-by-play analysis of the announcement, noting that even after Hannity threw Fox News' prime-time coverage to Laura Ingraham, she too basically just ignored it.

"As Sean said, president Trump, he continues to speak," she opened her show with, adding: "He spoke now for almost 57 minutes or so."

After eventually "dipping back in" to grandpa's live, meandering, chaotic rant, Ingraham once again cut away, explaining: "We're gong to go back to president Trump when news warrants."

Since you've already probably heard many of the Florida man's highlights -- and outtakes -- in various social-media memes and late-night talk show jokes, I'll spare you my own "best of," but I want to focus on something else Nichols tweeted when some Twitter followers objected to his diligent coverage and observations about the Florida man's announcement, because it's something I wrestle with myself.

When a follower suggested Nichols maybe should not give so much oxygen to what the Florida man has to say, he responded by tweeting: "I spent all of 2019 and 2020 explaining to all of you why this is a bad idea and why every stupid crazy thing he says needs to be amplified and hung around the neck of the republican party and I'm not gonna change my mind."

Tom Nichols is a far better journalist than I'll ever be.

1 comment about "When The News Warrants It".
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  1. Kenny Kurtz from Persuasion Marketing And Media, November 23, 2022 at 7:26 a.m.

    As a reader, and not a watcher, I didn't go near that ridiculous announcement of the orange haired buffoon's intention to further destroy conservatism. He has known he didn't win, and knows he cannot win moving forward. Yet he lives all this attention. Perfection, to me, would have been nobody watching, nobody "cutting in" rendering the "cut outs" that took place on various networks unnecessary. And NOBODY writing hatchet pieces to satisfy their own dysfunction.

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