Shortly after Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) wrapped up his victory speech, MSNBC's Brian Williams snarked that there was no "media cabal" that's dead set against giving non-Trump primary candidates virtually no air time.
"We talked about running his speech in prime time," Williams noted to his co-anchor Rachel Maddow, colleague Lawrence O'Donnell, and guest contributor Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican strategist. Williams's remarks came shortly after Wallace noted how "two weeks ago, we struggled to even find [Kasich's] speech on a night like this."
"Far from a media cabal that's against the candidates not at the top of the ticket [sic], we've been trying to show his speeches, we really have," Williams insisted. "We looked for them, I mean, we, y'know," Wallace agreed.
"There's still an aspect of civics to this kind of coverage," Williams sighed. "We're on for hours, and it's been very difficult," he lamented.
Of course the numbers don't lie, as my colleague Curtis Houck noted last night, with an astounding 84 percent of Big Three broadcast network news coverage going to Trump.
A "cabal"? Not quite. That implies a secretive back-room conspiracy and that's not how the media operate.
But there is no doubting that virtually every media outlet has given Donald Trump inordinate amounts of air time, and that often for extended blocks of his speeches.
Here's the relevant transcript:
The Place for Politics (special primary night coverage)
March 15, 2016; 9:35 p.m. Eastern
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: What struck me about it was, he as the other speakers, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio tonight, made an implicit reference to Donald Trump when he was saying, I will not take the low road to try to get to the highest office in the land. And then he uses this phrase, Nicolle, I cannot understand why someone isn’t stopping him.
He says he’s going to have a shock-and-awe agenda when he gets to Washington. He has said it many times. Why isn’t there someone in the Kasich campaign saying, you know what, that phrase brings back difficult memories.
NICOLLE WALLACE: Well, I’ve got one explanation, I mean, I remember, what was it two weeks ago, we struggled to even find his speech on a night like this. So I mean I think the scrutiny is about to increase tenfold.
O’DONNELL: The other thing about this speech that surprised me was he didn’t mention a single issue. It was the good guy speech, I’m a good guy –
WALLACE: And that nice moment for Rubio, he started, yup –
O’DONNELL: Yeah, no, it was very gracious about Rubio, and he had plenty of good good-guy stuff in there. He could have given a few minutes to why you should vote for him as opposed to the other candidates on policy grounds.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Far from a media cabal that's against the candidates not at the top of the ticket [sic], we've been trying to show his speeches, we really have.
WALLACE: We looked for them, I mean, we, y'know.
WILLIAMS: There's still an aspect of civics to this kind of coverage.
WILLIAMS: We're on for hours, and it's been very difficult.
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Updated from earlier (23:11 Eastern)