The White House declared the week of July 16, “Made in America” week to celebrate U.S. manufacturing -- a continuance of President Donald Trump’s “America First” campaign focus. But ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows minimized the administration’s focus, mentioning it only one night of the week and used it to criticize Trump.
Products manufactured in the 50 states, including golf clubs, donuts, cowboy hats, blankets and firetrucks, were displayed on the lawn and throughout the White House on June 17. Trump also signed a declaration making July 17, “Made in America Day” to celebrate goods manufactured in the U.S.
But for ABC and CBS, “Made in America” was just Trump trying to distract people from Russia. CBS Evening News interim anchor Anthony Mason accused Trump of using “Made in America” as a way to “change the subject today from Russia to America,” on July 17.
On July 17, all three network evening news shows also hit the president for importing many of his own products from other countries. After that night, all three networks ignored the “Made in America” focus, despite multiple events taking place at the White House.
“But absent today, any Trump branded items, which in the past he hasn’t hesitated to promote. CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman said. “In business, Mr. Trump, as well as his daughter and senior advisor Ivanka, have outsourced manufacturing of their products to countries around the world where labor is cheaper and there are fewer regulations.”
Goldman then went on a tangent to discuss the ethical issues of Trump visiting his golf courses while in office.
ABC’s coverage was just as bad. World News Tonight anchor David Muir also accused President Trump of using the week’s focus as a diversion.
“He had major plans today to turn the page from the Russia investigation to Made in America,” Muir said, “But then he tweeted about Russia himself.”
Muir then highlighted a poll showing Trump’s approval rating falling to “the lowest since right after World War II.”
ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl briefly mentioned a Wisconsin-manufactured fire truck displayed at the White House. But he only used “Made in America” as a segue to the president’s defense of his son, Donald Trump, Jr., for meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.
Muir also asked Karl to talk about why President Trump’s “products are made overseas.” Karl criticized then White House press secretary Sean Spicer for not saying “if there would be more commitment from the Trump companies to buy more American-made goods.”
Only NBC Nightly News focused on “Made in America” without bringing up Russia.
“President Trump today kicked off his ‘Made in America’ week to promote U.S. manufacturing. It was the president’s ‘America First’ messaging that helped him win the election,” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt said.
NBC chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson said Trump was “focusing on what got him there: jobs and manufacturing.”
“On Made in America week, critics counter, the president never put his money where his mouth is while running his own business,” Jackson also said referring to Trump family products often imported from outside the U.S.
Jackson also interviewed three Trump voters in Macomb County, Maryland, a county which voted for Trump in the election. She noted that in counties that voted for Trump, his current approval rating is at 50 percent — ten points higher than elsewhere.
Other liberal media outlets followed ABC’s example and used Made in America as an excuse to attack Trump. The Washington Post published an article titled “Trump’s ‘Made In America’ Week Is Already Backfiring Spectacularly.” It also published an op-ed title “Trump’s ‘Made in America’ week is a hypocritical joke.”
The USA Today editorial board declared on July 19, “Trump’s ‘Made in America’ spin manufactured in fantasyland.”
“Perhaps this is a brilliant ruse to obscure the fact that virtually none of the clothing lines, fashion accessories or home décor items marketed by either Donald Trump or his daughter Ivanka is actually — well, you know — made in America,” they quipped.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah edited the White House’s “Made in America” promotional video to include screenshots of Trump clothing and shoes made in other countries.