CBS Ignores First Lady Slamming Media, ABC Barely Notices

On Thursday, only NBC’s Today show devoted a full report to First Lady Melania Trump slamming the media during a Fox News interview aired Wednesday night. CBS This Morning completely ignored her comments, while ABC’s Good Morning America only allowed a few seconds of coverage.

“On board the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, Melania Trump talked with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, defending the President and taking on the press,” NBC Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson reported on the morning show. The headline on screen announced: “Melania Trump Speaks Out; Slams Media, Touts ‘Chemistry’ With President.”       

 

 

A clip ran of Hannity wondering: “What’s been the hardest thing you have to deal with?” The First Lady responded by calling out the liberal press, among other media figures: “I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to performers, book writers.”

Later, the segment highlighted another portion of the interview in which Trump hammered reporters:

HANNITY: What would you want America to know about him behind the scenes that maybe they don’t see or know? That maybe the media would never portray about him?

TRUMP: That he’s fighting for America and American people every day, every day. He wants to govern the right way, and sometimes it’s tough because we could see the media wants to bash and focus on negativity.

Jackson wrapped up the report by citing the First Lady scolding journalists for speculating on her marriage to the President: “Mrs. Trump was also asked about speculation, rumors about her marriage. She blasted the media for focusing on what she called “gossip and nonsense,” and said she’d prefer it if reporters would focus on the substance.”

ABC’s GMA also provided a full report on Melania Trump’s Fox interview, but it mostly focused on her remarks about the President and largely avoided her media criticism. Only at the very end of the story did correspondent Linsey Davis spend a few seconds mentioning the First Lady’s displeasure with press. Even then, the reporter simply read a quote rather than actually play the soundbite:

When asked what the hardest thing is that she’s had to deal with, she said, “Opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to performers, book writers.” She then added that, “It doesn’t hurt, the problem is that they’re writing the history and it’s not correct.” But over and over again she continues to say that she remains true to herself.

CBS This Morning only offered viewers a 33-second news brief on Trump visiting with military families on Wednesday, but no mention was made of the Fox News interview or her comments about the media.

Credit to NBC for being willing to air footage of the First Lady taking on journalists. Perhaps all three broadcast networks should take Trump’s critiques to heart.

Here is a full transcript of Jackson’s report on the December 13 Today show:

7:08 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We are hearing from another key member of the Trump administration this morning, the First Lady. She’s speaking out in a rare and candid new interview. NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson joins us with this story. Hey, Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hi, Hoda, good morning to you. On board the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, Melania Trump talked with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, defending the President and taking on the press.

[ON-SCREEEN HEADLINE: Melania Trump Speaks Out; Slams Media, Touts “Chemistry” With President]

This morning, the First Lady opening up.

MELANIA TRUMP: I think my husband, he’s doing an incredible job.

JACKSON: Melania Trump talking about her marriage and the media.

SEAN HANNITY: What’s been the hardest thing you have to deal with?

TRUMP: I would say the opportunists who are using my name or my family name to advance themselves, from comedians to journalists to performers, book writers.

HANNITY: Does it hurt?

TRUMP: It doesn’t hurt. The problem is they are writing the history and it’s not correct.

JACKSON: The rare interview, just her second extended sit-down since becoming First Lady.

HANNITY: Is there a moment you realized this is real?

TRUMP: It’s incredible, especially when you think about it, your life, where you were born, and all the steps you took. I took a lot of steps. It’s not just like you end up here. You learn a lot on the way here. You need to have very thick skin.

JACKSON: To that end, she’s taken a stance against online bullying. Though critics say her Be Best campaign often seems at odds with her husband’s Twitter tirades.

TRUMP: I don’t agree with his tone sometimes and I tell him that. So as I said before, sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn’t.

HANNITY: Have you ever stopped him? Like he was going to say something and you said –

TRUMP: I say to him, “You know, I don’t think you need to tweet that out.” But in the end, it’s his decision. He knows the consequences, he’s an adult. And you know – but he’s a fighter. He’s a fighter.

JACKSON: The First Lady sharing more about how she and her husband first met.

TRUMP: We had great chemistry when we met in 1998 and we start dating and, you know, we dated for a long time before we got married. And we got married, we had a son. But we had great chemistry from the day one.

HANNITY: What would you want America to know about him behind the scenes that maybe they don’t see or know? That maybe the media would never portray about him?

TRUMP: That he’s fighting for America and American people every day, every day. He wants to govern the right way, and sometimes it’s tough because we could see the media wants to bash and focus on negativity.

JACKSON: Mrs. Trump was also asked about speculation, rumors about her marriage. She blasted the media for focusing on what she called “gossip and nonsense,” and said she’d prefer it if reporters would focus on the substance.

And by the way, during her visits yesterday to thank troops for their service, Mrs. Trump hit a milestone. She became the first First Lady ever to fly on an Osprey aircraft, Savannah and Hoda.  

KOTB: A first. Alright, Hallie, thank you.


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