ABC/NBC Set the Stage for Media to Quickly Forget State of the Union

With President Trump set to address the nation during the State of the Union on Tuesday, the White House billed the theme of speech as “building a safe, strong, and proud America.” But during some of the network morning shows on Sunday, journalists appeared eager to get past the address and forget about it, maybe even as soon as “Wednesday afternoon,” as one guessed.

After first airing a political report that barely touched on the upcoming address, ABC Good Morning America co-host Paula Faris was skeptical that Trump could use the speech to “reset” the hostility over debates such as DACA. “He’s going to attempt for compromise in this speech. Is that possible for him to simply reset,” she wondered to correspondent Martha Raddatz.

Raddatz didn’t believe it was possible and quipped about how both sides would take what they wanted from the speech and that would be it. But she went a bit further and seemed to suggest none of it mattered since the media was just going to forget about it later:

But just looking at David Wright's piece there and what he was saying when he spoke in front of Congress before and saying, we don't want to be divided. Things pass really quickly. Things move really quickly in this town and in this country and they might forget about that speech within a couple of days, even if they like it.

 

 

There was a similar sentiment on NBC’s Sunday Today where Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd seemed bitter in saying: “Ask yourself, in the era of Trump, does a big speech like the State of the Union have any legs anymore, right?

Is it going to have any lasting impact beyond the 12-hour news cycle we're on these days of stories? You realize it's been less than a week since the government was shut down,” Todd continued. “Okay. And so ask yourself if this state of the union is good. Will we be talking about it on Wednesday afternoon?

Todd also seemed to discredit the consideration that the GOP tax reform bill was really considered an achievement, despite the fact that well over 200 companies had cited the reforms as the reason he hind there large bonuses and wage increases. “I expect him to sell a tax plan a lot, which is -- in his mind, I think, the biggest achievement he's got so far and frankly it's something he hasn't done a lot of,” Todd said. It was the line about the achievement being in Trump’s mind that exposed Todd’s intent with the statement.

In the age of Obama, the liberal media wouldn’t even think about trying to discredit anything he said during the State of the Union, let alone gloat about how fast they were going to forget about it. In truth, they controlled the degree to which they cover news stories. For instance, they went on for days about Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes and were eager to get on board a 2020 presidential run, yet they put off talking about the missing FBI text messages and the Inspector General investigation.

Transcripts below:

 

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ABC
Good Morning America
January 28, 2018
8:05:55 AM Eastern [1 minute 10 seconds]

PAULA FARIS: Let's get back to the State of the Union, Martha. There's all this talk this morning that the State of the Union is a chance for the president to reset and hit that reset button. Aides have said he'll reach beyond his base. He’s going to attempt for compromise in this speech. Is that possible for him to simply reset?

MARTHA RADDATZ: Well, I think not in one speech. He may reset for that one speech, but I think you have to go back again. Will his base love it no matter what he says? They probably will. If he's very calm. If he's very positive. Those who don't particularly like President Trump might look at it and say, what a great speech. But then they'll move on. Or they'll say he was reading from a teleprompter. Other people were telling him what to do. But I do think you'll see a very positive speech from President Trump. He likes being before Congress. You get lots of applause.

But just looking at David Wright's piece there and what he was saying when he spoke in front of Congress before and saying, we don't want to be divided. Things pass really quickly. Things move really quickly in this town and in this country and they might forget about that speech within a couple of days, even if they like it.

DAN HARRIS: The last speech was well received but the news cycle moves incredibly fast, as you said.

...

NBC
Sunday Today
January 28, 2018
8:07:46 AM Eastern [1 minute 8 seconds]

WILLIE GEIST: So, that brings us to Tuesday night and the State of the Union. We heard the President in Davos this week sort of touting his first year, America is open for business. You think back to his inaugural address, it was dark, talking about carnage in America. What do you expect to see Tuesday?

CHUCK TODD: I expect him to sell a tax plan a lot, which is -- in his mind, I think, the biggest achievement he's got so far and frankly it's something he hasn't done a lot of. Look, this is an opportunity, you get anywhere from 30 to 50 million people to tune in depending on the level of interest on any given year. This is certainly an opportunity for the President to message. But Willie, ask yourself, in the era of Trump, does a big speech like the State of the Union have any legs anymore, right?

GEIST: Right.

TODD: Is it going to have any lasting impact beyond the 12-hour news cycle we're on these days of stories? You realize it's been less than a week since the government was shut down.

GEIST: Right.

TODD: Okay. And so ask yourself if this state of the union is good. Will we be talking about it on Wednesday afternoon?

GEIST: Yes. I think the old news cycles you'll agree do not apply in the last year, year and a half. Chuck Todd, thanks so much as always.

NBDaily Events State of the Union Double Standards Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Chuck Todd Martha Raddatz Donald Trump

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