FOX News featured Donald Trump and his family in the 10 minutes prior to the New Year’s Eve countdown. CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter asked Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway and BuzzFeed’s senior political writer McKay Coppins if such coverage would hurt the Republican Party come election time.
Hemingway said that while there is an issue with more populist forms of conservative media helping Donald Trump, the FOX News example was not a good one.
On New Year’s Eve coverage, standards are just lowered if not completely annihilated. Here at CNN you had Kathy Griffin begin her coverage by asking Anderson Cooper about how far he’d gotten sexually with Caitlyn Jenner. She later disrobed in Times Square. I mean you just see networks have fun, people are drinking, the standards get lowered and I think that’s what you saw with this particular example on Fox News.
She noted that FOX also featured Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, as well as Martin O’Malley and other candidates.
Later, Hemingway said it begs the question to ask about coverage of Trump hurting the Republican Party. But even if we assume that it does, the better question is about why non-conservative media outlets are covering him so much:
But if we’re saying the conservative entertainment media types are hurting the Republican Party by covering Trump so much. What does that say about the rest of the media? There was one survey that showed in previous month, CNN covered Trump three times as much as all other candidates combined during a 1-week period. Another study showed that CNN and MSNBC covered Trump three times as much as FOX News. So if FOX News is hurting the Republican Party by covering Trump, what is CNN doing, what is MSNBC doing?
Finally, Hemingway said that rather than freak out about each and every thing Trump says, reporters should not mock or dismiss Trump or his supporters but try to better understand what this populist moment means, and understand resentment not just with regard to Trump but with Bernie Sanders, who enjoys similar levels of support in his primary race against Hillary Clinton.
You can watch the full discussion here.