Networks shun coverage of Biden’s Philly speech over politicized tone

Given that it is relatively rare for American presidents to take to the airwaves during prime-time viewing hours, networks tend to provide airtime when they do, but the content of President Joe Biden’s Thursday speech in Philadelphia was so egregiously political in nature, most outlets bucked White House requests and declined to broadcast it live, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Specifically, major networks including CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox News opted not to cover the speech at all, though predictably liberal outlets CNN and MSNBC did take the address live.

Billed in advance as an address focused on Biden’s plan to heal the “soul of the nation,” it was clear to network executives from the start that the speech was likely to be comprised largely of broadside attacks on the president’s political enemies, though some may have been surprised by just how alarming his positions would be in relation to the 74 million voters who supported former President Donald Trump in 2020, to whom he referred as “MAGA Republicans.”

“MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards,” Biden railed, adding that in his opinion, “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refused to acknowledge a free election.”

Continuing his castigation of anyone not in agreement with the leftward direction in which he and his party are attempting to steer the country, Biden declared, “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

Though the White House reportedly attempted to persuade the networks to give live airtime to Biden’s speech by suggesting it would not be “about a particular politician or even about a particular political party,” the president’s own words from the podium that night gave lie to that assertion and vindicated the sense among many that such remarks were ill-advised and inappropriate so close to November’s midterm contests.

Despite the fact that her network was among the rare few that did present the president’s speech to viewers as it was delivered, even Brianna Keilar of CNN had to admit that the optics of the event – in which Biden spoke amid a backdrop of ominous blood-red lighting, flanked by service members standing guard – were manifestly and wrongly political in nature.

“Whatever you think of this speech the military is supposed to be apolitical. Positioning Marines in uniform behind President Biden for a political speech files in the face of that. It’s wrong when Democrats do it. It’s wrong when Republicans do it,” Keilar stated.

Aptly summarizing the crux of Biden’s disgraceful screed was Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld, who called it “a political call to arms, a feeble distraction that’s trying to put two groups against each other” and added, “he doesn’t just want to be a wartime president, he wants to be a civil wartime president,” and that is an approach utterly unbecoming the commander in chief and one the networks were right in deciding — somewhat surprisingly — not to amplify.