One day before the second GOP primary debate of this election season, Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump may have been put on notice that at least one cable news network may not be willing to give him wall-to-wall coverage anymore. During what was supposed to be Trump’s big foreign policy speech aboard the USS Iowa Tuesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper cut away from live coverage when he realized that the real estate mogul was just giving the same incoherent and rambling ass stump speech that we’ve heard dozens of times now.
While CNN has been perfectly happy over the past few weeks to give Trump free campaign advertising by airing his speeches in their entirety, it seems Cooper just had enough on Tuesday. It appears The Donald’s campaign staff had promised the media that Tuesday’s address was going to contain specifics and details on his foreign policy vision. Instead, the Trumpster just rambled on about illegal immigration, how everyone in Washington is stupid, the beatdown America is getting from China and the rest of his greatest hits.
When it became obvious that his show was being used, once again, to promote Trump’s campaign, Cooper just cut away from the speech and told his audience that he was told that this was going to be a foreign policy address that would include actual details and plans. He stated that if Trump decided to discuss actual foreign policy, as advertised, then they’d go back to the speech. Obviously, Trump just kept on Trumping, because that’s what he does.
Beyond noting this on air, the program’s Twitter account also hammered the celebrity billionaire for the bait and switch.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 16, 2015
Theodore Schleifer’s CNN.com piece on the speech was also pretty harsh towards the GOP hopeful. Trump was criticized for giving his “umpteenth stump speech” while promising something else entirely.
From the article:
What was pitched as Donald Trump’s maiden foreign policy address ended up being Donald Trump’s umpteenth stump speech.
The Republican front-runner stood on a battleship in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening and largely dispensed with the idea that he would offer a broad foreign policy vision. Instead, the businessman spoke for under 15 minutes aboard the USS Iowa, returning to his tough rhetoric on immigration as several hundred protestors chanted their disapproval nearby.
Trump has recently struggled with some basic foreign policy questions, most prominently in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt — who will be one of the questioners at the CNN debate at the Reagan Library. Trump was flustered early in the interview when he appeared not to know the name of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Forces who has played a critical role in Iraq and in the fight against ISIS.
But he did little on Tuesday to display new national security credentials, mostly repeating his promises to recruit the nation’s smartest negotiators that would execute his foreign policy. The American people, he repeated, are “disgusted” and he could change that.
About a week ago, news leaked out that many CNN producers openly complained to network president Jeff Zucker over the amount of coverage they were giving the former reality TV star. One of the major complaints was that CNN decided to bump Cooper’s 10th anniversary Katrina special to another night so they could air live coverage of a Trump rally and spend additional time talking about his speech.
While I don’t expect an immediate change from any of the cable news stations regarding their coverage of the GOP poll leader, it will be interesting to see if they start listening to some of the criticism that has been tossed their way and at least cover him differently.