Chris Hayes was straight up with viewers on Tuesday’s episode of “All In,” telling them that he’s fully aware that it’s “painful” and it “sucks” having to pay attention to the things Donald Trump says and does.
But, the MSNBC anchor explained, the more people actually encounter Trump unfiltered, the more they dislike him, and therefore paying attention “may be crucial to saving American democracy from his current campaign to destroy it.”
Watch the whole segment at the top of the page now.
Hayes began by talking about the New Hampshire GOP primary this week, which Trump won handily. “Just more and more likely, we’re going to be living through another long campaign featuring the man that I, and millions of other Americans consider to be an existential threat to American democracy,” Hayes said.
“That’s where we are and while I get it, believe me, I really get it that hearing about Trump nonstop for the ninth solid year is painful, excruciating, even, I do have a slightly controversial position that Donald Trump is under-covered in the main and the aggregate by the media, and that the media,” Hayes continued, “all of us should be talking about him.”
Hayes elaborated that following “the disgraceful end of his presidency,” referring of course to Trump’s attempted coup culminating with the Jan. 6 attack, “we basically allowed him to live in the kind of shadows of the American consciousness.”
What he meant is that Trump, due to his conduct, had been banned from most major digital platforms and news media largely stopped covering his rallies. Trump, Hayes went on, was limited to posting on his Twitter clone, Truth Social, “where he essentially shouts into the Maga void instead of into the loudest megaphone on the planet.”
“At the time, many of us thought, I thought, this is a good thing,” Hayes continued. “People were sick of hearing new lies, which were becoming increasingly dangerous, right, they had precipitated the violent sacking of the Capitol. But what I would argue is that this arrangement that’s been in place now for several years has, perversely, ultimately come to benefit Trump and his sycophants and his defenders.”
Arguing that “the more voters hear from Him, the less they like him,” Hayes advanced the idea that Trump is currently being under-covered, noting several policies Trump has vowed to pursue should he be elected president again that are deeply unpopular with the majority of Americans.
But Hayes argued Trump is also under-covered in “the most trivial form of coverage,” which he made clear was a job “I hated doing… for instance, the Trump tweet news cycle. Remember that? The ex-president would tweet something aberrant, psychopathic, disgusting, racist, untrue or cruel. And then a lot of folks, sometimes us not always, but we’d spend a day or two talking about and it was just like, incredibly annoying and exhausting.”
But Hayes noted that these news cycles “were very bad for Donald Trump, politically.” As evidence he noted how Republicans would run away from it, and how even his supporters were getting tired of it.
“Now part of this was they didn’t like the tweets because what the tweets revealed is who Donald Trump really is,” Hayes said. “Some people want to pretend it was just about the tweets, but it was Trump being Trump.” But since Trump hasn’t been on Twitter, the “Trump tweet news cycle” hasn’t returned. “If anything, he is even more unhinged and odious online now than he was back then,” because on Truth Social “he kind of gets the best of both worlds. He can blow off steam, showing off what an absolute, I mean, to the bone sociopath he is, and no one outside his most diehard supporters will ever see it.”
So yes, I get it,” Hayes said later, “I mean, again, this is what I do for a living. This is my one precious life. We’re doing this for nine years, right? I get that. Paying attention to all Trump is painful. For lack of a better word. It sucks. Okay? I’ve been doing it since 2015. And believe me when I say that I want nothing more than to never have to talk about him again.”
“But unfortunately, it seems as though reminding Americans exactly who he is, like the guy in the flesh, not some memory of him, not some characterization, but him in the full realness of him, and how much they actually dislike him, may be crucial to saving American democracy from his current campaign to destroy it.”
At that, Hayes noted how, thanks to coverage of Trump statements ahead of this week’s primary, he’s now polling well below Joe Biden in New Hampshire.
“My hypothesis here, and I think there’s a lot of evidence for it, is that as soon as voters are forced to start thinking about Donald Trump again, they remember all the reasons they dislike him in the first place,” Hayes concluded.