In a segment on his primetime show Tuesday, Fox News host Jesse Watters asserted that the mainstream media censored former president Donald Trump’s Iowa victory speech and that it plans more censorship in the future.
Leading Republican presidential contender Trump was conciliatory in his Iowa victory speech — at least as close to it as he ever comes — talking about the “good time together” he had running alongside Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
“That’s the racist insurrectionist who’s going to Seal Team 6 his enemies? I don’t think so,” Watters added after playing Trump’s comments.
The Fox News host alleged that “mass censorship’s next,” displaying a graphic with Trump’s mouth covered up with red tape and the phrase “Mass censorship campaign.”
“Last night, CNN dumped out of Trump’s victory speech when he mentioned the border,” Watters asserted.
Watters played a clip showing CNN’s Jake Tapper talking over Trump’s speech. The former president had been thanking various local officials that joined him on stage, though he started to reference specific policy points — including his thoughts on immigration — as Tapper spoke. As the CNN anchor put it, “Under my voice, you hear him repeating his anti-immigrant rhetoric.”
“Immigration was the top issue in Iowa, but CNN doesn’t think you should hear from the man who won campaigning on the top issue?” Watters asked, incredulous. “If Trump’s language is so offensive, air it, and it’ll turn voters off. That’s what CNN wants, right? No. The real reason CNN’s censoring Trump is because they know he’ll win votes campaigning against illegal immigration.”
It is a common practice for news organizations to not take full speeches on election night, particularly when the speech isn’t particularly exciting or when there is other news to cover.
Watters also criticized MSNBC for not carrying Trump’s speech at all.
“They preemptively censored,” Watters said.
He then went to a clip from MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noting that, like a number of mainstream news organizations, they had stopped giving Trump a live platform due to the frequency of the former president’s lies.
“It is not out of spite, it is not a decision that we relish,” Maddow said, “but there is a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.”
Watters compared this treatment of Trump to being like a rated R movie. “Now you and I have kids, we know that doesn’t work. Maddow’s pretending like she’s protecting the network when she broadcasts more hoaxes than Scooby-Doo. And what kind of business model is a news channel that doesn’t take live news? Drag queens twerking in front of kids’ faces is fine, but MSNBC needs to protect you from hearing Trump say, ‘Build the wall.'”
The Fox News anchor questioned how far mainstream media outlets will go in its caution toward airing Trump live.
“Is the media going to censor Trump’s convention speech? Are they going to dump out of his inaugural address?” Watters rhetorically asked. “You can’t save democracy by censoring it.”
He went on to assert that this is working in tandem with a “deep state disinformation campaign,” pointing to British intelligence citing Trump as a national security threat.
Earlier in the segment, Watters played a clip of MSNBC journalists, including Maddow, discussing entrance polls showing that 68% of Iowa GOP caucusgoers didn’t believe that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election.
“Can we just pause for a second? Two-thirds of Iowa Republican caucusgoers believe that the president of the United States right now is a fake,” Maddow said in the footage.
“Not fake. He was sworn in,” Watters clarified, before running down a series of alleged conspiracies that a number of conservatives believe were perpetuated by liberals, Democrats and the mainstream media. “But MSNBC needs to come to grips with the fact that they got caught. Last election, the spooks lied about the lab leak, the laptop and the letter. This changed votes. Plus a harvesting epidemic with the Wandas of the world.”
Watters was referring to stories popularized in conservative media including the question of where COVID-19 originated, the illicit material found on Hunter Biden’s laptop and local official Wanda Geter-Pataky being accused of stuffing a city ballot drop box.
“And this year, it’ll be lawyers interfering,” Watters added as hew shoed a graphic of Biden smiling in a judge’s robe above the phrase “Biden wages lawfare.” He continued with allusions to the numerous indictments of Trump, adding, “But so far, the indictments have backfired on the Democrats, because they never understood you, the voter. They actually don’t want to understand you. They want to hate you from a warm Manhattan studio for threatening their power.”
The next clip he played included MSNBC host Joy Reid talking about white Christian voters in Iowa and questioning why they support Trump. Fox News’ chyron along the bottom of the screen read, “MSNBC smears Iowans as racists.”
Reid said, “They see themselves as the rightful inheritors of this country, and Trump has promised to give it back to them. All the things that we think about — about electability, about what are people gaming out — none of that matters when you believe that God has given you this country, that it is yours, and that everyone who is not a white conservative Christian is a fraudulent American.”
Watters called for Reid to read history, noting that Iowa entered the union as a state free from slavery and was the first state to desegregate its schools.
“They’re Christian in Iowa, just like you are, Joy,” Watters said. “And they don’t like illegal immigration because it drives down wages and drives up government spending. That doesn’t make them racist, it makes them good at math.”
“You voted for a guy who said, ‘Come, risk your lives for the grand wizard,'” Joy Behar said in a clip from “The View.” “‘Come in the snow and the sleet, because I am more important than your life.'”
Watters asserted that Iowa hit a nerve with the press and went after Biden’s perceived frailty due to his age. “Because this morning, they woke up knowing Biden’s not capable of debating Trump. And the media’s calling him ‘the grand wizard,’ attacking you and moving the goalposts.”
The host ended the segment by taking shots at Biden’s memory and speculating on Biden handing over the presidency next year to Vice President Kamala Harris.
He wasn’t the only Fox News anchor to take issue with their rivals’ coverage of Trump’s Iowa victory. Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly mocked MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell’s coverage of election night and did an impression of him. On Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” CNN and MSNBC’s coverage was referred to as “unhinged.”
Watch the entire Jesse Watters segment in the video at the top of this story.
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