Trump farewell video: Major networks boycott president’s speech

Some critics complained that mainstream broadcasters were not airing president’s farewell address

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 19 January 2021 23:06 GMT
President Trump urges Americans to "pray" for success of new administration

Donald Trump posted a pre-recorded farewell video today, boasting– often erroneously – about the accomplishments of his administration.

Some social media users noted that the video was not broadcast on mainstream news broadcasts.

"Only Newsmax is airing Trump's farewell video," Jeremy Barr, a reporter for the Washington Post tweeted.

Shortly after he shared the tweet, Fox News announced it would also run the president's message in full.

"US mainstream media all chose to stay with pictures of President-Elect Joe Biden disembarking from the plane at the time the Donald Trump recording of his final speech as President was released," another user wrote.

Some users may have confused the president's pre-recorded message for a live statement. Broadcasters may run the video - in full or in part - later in the day.

Plenty of mainstream outlets reported on the farewell message.

Shortly after the video was posted to YouTube, CNN's Jim Acosta tweeted out a link to the video.

Some users were upset that broadcasters chose to air footage of Mr Biden arriving in Washington DC for his inauguration rather than Mr Trump's address.

"Not one mainstream TV network carried it, not even FOX, or FBN, I looked! CSPAN 3 actually had the audacity to air the Clinton farewell speech at the same time President Trump was giving his own farewell speech!" one user wrote.

The Hill, Politico, The Guardian, CBS News, ABC News, The New York Times, CNN and The Independent, among others, reported on the farewell speech shortly after it was posted.

Mr Trump wished the incoming administration "good luck," but was criticised for not mentioning Mr Biden's name once.

"While there are several references to the new administration, Trump does not mention Biden by name in his farewell video. It’s about 20 minutes," CNN's White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins wrote.

Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence group, noted that QAnon conspiracy theorists and deluded Trump loyalists are claiming the video was a deepfake.

"An entire brainwashed movement now responding that Trump’s farewell speech just now was 'deepfake,' that he’s still “NOT CONCEDING,” and continuing embrace of 'civil war,'" she wrote. "Some taking the speech itself as a nod to continue their 'awakened' movement."

Others criticised Mr Trump's use of a pre-recorded, rather than live, address, claiming it was a clear indication he was bitter over his loss.

"Nothing encapsulates the smallness and isolation of Trump's final days as President more succinctly than pre-taping his farewell address and tossing it up on YouTube. A sad, pathetic ending for a historically petty man," Tommy Vietor, a member of the Barack Obama administration, wrote. 

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