While Donald Trump’s pandemic response might be botched up, the one thing that the US President has mastered over the years is the art of lying. As the election starts to slip away from him, Trump has been conducting press conferences and peddling falsehoods on Twitter. However, several networks in the US had enough.
When Trump unleashed a flurry of unsubstantiated claims around “illegal votes” and the “election being stolen from us”, multiple networks in the US halted the live coverage. ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from Trump’s White House address.
ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from Trump's White House address, where he made an unfounded accusation that the election was being stolen from him. Network anchors said they needed to correct falsehoods being disseminated by the president.https://t.co/GiykuQgxgk
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 6, 2020
“OK, here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States,” said MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, as the network quickly ended its live coverage.
Here’s the moment @msnbc cut out of the president at the podium.
— Lauren Peikoff (@laurenpeikoff) November 6, 2020
“What a sad night for the United states of America to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper. He described it as “lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen,” with no evidence, “just smears.”
President Trump just spoke at the White House, as key states continue to count votes.
Shep has the facts: “What the President of the United States is saying, in large part, is absolutely untrue.” #Election2020 https://t.co/E6DBt6OodD pic.twitter.com/HVa87qUCzB
— The News with Shepard Smith (@thenewsoncnbc) November 6, 2020
Social media users applauded the US media and asked whether an Indian channel would dare to cut off a politician for peddling lies, something that is a regular occurrence in interviews and election rallies.
Come on Indian Media,
In stead of bragging about Indian electoral process,
do something like this when our worthies are dishing out lies after lies. https://t.co/l7Yw34eIy7
— Urvish Kothari (@urvish2020) November 6, 2020
“One day media owners/anchors in India will aspire to do this and speak truth to power,” said member of Parliament Derek O’Brien.
This is called The Spine.
One day media owners/anchors in India will aspire to do this and speak truth to power. https://t.co/q6jLNC9IXu
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 6, 2020
“Name one Indian media house/network that would be willing to do this if a leader was putting false and dangerous information out there,” tweeted comedian Vir Das.
Name one Indian media house/network that would be willing to do this if a leader was putting false and dangerous information out there. https://t.co/ComnIeKr2U
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) November 6, 2020
Users alluded to the fact that this is what a free press actually looks like, where even the President of the United States cannot get away from peddling lies and inciting hate.
This is what free press looks like.
Trump was cut off from live by US Media for making false claims.
Can Indian media dare to do this during Modi's speech?pic.twitter.com/U0hPXQFL5U
— Abhijeet Dipke (@abhijeet_dipke) November 6, 2020
While the American media has shown spine, Indian channels were bent backwards to those in power and toeing their line.
What American Media Showed Today Is Really Commendable, They Showed That They Have The Spine To Stop The Live Broadcast Of Trump Midway.
But This Won't Happen In India, Because Most Of The Media Here Is Very Much Loyal To Modi And Well Accustomed To His Lies.#indianmedia
— Praveen Kumar P J (@pkpj) November 6, 2020
Prasad Mulgagaonkar on Twitter pointed out that while the American media cut off a President for lying, in India, the media cuts off real issues and keeps the public engaged with frivolous incidents that don’t necessarily affect their lives.
American Media: Cuts off live telecast of their president because of his lie after lie.
— Prasad Mulgaonkar (@prasad24mg) November 6, 2020
Dear Indian media, it is time to grow a spine and hold those in power, accountable.