Chris Hayes had a simple plea for other members of the media when it comes to reporting on Donald Trump: “Tell the full truth.”
Specifically, the MSNBC host urged media outlets not to simply report on things the disgraced ex-president says, but to note when what he says is objectively false, particularly when such statements are contradicted by his own very documented record.
What inspired this commentary is what Hayes described as Trump’s “counterprogramming plans” during next week’s GOP primary debate, which he is once again skipping. Trump plans to give a speech in Detroit in front of members of the United Auto Workers union, which is currently engaging in a targeted strike against major car makers.
Hayes noted — and this is well documented — that “for decades, decades, it has been the case [that] if you elect a Republican President, you will get a federal government that is much more hostile to organized labor. And, crucially, this is important, this was also true under the last Republican President, a guy by the name of Donald Trump.”
Hayes went on to list just a few of the many examples of Trump’s policies and appointments that attacked unions. Then he noted that those actions stand in contrast to the wave of labor activism across the country, including UAW members in the auto industry.
Which brought Hayes to his larger point. Trump, he explained, like many Republicans has frequently blamed problems auto workers face on the rise of electric vehicles and ‘green’ technology. Frequently claim that if U.S. auto manufacturers switch to making electric vehicles, they’ll be made in other countries. Hayes notes this is something auto workers are concerned about.
“You can be sure that Donald Trump will harp on electric vehicles again in Detroit when he speaks in front of the striking auto workers next week,” Hayes said, adding that when he does, “it will be a real test of the political press.”
Will they just focus on the optics? ‘Donald Trump courts union voters?’ Or will they dig into the actual substance of Trump’s actual record on labor, when he was actually the president of the United States, as well as the record of his party?” Hayes asked.
Hayes argued that the media largely failed this test in 2016. “And we do not want that to happen again. We cannot just report on what Donald Trump says on its face. Donald Trump was the President of the United States and in that position, he wielded real power. He has a substantive record beneath his words, and everyone has a responsibility to tell the full truth about that,” Hayes concluded.
Watch the clip above.