Unsurprisingly, MSNBC’s entire primetime lineup spent Tuesday night talking about the biggest political news of the day — Donald Trump’s arraignment in Florida on federal charges. And during the discussion, Joy Reid argued that it is vital that the upcoming Trump trial be televised in order to neutralize Trump’s “ability to use disinformation.”
Trump was booked on 37 charges stemming from the investigation into how he unlawfully kept possession of hundreds of sensitive classified documents after leaving the White House. At issue is less that he took the documents and more, according to the indictment, about how he and his staff deceived federal investigators and conspired to prevent them from retrieving the documents, and the extremely unsecure way he stored the documents he was knowingly concealing.
And during the 9 p.m. time slot normally occupied either by “The Rachel Maddow Show” or “Alex Wagner Tonight,” Reid appeared alongside Maddow, Wagner and fellow MSNBC hosts Nicole Wallace and Stephanie Ruhle, where the fact that the arraignment wasn’t televised and likely, neither will the trial, came up.
Reid indicated it’s an open question “if people believe what happens in the court room. Because Donald Trump really is powerful in terms of his ability to use disinformation. If the trial is also silent, if the trial cannot actually be heard or seen by the public, then they’re gonna have to then go through the filter of those of us in the media interpreting for the audience what happened in the trial.”
“And that means only the people who already believe what the media says will believe it. You’ll never be able to convince — and I don’t think we need to — a third of the country will always be gone. They are his people, and since only 60% of people vote, that’s the 50% that he needs in order to become president again,” Reid continued.
“But the reality is there are people who are not far right MAGA, who are repeating, ‘well Hillary Clinton, why didn’t she get indicted? Well, Biden had them, well Pence had them,’ And that is a simple, powerful message” Reid added. She was of course referring to the far less serious and less numerous classified documents Biden and Pence discovered they had possession of after the Trump matter became public. Both of them cooperated with authorities to return them and they have not been accused of wrongdoing. She was also referring to Clinton who, like her predecessor Colin Powell maintained a private server as Secretary of State and was ultimately found not to have committed any crimes after a years-long FBI investigation.
“So I think you’ve all made an excellent case, you’ve got to televise this trial. You’ve got to at least have audio so we can hear for ourselves,” Reid said. Watch that clip below:
Later in the evening during “The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle,” New York Times reporter Katie Brenner, appearing as a panel guest during a discussion of the same issue, disagreed. “I do not think that having live footage of this trial is going to stop disinformation or misinformation. I do not think that there is any way that having live footage of this trial is not going to help Donald Trump as much as it hurts him,” she said.
“He’s going to stream every bit of live footage from that trial and use it to his advantage in his own campaign. I do not think that the idea that the American public can watch it live is going to mean that the American public won’t be swayed by voice like the Trump campaign, clever uses of editing, and sort of a spin on whatever it is that’s happening,” she continued.
“People are going to go to various news outlets, but they’re also going to go to people like Steve Bannon’s radio show, they’re going to go to bloggers, they’re going to TikTok, they’re going to social media to get an interpretation of what happened,” Brenner continued. “They’re not going to sit and watch every second of the trial and even if they do, they’re going to go to secondary sources for interpretation.”
Watch that clip below: