Katy Tur on How MSNBC Will Tackle Disinformation in 2024 Election Coverage: ‘A Battle That We’re All Fighting’

“There’s certainly nowhere else I’d rather be than covering this,” the anchor tells TheWrap

MSNBC's Katy Tur

MSNBC’s Katy Tur implores America to pay attention as she takes her show on the road to New Hampshire and continues to contextualize misinformation coming out of the primary race saying, “It’s a battle that we’re all fighting in all aspects of our lives, every day.”

“You can only learn so much by sitting in a studio and relying on polling,” Tur told TheWrap. “You have to talk to people in person.”

The MSNBC anchor will be hosting “Katy Tur Reports” live from New Hampshire on Monday, Jan. 15 and Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. ET. Tur will also be reporting live from New Hampshire throughout MSNBC’s special coverage of the Iowa Caucus beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Monday.

“You have to get a feel of a place and that doesn’t just involve going to a diner and putting a camera in people’s faces, but talking to everybody,” Tur told TheWrap. “Once you’re on the ground really immersing yourself in that place, you find out how voters are thinking and whether things like criminal prosecutions are weighing on their minds.”

Tur, who emerged as a breakout journalist in 2016 while covering Donald Trump’s campaign, is not a rookie when it comes to election reporting.

“We, in the news business at MSNBC and NBC News have been doing this a long time,” Tur said. “We have been following the story now for multiple years, how the country is changing. How the country is pulling itself apart or coming back together.”

In this election, “The American public has the chance to decide where it wants America to go, what it wants to be, and who it wants to lead them,” Tur told TheWrap. “That has a big bearing on not just our politics here at home, but a very big bearing on the world. Especially in this moment where it feels like the world is coming apart at the seams.”

MSNBC's Katy Tur

“There’s certainly nowhere else I’d rather be than covering this in the moment,” Tur said assuredly.

The MSNBC anchor spoke to TheWrap in-depth about where she thinks this race is headed and why she implores everyone to “pay attention as closely as we are.”

How are you approaching the uniqueness of this race?

We are entering into a series of pivotal election years. Everybody will tell you this is the election that matters, but we really are at a moment where our country is changing in some fundamental ways and we are watching a real battle for who the Republican Party is and where it wants to go.

It starts in Iowa on Monday night, but New Hampshire is where everything could really change. If the race has a real contender against Donald Trump, the momentum is going to shift in New Hampshire…Because if Nikki Haley finishes strong in Iowa, she’s going to get some real momentum in New Hampshire, where she’s already starting to poll really well. What does it mean for Ron DeSantis? And then if Ron DeSantis or anyone has an upset in Iowa, it does feel like we could be headed toward a real interesting three-way race, and that’s really gonna begin in the state of New Hampshire.

Misinformation has played a massive role in this race, not solely manifesting online, but from the candidates’ mouths themselves. How are you combating this to best inform your audience?

It’s a battle that we’re all fighting in all aspects of our lives, every day. Anytime you get information from your phone from whatever source you’re getting it from you have to you have to do a bit of a filtering of that information to to see whether it’s real. I see crazy things on social media all the time. And I think, wow, that’s insane. I can’t believe that and I want to share it. Then I think, wait hold on, this doesn’t feel right or am I sure that this is happening. Then you have to go and do a few extra steps, some googling, and some more research to find out if it’s true. This is what I do on my show every day is that filter. I don’t put things on the air that aren’t true and when somebody says something that gets through, what we do is contextualize it.

How do Trump’s legal challenges factor into these first two races? How are you specifically talking about it and framing the situation?

I think it’s a big deal regardless of what voters say about it.

These are criminal cases that are brought by the Justice Department, federal government, and states. You can’t bring a case unless there’s evidence and a grand jury votes on it. You can’t prosecute a case and get a conviction on a case without presenting that evidence to the jury and convincing the jury that there’s wrongdoing there.

I think they’re serious outside of the world of politics. And so I cover it as significant in and of itself. I also cover it in the way that it’s affecting this election and what it’s doing to the electorate. We’ll see what happens when people vote. Donald Trump’s base is only hardening by this idea that he says he’s being victimized. Now, others will say, “No way he’s being victimized. These are legitimate investigations. Look what happened on January 6. Look what we all saw with our own eyes.” There’s some who are hardening and then there are other voters who say, “I like the politics, I like the policies, I’m sick of the drama.” The question that I have, and I don’t have an answer to this right now, is how many of those voters are there.

What is your take on Chris Christie dropping out of the race prior to Iowa and how do you think that could impact the primary field going forward?

I think it’s actually huge. It’s a massive development in this race. Chris Christie was staking his candidacy on New Hampshire. He and Nikki Haley were fighting for their birth in New Hampshire. Without him in that state, does his support — even though he hasn’t endorsed anyone — go to Nikki Haley, and if it does, does she really have a chance to beat Donald Trump there? Does that change things in South Carolina which is a Trump stronghold, even though she was governor? Does that change her momentum in South Carolina and does that change the race? So I think Christie dropping out is a very, very, very big deal.


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