CNN’s Stelter and Vox’s Coaston Discuss Press Giving Little Notice to Trump Treason Tweet: ‘It’s Festivus All the Time’


On Friday, President Trump tweeted that “spying” on his campaign constituted “treason” and speculated about jail sentences. While it caused a splash in the morning news cycle, it wasn’t big news over the weekend, and CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter wondered why on Sunday morning.

Stelter introduced the segment by saying that Trump’s claims of treason by the intelligence community only make sense “if you subscribe to the Sean Hannity cinematic universe.”

He covered the tweet, and then noted the comparative lack of coverage. “The news media sighed, shrugged, and moved on. Even cries of treason are not enough to spark breaking news coverage any more,” he said.

He played a clip from Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, nothing that even she did not take it seriously. And on the non-cable channels, almost nothing at all about it.

“I checked out the broadcast networks too,” he said. “The only coverage, the only show I could find that mentioned it at all was a comedy show.” He played a clip of comedian and late night talker Jimmy Kimmel riffing on the tweet, and turned to his panel to ask why this earned so little press.

Senior political reporter for Vox Jane Coaston gave the perhaps unexpected answer that the media was right to generally play down Trump’s tweet. Specifically, he asked is the press right to “shrug off the President’s extreme, wild claims on Twitter these days?”

“I think so,” said Coaston. “Because I think that we’ve seen time and time again there’s a difference between Trump’s Twitter feed and the Trump administration, and one of those has the power of law behind it.”

“We’ve seen even in court proceedings in which the Trump administration has basically implied that Trump’s tweets don’t matter, because he doesn’t know anything and is just tweeting,” she said. “And so it’s a fascinating move from — I remember 2016, 2017 where we saw real economic turmoil result from Trump tweeting about a business, for example.”

“But now, it’s basically where Trump kind of airs his grievances, like it’s Festivus all the time,” she said.

“As if none of it should matter,” Stelter summarized.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.

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