MSNBC’s Refusal to Air Medal of Honor Ceremony Shows How Petty Disdain For Trump Clouds News Judgment
As flagged by the Washington Free Beacon, MSNBC was the only one of the three big cable networks to not carry live the Medal of Honor ceremony for the late Staff Sgt. Travis W. Atkins.
Atkins was killed in Iraq on June 1, 2007 after he fought a suicide bomber in hand-to-hand combat and shielded his troops from the blast. Atkins and his team were searching suspected insurgents when one of them began to fight back:
As the hand-to-hand battle continued, the insurgent was able to reach the suicide vest under his clothing. At that point, Atkins wrapped the insurgent up and threw him to the ground, away from his Soldiers who were standing a few feet away.
Aware of the imminent danger, Atkins threw himself on top of the suicide bomber, pinning him to the ground and shielding his Soldiers from the imminent explosion while bearing the brunt of the blast as the bomb detonated.
In this critical and selfless act of valor, which mortally wounded him, Atkins saved the lives of three other Soldiers who were with him.
At no point did Deadline: White House, hosted by Nicolle Wallace, cut away to air the ceremony. It speaks volumes when even an event to honor a true American hero can’t break through the mindset of “orange man bad” at the network.
Now, there could have been legitimate reasons why the network — which features a lineup chock full of Trump critics — did not want to air something live that had President Donald Trump in it. But if there is, MSNBC has yet to tell us. As of publication of this post, the network has not responded to a request for comment.
Wallace did put a ban on airing clips of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last year.
“Let’s make that the last Sarah Huckabee Sanders clip ever aired at four o’clock,” Wallace said after Sanders footage was played on the broadcast. “Yup, that’s it. You know, it makes me sweat. That is vile.”
But Sanders was not part of the ceremony, so that excuse is out the window.
When Trump hosted the Medal of Honor ceremony for Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II in October, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi did the opposite and actually implored his viewers to stay and watch.
“We are going to listen in to the Medal of Honor ceremony. I will tell you, it is important. These ceremonies, this is the fourth one under the president. I know I’m going to get some tweets from some of you who think you don’t want to hear it. This isn’t about the President of the United States. This is about Ronald Shurer II, a former Green Beret staff sergeant and an American hero, and that’s why we are going to listen into this,” he explained.
For a guy like Trump who always makes it about himself at almost every public event, he does not do so at the Medal of Honor ceremonies and the one for Atkins was no exception.
Trump even invited Trevor Oliver, Atkins’ son, to say a few words before being presented with his dad’s medal.
When Barack Obama was president, Fox News, on more than occasion, also cut away from their programing to air the Medal of Honor ceremonies he hosted:
All of this to say it’s a shame MSNBC did not air such a moment. It’s a reminder that while we sit and argue with each other, there are Americans willing to put themselves in harm’s way and coverage of the aftermath of their bravery is newsworthy, regardless of who the president is.
Watch above, via Fox News.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.