King Mourns Mother? Breaking News. Democracy Under Threat? Not So Much.


President Joe Biden on September 1 delivered a roughly 25-minute primetime speech from Independence Hall in Philadelphia about Trumpism’s threat to US democracy. Primetime, that is, for the two major US television networks that aired it live: MSNBC and CNN. The others—ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox—opted not to carry the address, because they deemed it “political” (Washington Post, 9/2/22).

CNN is one of two major US TV networks that aired President Joe Biden’s speech live from Philadelphia.

Across the Atlantic just over a week later, King Charles III addressed Britain and the world about his 96-year-old mother’s death and his preparations to take over the solely symbolic role of British monarch. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox all presumably found it more newsworthy than the President’s remarks, because they carried it live (MediaMatters, 9/9/22). (CNN and MSNBC carried both Biden’s…

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