Donald Trump’s Fourth of July “Salute To America” event is not getting much attention from the TV networks, with only Fox News providing wall-to-wall coverage, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Other networks plan to air clips during their nightly news broadcasts later Thursday night.
The planned Fourth of July event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and last an hour. The administration has promised that it will be a tribute to the country and its military might, complete with tanks, flyovers by military aircraft, appearances by high-ranking military commanders, and a speech by Trump.
TV news networks, however, aren’t interested. MSNBC, for example, says that they’ll monitor the event for anything they deem newsworthy and air clips if that happens. CNN doesn’t plan to provide wall-to-wall coverage but hasn’t said much else about what it plans to do about the event. Neither CBS nor ABC plan to cover it on their main networks, but both will stream it live on their streaming services. Both say they’ll share any relevant clips on their flagship news broadcasts Thursday night or Friday morning.
PBS, meanwhile, will air Washington’s Capitol Fourth celebration, which starts 30 minutes after the “Salute To America” ends.
Only Fox News will cover the event from beginning to end.
Salute to America is almost here! ???????? pic.twitter.com/iSMFzUBgEj
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 3, 2019
A couple of people with connections to the news industry have given their reasons for declining to provide much coverage of the event. MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes, for example, called the planned event a “Trump re-election kickoff.” Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson called the event “kind of a combination of a Trump rally and Kim Jong Un-style military parade of hardware and equipment.”
Trump has been angling for a military parade in the U.S. for years, ever since he saw a Bastille Day parade in France, complete with marching troops and tanks rolling down the streets of Paris. In fact, at one time there were semi-firm plans in place for one. As of August 2018, as CNBC reported at the time, plans were in the works for such a parade in Washington. However, plans were scrapped as the price tag began to exceed $80 million.
The military aspect of today’s event has been scaled down considerably from how Trump first envisioned it. The tanks, for example, will be stationary, according to MSN, rather than rolling down the streets of Washington.
Still, the costs have raised some concerns. The details of the expected final tally are being kept under wraps, but Business Insider reports that $2.5 million has been diverted from the National Parks budget to help cover the costs of the event.