It was not must-see TV.

Donald Trump’s prime-time declaration to run for president for the third straight time was ignored by network news outlets and only partially ran on CNN and Fox News Channel.

The one-term president, 76, ended months of speculation about throwing his hat back in the ring and announced his intention to get his old job back in front of hundreds of cheering supporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

However, a week after 22 Republican midterm candidates endorsed by the would-be GOP kingmaker lost their elections, the nation’s three major television networks took a pass on the historic announcement and aired reality dating shows and crime dramas, according to The Washington Post.

Political observers who surfed the airwaves in hopes of catching the 76-year-old’s speech instead saw programs like “Bachelor in Paradise” on ABC and the science fiction drama “La Brea” on NBC.

The broadcast news networks did all feature live reports from Mar-a-Lago during their evening newscasts, several hours before Trump took the microphone.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 15, 2022. - Donald Trump pulled the trigger on a third White House run on November 15, setting the stage for a bruising Republican nomination battle after a poor midterm election showing by his hand-picked candidates weakened his grip on the party. Trump filed his official candidacy papers with the US election authority moments before he was due to publicly announce his candidacy. (Photo by ALON SKUY / AFP) (Photo by ALON SKUY/AFP via Getty Images) TOPSHOT-US-POLITICS-TRUMP
Broadcast television news networks took a pass on the former president’s third straight bid for the White House.
AFP via Getty Images
Trump and his wife Melania at Tuesday's anonuncement
The airwaves were filled with prime-time programming as Trump spoke to supporters at Mar-a-Lago at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Getty Images

On cable, CNN – which was criticized in 2016 for covering the nascent candidate’s rowdy rallies in full — carried the first 25 minutes of the announcement before breaking away to cover the fatal missile attack in Poland, while Fox also cut away from the hour-plus-long speech before it concluded, according to the report.

CNN’s relative snub came just days after Trump bizarrely declared that the news channel should go conservative and “only have me on.”

MSNBC elected not to preempt “Alex Wagner Tonight,” leaving far-right outlet Newsmax as the only high-profile cable network that televised the speech in its entirety.

A rep for the controversial Republican, who is the subject of multiple federal criminal investigations, said Trump’s reduced airtime was an act of suppression.

“They don’t want the American people to hear directly from the biggest leader of the greatest political movement in our history, so I do suspect they will try to censor and cut away,” Liz Harrington told Real America’s Voice.

The speech was streamed online in its entirety by CSPAN and other sites.

Trump, in his meandering speech, pledged to make “America great and glorious against,” and repeated many of his false and divisive claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him.

He brushed off his party’s surprisingly poor performance in last week’s midterm contest, in which the GOP failed to challenge the Democrat’s thin majority in the Senate and were on track to only narrowly take the House amid predictions of a “red wave.”

“Nancy Pelosi has been fired,” Trump said. “I said, ‘If you win by two seats, be happy.’”


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Tyler Cowan