As thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump filled the Iowa State Fairgrounds Saturday for his first rally since the 2020 election, C-SPAN faced criticism for carrying coverage of the event and for promoting it as “campaign 2024.”
Online, many questioned and criticized C-SPAN’s scheduled coverage of Trump’s rally in Des Moines, Iowa, which the network promoted as “campaign 2024,” despite no formal announcement of a 2024 reelection campaign.
“Please explain why this gets live coverage on @cspan?,” asked activist Barbara Melmet. “Campaign 2024 is NOT a reason to give air to someone who actively tried to overthrow the government.”
Trump has yet to announce an official run for president in 2024. Over the past few months, he has repeatedly signaled that he would not be launching a bid any time soon due to “campaign financing” regulations.
An official announcement would trigger election laws that will regulate how he can spend and raise money, and impose an obligation to file annual financial disclosures containing details about his personal and business finances.
Eight months into Trump’s post-presidency and he’s stayed in the news, defying the tradition of former presidents stepping away from the political stage following their successor’s inauguration.
Since the election, mainstream news organizations have toughened their coverage of Trump, from how much attention he should receive to the choice of words used to describe his constant barrage of baseless voter fraud claims.
Critics say that lending Trump a platform would help spread propaganda that voter fraud cost him the election, further eroding public trust in the integrity of the election process. Others argue that news outlets that try to push Trump aside run the risk of inflaming his voters.
Trump has vowed a return to politics since leaving the White House and remains arguably the most prominent figure of the Republican Party. He has held several campaign-style rallies—including in Florida and Ohio—in recent months, with a focus on promoting 2022 congressional candidates running on his “America First” agenda.
“I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” he said at the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Most Republican voters are supportive of him seeking the White House again, according to polls. In a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll, released September, 58 percent of Republican voters said they would vote to put Trump back on the ballot in the next election.
Newsweek reached out to C-SPAN for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.