Surprise! Free Beacon Finds CNN and MSNBC Mostly Ignored 'Juneteenth'...Until 2020

June 20th, 2020 7:14 AM

David Rutz at the Washington Free Beacon beat us to proving a point that should be obvious: the liberal media barely mentioned "Juneteenth" before Donald Trump scheduled a June 19 rally in Tulsa. A study of CNN and MSNBC (reruns excluded) found 365 mentions of the term on MSNBC and 243 on CNN from June 1 to 19 this year. Rutz said it's exploded nearly 1,200 percent in 2020 compared to previous years. There were 47 mentions combined over the previous eight Junes....and 37 of the 47 came in 2018 and 2019.

Where was Obama on celebrating Juneteenth? We would have heard of it big time on these channels if he'd made a big deal of it. On Friday, both Obamas glommed on in their social-media postings, which the networks are now celebrating.

"News judgment" on this word was all about "owning Trump" and signaling their passionate feelings in the George Floyd Moment.

Hosts on CNN and MSNBC condemned Trump for his ignorance about the date and his subsequent claim he made it famous. CNN's Brianna Keilar asked fellow anchor Don Lemon Thursday if Trump's lack of knowledge was an example of "systemic racism," and Lemon called the situation "laughable." MSNBC's Joy Reid laughed at Trump's declaration that he made the holiday famous, quipping Thursday, "You're welcome, black America."

There has, however, been a clear surge of interest in the holiday in 2020 compared with its mentions during June in previous years. On June 1 through June 30 of 2012 through 2019, the term "Juneteenth" or "June teenth" only appeared on MSNBC 30 times. On CNN, it was only mentioned 17 times during the time period, all in 2018 and 2019.

We are now scolded that this isn't just some African-American celebration, that all Americans should know about it. But that's not the way it was treated on MSNBC, Rutz reports: 

The only MSNBC hosts who discussed the holiday on the air from 2012 to 2017 were [Joy] Reid, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton, all of whom are black, while white hosts and reporters ignored it.

On June 17, 2018, MSNBC weekend host Alex Witt became the first white cable anchor to mention the holiday during the period examined by the Free Beacon. She admitted to Sharpton, who had discussed Juneteenth during a monologue on PoliticsNation, that she had never heard of it.

"I loved learning about the meaning of June, uh, what's it, 19th? Juneteenth! That is extraordinary," she said during a live toss between their programs. "I had no idea. It's something to celebrate across this land. It's an amazing date."

Kristine Marsh pointed out on Friday that Trump-loathing PBS NewsHour White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor accused President Trump of endangering "black and brown workers" at the arena where he is appearing on Saturday night.