At least one cable network will not be airing President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” Independence Day celebration.
A spokesperson for MSNBC told Politico earlier this week that the network will not air the event live. The spokesperson added, however, that the network may air clips of the event if something newsworthy occurs during it.
Non-cable news will similarly not be airing the programming, for the most part, on their stations. ABC News will provide local affiliates with the option to air a feed of the parade and festivities to viewers, while CBS and NBC will provide streaming versions of the event online.
Typically on Independence Day, celebrations aired by news networks are nonpartisan in nature. But criticism has been leveled against Trump for inserting himself into the July 4 festivities, which many believe is an attempt to turn the celebration into a political rather than nonpartisan event.
Indeed, Trump and other officials have been handing out “VIP” tickets to an area cordoned off and with greater access to the president and other dignitaries, CNN reported. Some tickets are going to military personnel and veterans, but a chunk of them are going to political and financial supporters as well, evident in the fact that the Republican National Committee received a handful of tickets to distribute as well.
NEW — @USArmy says armored vehicles WILL move through WASHINGTON TONIGHT.
Two M1 Bradley Armored Personnel Carriers.
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) July 3, 2019
The event put on by the president will feature an overly-militarized version of an Independence Day celebration, including jet flyovers and armed tanks, that isn’t ordinarily put on display during national celebrations in the U.S. Some have suggested it may conjure comparisons to other militarized events typically seen in autocratic nations around the world.
“We have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display — brand new,” Trump said on Monday, per reporting from Business Insider. “We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, DC. It’ll be like no other.”