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America Must Televise Trump’s Election Subversion Trial to Counter Narrative Manipulation



Donald Trump is facing indictment for election subversion. His trial must be televised.
Donald Trump is facing indictment for election subversion. (Image: Daily Boulder)

Former President Donald Trump’s historical legacy is marred by multiple impeachments, incitement of insurrection, and now, facing indictment for election subversion. As the nation braces for what could be the most consequential trial in American history, the urgency to televise Trump’s proceedings becomes even more critical to counter his potential narrative manipulation.

Trump’s disruptive behavior during the E. Jean Carroll trial and his willingness to challenge the court underscore the need for transparency. Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan’s consideration of a media coalition’s application to televise the trial, including CNN, is a pivotal moment. However, the opposition, citing Rule 53’s prohibition on the broadcast of federal trials, needs to be swiftly addressed by the Supreme Court.

Beyond constitutional arguments, it is imperative to recognize the threat posed by Trump’s potential manipulation of the facts. Allowing the proceedings to continue behind close doors could provide him with an opportunity to spin the facts to fit his narrative, just as he has done throughout his political career.

Cameras in the courtroom are not just a matter of transparency; they are a safeguard against Trump’s attempts to distort the truth. Claims that cameras negatively affect trial witnesses or lead to grandstanding by attorneys and judges lack substantial evidence. The positive impact observed in the pilot program studying video recordings of courtroom proceedings suggests that transparency can enhance the public’s understanding of the proceedings, countering any attempts at narrative manipulation.

Opponents also argue that cameras would burden judges and negatively affect jurors. However, the presence of a single camera has not been shown to impact jurors negatively, and judges are already adept at handling complex issues in the courtroom. The Supreme Court should acknowledge that there is no data justifying the prohibition of Trump’s trial from being televised and remove Rule 53 as an obstacle.

The speculations surrounding potential hesitancy of witnesses to testify due to cameras ignore the reality that witnesses in high-profile cases are already under scrutiny, with or without courtroom cameras. The American people deserve to witness the prosecution of a former president charged with subverting the electoral process, especially given Trump’s track record of impugning proceedings, twisting testimony, and repeating debunked conspiracy theories.

The Supreme Court must act swiftly to ensure transparency in this historic trial. Americans deserve to see and hear the truth for themselves, allowing them to draw their own conclusions from the evidence presented in the courtroom. The stakes are high, and the need for an informed public is paramount in safeguarding the principles of justice and democracy in the United States.