18:46 GMT03 March 2021
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    Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and Kamala Devi Harris were sworn in to office as US President and Vice President Wednesday morning, marking then end of now-former US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence's tenure in office.

    While Biden's inauguration was broadcast across MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN on Wednesday, the three networks and their talking heads took different approaches in their coverage and commentary.

    Fox News 

    The Fox News Channel took a very comparative and more critical approach to Biden's inauguration than its competitors, highlighting the administration transition from Republican to Democrat control. 

    The outlet also echoed right-wing calls for Biden to act with "humility" in moving forward with new legislation - a lot of which would undo past orders imposed by 45. 

    However, some netizens remarked that the news outlet's inauguration commentary was arguably questionable. 

    “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace told Sandra Smith that Biden's first presidential speech to the American people was “the best inaugural address I’ve ever heard.”

    The famed journalist was also caught mocking senior political analyst Brit Hume, who, in addressing Biden's remarks, appeared to say that the presence of COVID-19 vaccines somehow make up for the real-time death toll and hospitalizations caused by the novel disease. 

    "Everybody wants to say that the COVID crisis is getting worse, and certainly the numbers suggest that, but we have a vaccine. And we believe and have every reason to believe it works,” Hume said after anchor Martha MacCallum remarked that Biden has accepted "an enormous mantle of responsibility." 

    “There’s some serious distribution issues that I suspect will be fairly quickly resolved. And that is what we’ve hoped for from the beginning, that there would be a vaccine," Hume added. 

    Moments later, the broadcast audio sounded like it was losing its signal and Wallace could be overheard remarking about "100,000 people dying." Many took the hot mic moment to be a rebuke of his coworker's statement.

    According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard, the US has logged more than 24 million cases of the novel coronavirus and over 404,000 related deaths.   


    CNN's discussion of the inauguration generally included a rather optimistic tone on the incoming administration.

    John Harwood, CNN's new White House correspondent, received quite the welcome to his new role after tweeting his views on the transition from Trump's administration to that of Biden's. 

    Harwood, a former journalist with CNBC and the New York Times, notably popped up in the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta's emails.  

    This poetic approach has been a common theme for the network's talking heads. Tuesday night, CNN political director received a side-eye from journalist Glenn Greenwald and tens of thousands of netizens after he likened the National Mall lights to Biden's "arms embracing America." 

    ​In the hours between Trump's departure and Biden's arrival, CNN took an apparent swipe at 45, publishing an article highlighting Trump's decision to break with tradition and not attend the inauguration of his successor. 

    April Ryan, White House Correspondent for The Grio, tweeted the article's allegation about Melania and Donald Trump sleeping in separate beds. 


    Lastly, MSNBC's inauguration coverage was similar to that of CNN, with a pro-Biden tone that spoke to the ushering in of a new era based on "truth." 

    At one point, MSNBC chief anchor Brian Williams, who was notoriously sacked from NBC in 2015 over false reporting, argued that "it's gonna be a shock to witness a fact-based White House briefing in that briefing room."

    Williams' comments came before the first press conference was even held. 

    John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, joined MSNBC on Wednesday and argued that based on his experience in government, he believes Biden's intelligence community will be working to squash a "pro-Trump insurgency" that is allegedly brewing and that, according to him, harbors “even libertarians”.

    ​"Does John Brennan know what a libertarian is?" tweeted "The View" co-host Meghan McCain, who is married to libertarian Ben Domenech, co-founder and publisher of The Federalist. 

    MSNBC, CNN Positioned to Benefit from Biden Presidency 

    Fox News was reportedly given almost exclusive access to Trump when it came to mainstream interviews.

    According to former CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, Fox News was granted at least 113 interviews from the US president over the past four years, while NBC/CNBC were allowed to interview Trump only eight times. 

    CNN never received interviews from the former president, though it is unclear how many requests were issued by the network. Biden, however, is likely to receive a lot of media requests from MSNBC and CNN.

    Interestingly enough, Biden's Wednesday swearing comes amid CNN and MSNBC's celebration of their first ratings win over the Fox News Channel for the first time in two decades.

    Citing Nielsen, Forbes reported earlier this week that, for the week of January 4 through January 10, CNN and MSNBC averaged around 2.8 million and 2.3 million viewers per day, respectively.

    Fox News news averaged 1.7 million watchers, continuing its decline since election day. According to Mediate, Fox News Channel has trailed in the key 25-54 age demographic since the November election.


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    Inauguration, US presidential inauguration, corporate media, mainstream media, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC
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