On Deadline White House, Angelo Carusone describes how Donald Trump is taking advantage of faulty local media coverage

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Citation From the June 12, 2024, edition of MSNBC's Deadline: White House

NICOLLE WALLACE (HOST): Angelo, folks who were in and around Donald Trump in places like the Tank, which is where they do all the military operations, briefings, and other sensitive briefings, or the Sit Room, almost always emerged terrified. I mean, you had Mattis basically quit over cause, over a difference of opinion, thinking that Trump's decisions as it pertained Syria were dangerous. You had Kelley describe Trump on the record as, quote, "the most damaged human being" he'd ever met. You have Esper, his defense secretary, who won't vote for him. You have Milley who came out and rebuked his own role in the Lafayette Square protest, and later gave a speech saying that he is loyal to the Constitution. I mean, you have all these people who saw Trump literally with his hand on the nuclear codes. The person who carried around the football walking behind Donald Trump for years. How important is it to get their voices in on this question? 

ANGELO CARUSONE (GUEST): I think it's extremely important and I also think the medium's important, to put a bow on it. Because the thing is is that those things get out at the national level, but they're not penetrating from the bottom up at the local level, just like a lot of other important stories are. So, that big report that came out about a month ago, which polling showed was relevant across all ideologies and all political lines, that, you know, that Trump had reportedly made an offer for, if oil executives put a billion dollars into a PAC for him, he would roll back a bunch of, you know, Biden legislation that affected them if he were to become elected president. That's a total scandal. We looked at the battleground states, not a single -- there was not a single story about that on local media or in local print media in the battleground states, except for one small mention of it on one station. All the battleground states.

And to your point, the same thing is around these other key influencers. That stuff isn't penetrating at the local level either. And I'm sure it's for a variety of reasons, but it's just not saturating there. And the effect of that is, not only that people don't get exposed to it, but that more importantly they don't have the permission structure. Donny was sort of getting to that before about the importance of local media. It's not just that people trust it, they surely do, but it also resonates in a different way, because it's this -- okay, I can actually respond and act on that information now, because they traditionally have a much more of a permission structure to respond -- even to change their minds or to even change their calculus based off of, you know, what the medium is.

So, I think it is really important, but I also think the medium is really important and I just haven't seen enough of that. A lot of that is the failure of local media and obviously it's really getting beaten up, and I get that. And a lot of that is on the political side -- you know comms better than anyone, right? I mean, there's a piece of the campaign also has to reorient around this as well in order to get that out there. And I agree, we can't just whine about it being unfair, but we also have to respond to the landscape as it is. But it is critical. 

WALLACE: I find this so exciting though. I mean, I have said -- and I haven't until this conversation completely understood why -- that this campaign is going to matter. Every news cycle's going to matter. And I think Angelo's just sort of articulated why it matters so much. Because there's so much information that hasn't reached people running around their normal lives. Not just where these local stations are, because, you know, in your circles outside of our jobs, people are running around, they're chasing their kids, they're fixing a leaky -- they're busy. And I think the opportunity to inform with straight up facts and credible messengers is right there for the taking.