Imagine: Trump loses but won’t leave...

... how would the media handle it?

It is November 4 2020 and with results from most of the states declared, Joe Biden has been elected President. But Donald Trump declares the result a “fix”, and referring obliquely to foreign actors, rigged postal votes, and “bad machines”, he announces his intention to “remain President until this can all be looked into.” 

The militias who have turned out for him during the pandemic now provide a ring of steel around the Whitehouse. The federal agents who pulled people from the streets of Portland now rally to target the president’s enemies. 

Biden, dubbed a “traitor”, by Trump faces heightened threats of assassination even as he asserts his right to form the next administration. A Supreme Court case looms, but Trump declares it “fake news.” 

By November 5th, riots have broken out in cities across America, and Trump has ordered federal forces into states again to suppress “this domestic terrorism”. Trump’s forces fire into protestors. 


On January 2021, Biden holds his inauguration, but is heckled by Trump via Twitter, and denied access to Washington by militia activity. He is inaugurated in Harrisburg, PA, where he sets up his shadow capital and attempts to martial the US armed forces to his side, while communicating with other world leaders. He considers asking for UN assistance but cannot face the idea of foreign troops on the streets of the US. 

An increasingly unhinged Trump appears confused at Whitehouse press briefings. Mike Pence stands in the background looking pleased with himself. There are rumours that Steve Bannon will return as the President’s senior advisor. The riots continue. Trump orders the army into Detroit. 

How does the media respond?

Fox News tries to justify the President’s actions. 

MSNBC puts Rachel Maddow on-air more of less constantly. 

CNN reports constantly from demonstrations and riots, but does not acknowledge its role in broadcasting Trump rallies uninterrupted. 

BBC News reports well from the ground, but studio debates display ridiculous both-sides-ism and wailing about “the norms”

European news networks report it as it really is: a coup.

South American news anchors just can’t stop laughing.