Two weeks ago Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in their first presidential debate. However, Trump managed to succeed only in thoroughly embarrassing himself by repeatedly interrupting with incoherent and hostile remarks. So it came as no surprise that Trump subsequently chickened out of the second debate when the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that it would be held remotely in the interest of health and safety.
Trump undoubtedly noticed that every post-debate poll showed him falling even farther behind Biden after the first debate, including the one by his favorite pollster, Rasmussen. So Trump jumped at the chance to use the CPD’s remote format as an excuse to bail out.
Shortly after Trump’s cowardice forced the cancelation of the second debate, Biden quickly accepted an offer by ABC News to have a town hall at the time the debate was originally scheduled. That has been promoted extensively and will air Thursday. Unfortunately, Biden is not being given the courtesy of speaking to the American people without Trump once again interrupting, this time with the help of NBC.
NBC has announced that they will be hosting a town hall at the same time and date as ABC’s Biden program. NBC had plenty of time to find another time slot, but appears to have made a deliberate decision to compete directly with Biden’s broadcast. This is a dreadful disservice to viewers and the American people as it forces them to choose between the two programs, rather being able to see both in order to make an informed judgment.
There are only two possible explanations for NBC’s abhorrent programming decision. They are either acting out of pure greed and self interest, or they have joined the Trump campaign’s PR team and are acting on their behalf. Or, of course, a combination of both. Either way, it exposes their utter disregard for the fair conduct of the election, the welfare of the nation, and the best interests of voters.
It’s worse than just the obvious gift that NBC is presenting to Trump as he uses them for his nefarious purposes. They are actually rewarding Trump for being a wimp and fearfully fleeing the Commission’s debate. NBC couldn’t be advancing Trump’s campaign objectives any better if they were on his payroll. And this should make people wonder if they are.
Every television news enterprise that uses public airwaves has a legal obligation to serve the public interest. NBC is affirmatively harming the public interest in order to boost Trump along with their bottom line. The American people should be appalled by this partisan counterprogramming. There are reports that even insiders at the network are angry and ashamed by their employer. As any journalist with an ounce of integrity should be.
The result will likely be that more television viewers will tune in to the Trump Hour of Lies and miss the more substantive discussion with Biden. That’s not because they support Trump, but because it holds the promise of a melodramatic meltdown that is the meat and potatoes of TV entertainment. It’s why people watch police car chases. It’s why more people watch the Kardashians than C-SPAN! And this is happening at a time when even Fox News has shown some restraint in declining to air Trump’s rallies live and uninterrupted as has been their practice in the past. Brian Stelter of CNN reports that…
“The president held a campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania Tuesday night, but Fox News only showed small portions of it. Fox took the same approach on Monday. So, for the second night in a row, Trump urged his Twitter followers to watch on OANN, Newsmax or C-SPAN – which indicates that he is aware of Fox’s snub.”
And now Trump can point his glassy-eyed cult disciples to NBC as well. NBC is taking it’s place alongside the ultra-rightist conspiracy crackpots of OANN and Newsmax. Is that really the company they want to keep? It’s despicable, unethical, and contrary to the principles of professional journalism.
The American people should loudly object to this media manipulation. And those of us who are offended by this programming stunt should boycott the Trump show on NBC Thursday and get their friends and families, and even strangers online, to join the boycott of NBC’s cynical, self-serving assault on journalistic integrity. Trump must not be rewarded for his cowardice. And NBC must not be rewarded for their partisanship and greed.
UPDATE: Rachel Maddow brought up this subject during an interview with Kamala Harris and indicated that a lot of people were mad.
>> @Maddow: "Are you as mad as everybody else is that NBC is doing a town hall with President Trump tomorrow instead of the debate at the same time that VP Biden's going to be on ABC?" Kamala Harris: "I'm not touching that!" pic.twitter.com/Dtjw2ER2gk
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 15, 2020
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.