Thursday, October 15, 2020

Day 220 Na'l Emergency: Shame on You NBC

 Thursday morning I sent the following email to Lester Holt expressing my disapproval of NBC’s decision to counter-program a town hall event with Donald Trump opposite a previously scheduled ABC town hall with Joe Biden later that evening:

“Mr. Lester Holt:

“Your credibility and that of the entire NBC News team is on the line with your network’s decision to hold a town hall with Donald Trump at the same time that ABC is holding a town hall with Joe Biden. Counter-programming is an acceptable action when entertainment programs are slotted for air time. But when the issue of informing the public is at stake, it is a deplorable practice that will restrain the flow of information the public deserves to know before making its selection for the next president November 3. 

“It is an accepted fact that NBC promoted Donald Trump as a successful businessman for its “Apprentice” show despite the fact that he was not successful. NBC gave him the aura of success which helped him dupe the public. Now your news team is complicit in Trump’s plans to downplay Biden’s visibility to the American public. 

“NBC News has several avenues to express its dissociation with the decision to air the Trump town hall. First, you, Lester Holt, must unequivocally state you were not involved in the decision and that you object to it. Second, as a sign of your objection you should boycott tonight’s and Friday night’s Nightly News broadcasts. Third, during the town hall NBC News should do immediate fact checks on statements by Trump. You cannot allow him to fabricate falsehoods.”

NBC’s and Holt’s response: Silence. Nada. In fact, Holt anchored the evening news telecast Thursday night and promoted the network’s town hall without identifying ABC as the network carrying the Biden town hall.

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, the town hall moderator, did try to correct some of Trump’s comments. Overall, however, there can be no more appropriate word for what NBC did than SHAME. SHAME. SHAME.