There is no debate this week, so no debate preview. Instead, we get competing town hall events hosted by mainstream news organizations.
Donald Trump will appear on NBC for an event at the same time that Joe Biden will appear on ABC for one. The NBC event has drawn a lot of criticism from the left (and even from NBC’s own staffers), largely because all these people believe that Trump is going to be allowed to run amok with his lies, falsehoods, fabrications, or whatever else they want to accuse him of (some of it warranted, some of it not). It is very funny, however, to see all this talk about NBC just giving Trump an open microphone to say what he wants, as though that isn’t in large part how he got the 2016 nomination in the first place.
In case these folks have forgotten, it was every media outlet giving Trump as much airtime as possible that led to him winning the Republican nomination. They gave him millions of dollars worth of free air time and raked in the cash as their ratings went up because who didn’t want to see that almost certain trainwreck from start to finish.
And then, he won the nomination… and then the election.
But, no. We don’t talk about the Time Before. We don’t discuss how all that free media time from mainstream outlets like CNN, NBC, ABC, and others gave all these voters access to Trump and his message. We don’t dare mention that news anchors from sea to shining sea are responsible for Candidate Trump’s rise.
These news organizations are deeply hostile to Trump, largely because they know he’s their fault and because they can’t help but internalize every single insult Trump throws at them. They have committed themselves to the Resistance, and they will not let him get away with it any more, damnit.
So, yes, it is hilarious that anyone would think NBC News — which includes NBC Original, MSNBC, and Telemundo — would just give Trump an open mic and let him go. Town halls like this are moderated, and hosts typically try to pit the politician against the citizens in attendance (you know, if the politician is a Republican). So, like doing an event with ABC News a while back, Trump isn’t walking into warm, welcoming arms. He is walking into a potentially hostile environment, and he knows it.
Contrast that with Joe Biden, who puts a lid on his campaign by the end of breakfast, does a CNN town hall event that was chummy rather than challenging, and has never once even dared to go on Fox News for something like this. Even before the strategy was officially “Let Trump sink himself,” the Biden campaign was controlling which networks and reporters had access to the former Vice President, and anyone who could even be remotely challenging was never even approached.
He won’t even do an event with Chris Wallace, and that guy hates Trump.
So, please spare me this “Trump is going to just bluster and lie his way through an event with no one to corral him.” You know good and well that NBC will take the opportunity to trap him. It will be a ratings winner for them if they can get under Trump’s skin and get him going off on some tangent. That’s what they want. They’re not just giving him the floor (no one is that irresponsible) and letting him do his thing. It’s not a rally. It’s a town hall, and there will be interactions with other people.
Trump is being brave by doing it. Biden is a coward for not even considering a Fox News event.