NBC News pulls Trump town hall stunt to conflict with Biden's ABC event in naked and revolting display of access journalism


Fake news! Fake news!

This is a constant mantra of Donald Trump and his devotees when it comes to the mainstream press, and even for the rare occasions when conservative outlets publish or air anything unflattering to their cult leader president.

But the low levels of trust in and high levels of disdain for our national media is not, by any stretch of the imagination, limited to reality and fact-deniers who prefer to live on Earth-2. It spans generations, communities, and ideologies. And there's good reason for that.

Good reason like the stunt NBC News pulled today when they scheduled a town hall with Donald Trump to purposely conflict with Joe Biden's previously scheduled and noticed town hall on ABC News tomorrow, Thursday, October 15 at 8 pm Eastern Time.

Thursday was originally the day for the second presidential debate, which was supposed to take place in a town hall format. However, Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the debate would be virtual to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in light of Donald and Melania Trump being infected with the novel coronavirus. Biden was prepared to accept the terms of the Commission, but scheduled the town hall with ABC after Trump refused to attend. The Commission later formally canceled the debate.

NBC's announcement of their conflicting town hall with Trump was silent on the conflict, but it is abundantly clear that the Trump campaign played a pivotal part in the schedule, and that its coinciding with Biden's ABC town hall appears more a collusion than an accident.

It is this kind of malarkey that makes the news media lose all manners of trust among the very people they are supposed to inform. This is just one instance that demonstrates the empty, naked, revolting access journalism that has come to define modern media.

There was no reason for NBC to either voluntarily schedule Trump to conflict with Biden or for them to acquiesce to Trump's demand that they do so.

No reason that is, except one. NBC was desperate to have access to Donald Trump, a time conflicting with the Biden town hall is the only time he offered, and starved for attention and access, NBC obediently agreed, lest they miss a chance to host Trump. Having Donald Trump on at the same time as when Joe Biden is appearing on a competing network confers no independent news value, of course, except the drama and conflict it promotes at the cost of forcing viewers to choose one candidate answer questions from voters live or the other.

Perhaps another network would have given Trump the time if NBC News hadn't agreed. NBC News is certainly not the only one playing fiddle for Trump's manipulations of the media. But so what? Between frivolous 'access' and integrity and fidelity to fairness, couldn't NBC New have chosen the latter?

I suppose not. So do yourself a favor and please tune in to ABC's townhall with Joe Biden and George Stephanopoulos at 8 pm (5 pm PT) on Thursday.