Everything to know about Trump’s primetime speech tonightPosted by Josh Taylor / January 8, 2019
Major news networks will air Trump’s primetime appeal for border wall funding, tonight. The move has drawn criticism from a variety of sources.
A USA Today opinion piece argues that news networks should only air Trump’s appeal with live fact-checking:
It is a disservice to the American people to broadcast, without context or real-time fact-checking, someone who is using the airwaves for the sole purpose of lying to the American people about an overtly racist agenda.
Seth Meyers argued that networks shouldn’t give Trump the airtime to express his lies:
Rolling Stone went one step farther and suggested that all networks stop giving Trump airtime, period.
Although Trump originally wanted to give the address at the border, he instead opted for the gravitas of the Oval Office. NPR notes that the Oval Office has been the scene of many monumental announcements, and Trump may be trying to invoke the authority of office.
TV networks feel bullies into allowing the address:
TV exec texts: "He calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he'll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don't give him the time, he'll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don't."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019
This despite the fact that many did not a similar address from Obama in 2014.
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer released a statement: “Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.”