NBC caved to 'enormous pressure' to make town hall a 'nightmare for Trump'

Last night, NBC's Savannah Guthrie morphed from debate moderator into a vehement, partisan opponent during a town hall–style television program with President Trump, as Andrea Widburg and E. Jeffrey Ludwig chronicle this morning.  In doing so, she and her bosses at NBC and its parent Comcast at least partially satisfied Trump-hating critics, who exerted what New York Times reporter Ben Smith called "enormous pressure" to make the experience "a nightmare."

Some of the pressure came from the network's own employees, current and former.  But the network posed as bravely fair in offering Trump equal time, purportedly similar to what it gave Biden recently in the same city, Miami.

The network considered it important that Trump be given the same format, day of the week and length of time that Biden had on NBC last week — although he will have a different moderator. Savannah Guthrie will be Trump's host after Lester Holt moderated the Biden event.

But the two programs could not have contrasted more.  Biden's town hall was characterized by critics as an infomercial for Biden:

Of the roughly eleven voters who were able to ask questions, one was described as "leaning" towards Biden, one was described as a "registered Republican" that was also "leaning" towards Biden, one was described as a former registered Republican who "voted for Hillary Clinton" and other one voted for Clinton in 2016 but he, too, according to Holt, voted for Republicans "in the past." None of the attendees were described as a Trump voter or "leaning" towards voting for the incumbent president.

All of their questions were primarily focused on Biden's plans as president rather than tough questions that challenged the candidate on his 47-year record.

Adding a humorous note, CNN's Chris Cillizza offered a fantasy:

But perhaps the ultimate irony of the evening came from the rival town hall with Biden, featuring George Stephanopoulos as moderator.  Not only were the questions softball, but the most shocking and important issue right now, the recently uncovered emails from Hunter Biden's computer that have been suppressed by social media giants and ignored by the mainstream media, were never brought up.  The practice of omertà is not limited to the Mafia.

Stephanopoulos is an expert at killing stories that are unfavorable to his favored candidate.  Watch this excerpt from the documentary about Bill Clinton's first campaign for president, The War Room.  Stephanopoulos was a senior campaign aide and was captured on film bullying a reporter into suppressing a story (less than two minutes):

Stephanopoulos carries a different job title, but his function is still the same after almost three decades.

Graphic credit: Screen grab from CNBC via YouTube.





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