Four major television networks are considering censoring President Donald Trump’s prime-time immigration address to the nation on Tuesday. NBC News reported that the White House has asked broadcast networks to provide at least eight minutes of airtime at 9 p.m. ET for the Oval Office address so that President Trump can possibly decide if America is in a state of national emergency in regards to the border with Mexico.
The major networks who are considering not airing the presidential address are ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. All four are reported to have an inconsistent policy when regarding presidential address airtime, which could be directly linked to the subject matter of immigration.
NBC’s report stated that “they aired President George W. Bush’s prime-time address on immigration in 2006, but did not air one by President Barack Obama in 2014.
The networks are currently debating whether to air the Trump address, and if they do, they would probably grant Democrats an opportunity to respond, according to two sources familiar with the ongoing deliberations who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”
CNN chimed in as well, stating “Recently, there has been debate about whether networks should air Trump’s words in real-time. Several media critics, for instance, told CNN on Friday that networks should not rush to air Trump’s remarks made during pool sprays and briefings.
“Some advice — demand to see the text in advance and if it is not truthful either don’t air it or fact check it live on lower third,” tweeted Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton. “And cut away if he goes off text and starts lying.”
This is, of course, coming from a CNN political commentator. Most viewers would prefer to see Trump’s entire speech and decide for themselves how they feel, rather than having CNN control a narrative from a leftist perspective.
Sounds like tv networks will get a request soon for airtime for a Presidential address. Some advice—demand to see the text in advance and if it is not truthful either don’t air it or fact check it live on lower third. And cut away if he goes off text and starts lying. https://t.co/QIOJlY44Py
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) January 7, 2019
The obvious answer is to provide Trump with the time he needs to speak, then to provide an equal amount of time for Democrats to respond the day after, and perhaps time for Trump to respond after that. In order to be fair, they must both have equal talking time. Of course, that could become tiresome for both the network and viewers who have been expecting to see their favorite programs and do not wish to be interrupted by a presidential address.
Another solution would be to air the address at a time when reruns of another show were expected, so as not to interfere with the millions of people who won’t watch the adress.
If the major networks want to keep Americans happy, then they’ll provide fair opportunity for each side to speak and air it at a time when new episodes of a show aren’t being aired. That sounds ideal, but is probably unlikely.
If the networks refuse to air the immigration address, then they will miss out on what could be a significant news segment while being labeled as bias for avoiding the President of the United States. Any network that chooses not to air Trump’s presidential address will be considered biased against the President.
Not airing the address also adds more fuel to the fire known as right wing censorship in which Conservatives are constantly being blacklisted, censored, or deplatformed.
Conservatives consistently experience what could be called a liberal bias and hypocrisy, as many content creators, bloggers, and journalists have been “punished” on social media just for having an opinion.