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Frantic CNN’s Bernstein Demands ‘Conned’ NBC Reschedule ‘Indefensible’ Trump Town Hall

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Read Time:8 Minute, 42 Second
The media is upset that the two presidential candidates are getting competing airtime tonight and they want you to know it. On CNN Newsroom host Brianna Keilar panicked over the news with political analyst and veteran journalist Carl Bernstein, just as Don Lemon reacted in outrage last night on the network. While pretending they were actually upset on behalf of the American people, Keilar and Bernstein exposed their true motives by fretting the dueling town halls only helped Trump.

Doing his usual Chicken Little routine, Bernstein blasted NBC’s “indefensible” decision to host a Trump town hall tonight because it would “serve the interests” of Trump while “cutting into Joe Biden’s audience.” Acting as if he worked for the Biden campaign, Bernstein demanded NBC delay their town hall to later in the evening or reschedule entirely, less than a month before the election. He even threatened that the competing network’s journalistic integrity was at risk if they didn’t:

….[A]nd what NBC has done here is indefensible. It could easily show this debate and schedule it for later in the evening. It could re-run it later in the evening. It could tape it, delay it, but what they have chosen to do, NBC, is to be conned by Donald Trump, and that is what has really raised the most serious journalistic questions and the reason that so many people who work at NBC and MSNBC are so upset by what NBC has done here, capitulating to Donald Trump’s demands that will allow him to cut into Joe Biden’s audience, essentially, because MSNBC, CNBC, these cable channels, ABC which is broadcasting Biden, has no similar cable channels. So obviously Trump will get the larger audience. But the real thing is that NBC has capitulated to an absolutely unacceptable demand that serves the interest of one of the two candidates. There is absolutely no defense for this.

Keilar encouraged Bernstein’s tiresome tirade, asking, “Does this stack the deck in favor of President Trump in your view, or would you not go that far to say that?”

But Bernstein claimed it was really stacking the deck against “the American people.” He went on to hype how NBC town hall host Savannah Guthrie would have to be “tougher” with Trump to keep her journalistic credibility (as if we don’t know already how this is going to play out?):

“I would think, in fact, that because NBC is so under the gun now that Susannah [sic] Guthrie, I would hope and expect she’s going to be tougher with Donald Trump because NBC is under a microscope now,” he touted. Keilar agreed, hoping the fellow liberal journalist would give him “tough questions.” But no hopes for “tough questions” for Joe Biden?

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But Bernstein wasn’t interested in whether Guthrie would be anti-Trump enough for CNN, he just wanted the town hall cancelled altogether. Boasting about his time as ABC’s Washington Bureau chief when journalists would not be “manipulated” by presidential candidates, he demanded NBC “reconsider their decision” because they had been “conned and manipulated” by the President:

…[T]he idea was that we would not be manipulated by the president into giving air time on the president’s demands instead of journalistic principles. And that precedent that we established back in 1980 with NBC News has now been aggregated by NBC news in such a way that they’re going to be hurt by this. It’s a shame, and they ought to take some actions over there and say, look, we’re going to reschedule this thing even at this late hour. If Donald Trump walks and doesn’t want to come on the air at a later time, then the hell with it. But there is no journalistic reason whatsoever to undermine the interest of the people of the United States by favoring one candidate, which is what’s happening here. This is really going to enable Donald Trump to crow, oh, I got the better ratings and all the rest. This isn’t about a rating contest. That’s not what these debates and town halls are all about. So NBC ought to really be reconsidering their decision, even at this late hour because they have been conned and manipulated.

CNN, trying to protect Joe Biden from bad ratings and the Hunter Biden scandal, was paid for by advertisers Amazon and Carvana whom you can contact by following the links listed.

Read the transcript below:

CNN Newsroom

1:10:08PM -1:16:49PM EST

BRIANNA KEILAR: With me now is Carl Bernstein, our CNN political analyst, journalist and author. Carl, NBC says that if they move the event to a different time slot, they would be violating their agreement to give both candidates the same platform. I know you see it differently, so explain to us how you see it.

BERNSTEIN: Well, first of all, it’s nonsense. The idea of the debates and the town halls going back to John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, first presidential debates is to give the people of the America, the voters, the largest possible audience to see these two candidates and what they have to say and to serve the democratic electoral process. And what NBC has done here is indefensible. It could easily show this debate and schedule it for later in the evening. It could re-run it later in the evening. It could tape it, delay it, but what they have chosen to do, NBC, is to be conned by Donald Trump, and that is what has really raised the most serious journalistic questions and the reason that so many people who work at NBC and MSNBC are so upset by what NBC has done here, capitulating to Donald Trump’s demands that will allow him to cut into Joe Biden’s audience, essentially, because MSNBC, CNBC, these cable channels, ABC which is broadcasting Biden, has no similar cable channels. So obviously Trump will get the larger audience. But the real thing is that NBC has capitulated to an absolutely unacceptable demand that serves the interest of one of the two candidates. There is absolutely no defense for this.

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KEILAR: Does this stack the deck in favor of President Trump in your view, or would you not go that far to say that?

BERNSTEIN: No, it stacks the deck against the American people by not giving all of us the opportunity to watch both debates at separate times. That’s the problem with it. We can — sure, we can watch reruns of it and all the rest, but there is no reason whatsoever going back to the purpose that these debates were founded on and the town halls that this can’t be accommodated in a fair way. No, I would think, in fact, that because NBC is so under the gun now that Susannah [sic] Guthrie, I would hope and expect she’s going to be tougher with Donald Trump because NBC is under a microscope now.

KEILAR: Carl, let me ask you about that. Because Savannah Guthrie is a good interviewer.

BERNSTEIN: That’s what I said.

KEILAR: Yeah. Like you said, she is a sharp lawyer. So, you know, in that way, you know, she’s very — she’s talented in that way with asking questions and following up. Do you expect that actually, you know, the president, this isn’t going to be a cake walk for him and he could get some very tough questions.

BERNSTEIN: Of course I expect that. But we got to go back to a basic question here: NBC News, one of the premier network— has aggregated the public trust and for reasons that are absolutely inexplicable except commercial ones—-has allowed this presentation to go forward on this schedule which serves the interests of one of the two candidates instead of the interest of the people of the United States! I was the ABC bureau chief in Washington in 1980 and ’81. And at the time, myself and the two other bureau chiefs from CBS and NBC established a rule that we would not take on our air events from the President of the United States, Carter and then Reagan that had a political — a sly political tinge. And the idea was that we would not be manipulated by the president into giving air time on the president’s demands instead of journalistic principles. And that precedent that we established back in 1980 with NBC News has now been aggregated by NBC news in such a way that they’re going to be hurt by this. It’s a shame, and they ought to take some actions over there and say, look, we’re going to reschedule this thing even at this late hour. If Donald Trump walks and doesn’t want to come on the air at a later time, then the hell with it. But there is no journalistic reason whatsoever to undermine the interest of the people of the United States by favoring one candidate, which is what’s happening here. This is really going to enable Donald Trump to crow, oh, I got the better ratings and all the rest. This isn’t about a rating contest. That’s not what these debates and town halls are all about.

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So NBC ought to really be reconsidering their decision, even at this late hour because they have been conned and manipulated. Let me add here all of us in journalism at all the networks have been conned at one time or another by Donald Trump, but we’ve gotten smarter and we’ve gotten better at it. And one other suggestion for both NBC, ABC, CNN, all of us, I think going forward in terms of fact checking, maybe we need, and especially tonight, some kind of simultaneous fact checking, whether it’s a crawl at the bottom of a screen when one of the candidates presents outrageous lies and falsehoods, we need to be calling it as quickly as we can in real-time. We’re going to make up some new rules that serve the best attainable version of the truth instead of the interests of the candidates. And Donald Trump has run roughshod over the truth as we all know. That’s his basic M.O., basic methodology. And in the interest of journalistic principle, we need to alter the way we’re covering these debates and town halls in the next couple weeks and all the appearances we put on the air of both presidential candidates.

KEILAR: Carl Bernstein, thank you so much.

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