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“Meet the Press” booking Trump for first show with new host is how FASCISM is normalized
Please call NBC to tell them this is wrong!
NBC’s “Meet the Press” could’ve booked any political person for the debut this Sunday of the show’s new moderator, Kristen Welker. There’s U.S. Senator Mitt Romney who just announced his retirement, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer or even the President of the United States.
But instead Meet the Press (“MTP”) invited for their roll out of Welker as moderator: Donald J. Trump. Yep, NBC decided that the person who should be the first guest on the new MTP is the man who attempted a coup, incited the Jan 6 attack on our Capitol to remain in office and is facing 91 felonies, including 32 counts of Espionage.
This booking sums up everything that is dangerously wrong with corporate media. NBC doesn’t care that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” as President Biden put it so well last September when warning Americans before the 2022 election of the stakes.
All NBC and MTP care about our ratings, which in turn means revenue. This is akin to the philosophy of corporate media during the 2016 campaign as summed up by then CBS head Les Moonves with his candid statement that Trump “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Moonves continued, “The money’s rolling in, this is fun…I’ve never seen anything like this and this is going to be a very good year for us.” The former CBS head honcho added, “It’s a terrible thing to say, but bring it on, Donald, go ahead, keep going.”
That was awful. But given what Trump did in terms of an attempted coup and inciting the Jan 6 attack what NBC/MTP are doing is far, far more dangerous. They are helping normalize fascism. It’s that simple.
And the worst part is that MTP’s hyping of Trump as the first guest undermines all the efforts of people like us who are raising red flags that Trump is a unique threat to our democratic Republic. Even Republicans like former federal US Court of Appeals judge J. Michael Luttig is telling us that Donald Trump is “a clear and present danger to American democracy.”
Prosecutors in the Jan 6 case have detailed in the grand jury indictment that Trump: “Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to remain in power” so he “pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results.”
Many of us are pressing to disqualify Trump from the ballot and from holding any office by way of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for engaging in an insurrection on Jan 6. In fact, Trump is continuing--as I argued recently---to provide “aid and comfort” to the Jan 6 insurrectionists by personally raising money for them at his New Jersey country club and vowing to pardon the attackers, many of whom brutally beat police officers in Trump’s name.
And Trump’s campaign theme for 2024 is one of dark vengeance. For example, earlier this year at CPAC Trump told the MAGA faithful what is the premise of this campaign “I am your warrior. I am your justice.” He then added, “And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution.”
Have you ever hard a leading American presidential candidate vow retribution on behalf of his supporters against their perceived political enemies?! Of course not. That is not the language of people involved in Democratic Republic. It’s the language of dictators and fascists.
But it’s that person MTP booked. Consequently, many will now say: How can Trump be that much of a threat to our Republic if MTP is showcasing him as their very first guest with their new host?! That is what is so dangerous about this booking given it normalizes what should never be normalized.
Look, if we were a year from now and Trump was the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee then it would be understandable to have him on—especially if they had President Biden on as a guest before that. And even if MTP had Trump on months from now after showcasing all the other GOP presidential candidates, an argument could be made that this is simply about fairness.
But in this case, MTP’s actions are indefensible. NBC is literally sacrificing the safety of our Republic in pursuit of profits. We’ve seen this before in history in a very dangerous yet analogous situation. That was in 1930’s where German industrialists’ support of Hitler shows “what can go wrong when political objectives and the pursuit of profit become dangerously entwined.”
That is a lesson that all media outlets should be cognizant of because if Trump gets into power again there will be no stopping him from his pledge of vengeance. And that of course will include targeting media outlets who dare criticize him. After all, this is the same Trump who wanted NBC’s Saturday Night Live cancelled for mocking him!
My criticism here is focused on the corporate executives, not Welker herself. She is a seasoned journalist who will press Trump. It’s the showcasing of Trump on this first show as a special booking that is so wrong. (Although Welker understands how the access journalist game is played given she was one of a gaggle of reporters criticized last month for attending an event sponsored by the Trump campaign on the eve of the first GOP presidential debate.)
Corporate media will always be guided by the pursuit of revenue—just as big insurance companies and Big Pharma are. Please dispel yourself of the notion that corporate media has any noble goals. The journalists may--but the executives have one goal: revenue.
Thus, we must frame our criticism in ways that make them care, which is by telling them we will never watch their show again. They must realize that this is a bad business decision.
On my SiriusXM show on Wednesday, I urged listeners to call NBC and voice your views on how dangerous booking Trump for this show is by calling 212-664-4444. I urge you to do the same. The call will take literally one minute.
The GOP has long voiced criticism of the corporate media when it comes to what they perceived as unfair media coverage. In this case, we are voicing our concerns that NBC is helping normalize fascism. That can never go unchallenged—at least not if we want to remain a democratic Republic.
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