fogn.png
Monday October 26th, 2020 3:41AM

NBC holds fast to dueling town halls despite celebrity anger

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite protests from Hollywood stars, NBC stood fast to its decision to hold a Thursday town hall with President Donald Trump at the same time that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, has a similar event on ABC.

Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Debra Messing, Seth Rogen, Jon Cryer, Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman and Sterling K. Brown were among the actors beseeching NBC to change the scheduling through a letter sent to network leadership on Thursday.

Cesar Conde, chair of the NBC Universal News Group, said the network shared the frustration of critics of the dueling town halls. He said the decision was based on fairness, not business considerations.

“We aired a town hall with Vice President Biden on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.,” Conde said. “If we were to move our town hall with President Trump to a later time slot we would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum.”

NBC said it reached out to ABC, asking its rival to change the time of its Biden telecast, but was turned away. ABC scheduled its event last week; NBC announced its own town hall on Wednesday.

Thursday was supposed to be the night of the second of three Trump-Biden debates. After Trump tested positive for COVID-19, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it wanted to change the format from in-person to virtual, but Trump declined to participate.

So with the candidates suddenly free on a night they planned to debate, the networks jumped in with their own offers.

At a rally in North Carolina on Thursday, Trump called NBC “the worst” and said he was being set up with the town hall. He said the network went easy on Biden a week earlier by asking him “questions a child could answer.”

The letter signed by more than 100 Hollywood figures said NBC was “enabling the president's bad behavior” while undercutting the debate commission and doing a disservice to the public.

“We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state,” said the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Besides the celebrity actors, signers of the letter included top Hollywood producers such as Aaron Sorkin, Ryan Murphy, J.J. Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, Greg Berlanti and Neal Baer.

Comic Conan O'Brien, in a deadpan Twitter post, said, “I can't remember the last time I was this shocked by an NBC programming decision.” The reference was to NBC ditching him as “Tonight” show host in 2010.

NBC News figures have been quiet publicly, though MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, interviewing Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Wednesday, asked if she was “as mad as everybody else” about the decision to show both events at the same time. “I'm not touching that," Harris replied.

To an extent, the uproar was reflective of a different time in television. Conde noted that the Trump town hall would be available later on its digital news platforms, YouTube and the Peacock streaming service.

___

AP Television Writer Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
NBC holds fast to dueling town halls despite celebrity anger
NBC News isn't backing down from its decision to schedule President Donald Trump for a town hall in the same time slot that his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, is speaking on ABC
2:37PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Nagorno-Karabakh volunteers get weapons as clashes intensify
As the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces rages on, some residents of the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh are joining volunteer squads to defend their towns, should the need arise
2:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Fred Dean, 68, fearsome pass rusher of 49ers' dynasty, dies
The fearsome NFL pass rusher Fred Dean has died
2:24PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Harris suspends travel after staffer tests COVID-19 positive
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is suspending in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for coronavirus
2:01PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Dueling town halls for Trump, Biden after debate plan nixed
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will compete for TV audiences in dueling town halls instead of meeting for their second debate as originally planned
1:52PM ( 54 minutes ago )
AP Explains: Trump seizes on dubious Biden-Ukraine story
Looking to undermine rival Joe Biden 20 days before the election, President Donald Trump’s campaign has seized on a tabloid story offering bizarre twists to a familiar line of attack: Biden’s relationship with Ukraine
1:51PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP Elections
Global stocks slide on virus resurgence, US aid concerns
Global stock markets and U.S. futures are down as hopes fade that US leaders will agree on new economic aid before the November 3 presidential election
7:58AM ( 6 hours ago )
Global stocks follow Wall St lower as stimulus hopes fade
Global stock markets have followed Wall Street lower as hopes U.S. leaders might agree on a new economic stimulus before the Nov. 3 presidential election fade
4:38AM ( 10 hours ago )
Asian stocks follow Wall St lower as stimulus hopes fade
Asian stock markets are following Wall Street lower as hopes U.S. leaders might agree on a new economic stimulus before the Nov. 3 presidential election fade
2:08AM ( 12 hours ago )
General Election News
Takeaways: Pardon power, silent mics on Barrett's final day
Health care again played a starring role in Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee as Democrats sought to highlight an issue they want voters to consider on Election Day
7:06PM ( 19 hours ago )
Barrett keeps Democrats, Trump at bay in Senate hearing
Amy Coney Barrett has said repeatedly at her confirmation hearings that she’d be her own judge if she’s confirmed to the Supreme Court
6:12PM ( 20 hours ago )
The Latest: Barrett says climate change 'contentious matter'
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett says she cannot express a view on climate change because it is a “very contentious matter of public policy.”
5:32PM ( 21 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
'Jagged Little Pill' leads Tony Awards nominations with 15
The sobering musical “Jagged Little Pill,” which plumbs Alanis Morissette’s 1995 breakthrough album to tell a story of an American family spiraling out of control, earned a leading 15 Tony Award nominations Thursday, as the Broadway community took the first steps to celebrate a pandemic-shortened season that upended the theater world
1:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
Roman Polanski honors Poles who saved him from the Holocaust
Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski has attended a ceremony in Poland where an Israeli distinction was bestowed on the family that saved him from the Holocaust during World War II
1:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Residente signs with Sony to write, direct on-screen content
The artist known as Residente has directed his own music videos and now he will help develop TV shows, films and other on-screen content for a global market
1:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Post Malone owns Billboard Awards, Legend shines onstage
Walking into the show with 16 nominations, Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, where John Legend gave a heartfelt performance that was dedicated to his wife
8:11AM ( 6 hours ago )
A popular Ardern poised to win 2nd term in New Zealand vote
Opinion polls indicate New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern is on track to win a second term as prime minister in an election on Saturday
12:35AM ( 14 hours ago )
John Legend, Post Malone, Billie Eilish own Billboard Awards
Walking into the show with 16 nominations, Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, where John Legend gave a heartfelt performance that was dedicated to his wife
11:12PM ( 15 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
German water utility pulls plug on Tesla over unpaid bills
A German utility company says it has shut down the pipes supplying Tesla with water for the construction of a factory near Berlin because the automaker hasn’t paid its bills
1:57PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Stocks fall on Wall Street as coronavirus spreads in Europe
Stocks are falling on Wall Street, putting the market on track for its third straight loss this week
1:47PM ( 59 minutes ago )
EU chief self-isolates as virus makes its mark at a summit
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been forced to leave an EU summit shortly after it opened because one of her close staffers tested positive for COVID-19
1:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
NBC faces backlash after agreeing to Trump town hall
NBC News says it'll host President Donald Trump for a town hall-styled event on Thursday, after the president submitted to a coronavirus test administered by the National Institutes of Health
10:56PM ( 15 hours ago )
Georgia Sen. Loeffler and GOP candidate Greene set event
U.S. Sen Kelly Loeffler will be hitting the campaign trail again Thursday with fellow Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene
5:22PM ( 21 hours ago )
After independent coronavirus test, NBC sets Trump town hall
NBC News says it'll host President Donald Trump for a town hall-styled event on Thursday, after the president submitted to a coronavirus test administered by the National Institutes of Health
1:27PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Nagorno-Karabakh volunteers get weapons as clashes intensify
As the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces rages on, some residents of the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh are joining volunteer squads to defend their towns, should the need arise
2:32PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Fred Dean, 68, fearsome pass rusher of 49ers' dynasty, dies
The fearsome NFL pass rusher Fred Dean has died
2:24PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Europe, US reel as virus infections surge at record pace
Coronavirus cases around the world have climbed to all-time highs of more than 330,000 per day as the scourge comes storming back across Europe and spreads with renewed speed in the U.S. Many places are being forced to reimpose tough restrictions they had eased just a few months ago
2:21PM ( 25 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump works Barron's virus diagnosis into speech
President Donald Trump has added new material to his campaign rally speech: his teenage son Barron’s recent coronavirus infection
2:19PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules
Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands on Thursday without having to self-quarantine upon arrival
2:17PM ( 29 minutes ago )