Tonight, President Donald Trump will address the country, as he grapples with the migrant crisis at the border. He wants $5 billion for part of a border wall. It’s a critical 2016 campaign promise. It’s now become a national security priority for the Trump White House. Democrats are dead set against it. House Democrats, fresh of their 40-seat gain in the lower chamber from the 2018 midterms, are taking their new majority for a spin and aren’t willing to give the president one cent for the wall. Trump said he wouldn’t sign any continuing resolution to keep the government open unless there was wall funding. The Democrats said no way, no wall. The government has been shut down for over 13 days, and at this point—there’s no end in sight. With the president requesting coverage for his address, the networks haggled all day yesterday whether they would give him a slot in primetime. They’ve agreed, though the Democrats want equal time to rebut the president:
The major television networks said that they will provide wall-to-wall coverage of President Donald Trump's prime time address on border security on Tuesday.
NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and Fox broadcast network all said on Monday that they had agreed to the White House's request for air time. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will all carry the address live, as well.
Following news that the networks would air Trump's immigration address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement that they should be given an equal amount of time to respond.*
"Now that the television networks have decided to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime," Pelosi and Schumer said.
Presidents have been using Oval Office addresses to make big announcements for decades. But this is Trump's first time using the setting for an address to the nation. On Monday the White House requested air time for the speech, as is customary in the relationship between a president and the press.
In what insane world is it the Press's role to care if a President says mean things about them? https://t.co/JeFcFeosX1— Lee Doren (@LDoren) January 8, 2019
I'm waiting to hear back from ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox broadcast about whether they will carry Trump's prime time address tomorrow night. The networks don't automatically say yes when a president asks for airtime.— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019
This just in from a network source: "Time has been requested tomorrow night for 9p. Networks are deliberating."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019
TV exec texts: "He calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he'll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don't give him the time, he'll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don't."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 7, 2019
Mainstream media is broken, perhaps irreparably.— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) January 8, 2019
This is so bizarre. The networks have been covering every single time Trump sneezes since the moment he announced his candidacy, to the point of exhaustive lunacy. Now, he is doing an official address and there's a question on whether to air it? https://t.co/yp9BZHHY9r— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) January 7, 2019
Weird, right. https://t.co/R42zLxeIow— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) January 7, 2019
Trump knows the bully pulpit well, and he would win hands down. Yet, one television executive that CNN’s Brian Stelter texted with was worried that if they didn’t give Trump his primetime coverage, he would trash them. Why would they care? Also, aren’t they accustomed to it? Trump has been filleting them for over two years now. CNN sucks has become a hallmark chant at his rallies. Also, he’s the president of the United States; you don’t have a choice but to cover this address. Also, this is the industry that gave Trump $2 billion in free media during his 2016 campaign. And now, they’re pondering whether to give him the light of day. Other on Twitter noticed how odd this was as well. Also, sorry, no one will ever sympathize with the media scared or worried that Trump, or anyone for that matter, would say mean, mean things about them.
Did I miss the part when Republicans were given national airtime to respond to Obama's non-SOTU televised addresses? https://t.co/h6vSYg2iKV— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 8, 2019