Kurtz: Networks' 'Hand-Wringing' Over Trump Address Shows He Is Held to Different Standard
Tonight, 9p ET: Trump to address nation on border security.
Fox News media analyst and "MediaBuzz" host Howard Kurtz said broadcast networks' "hand-wringing" over President Trump's address on border security shows that Trump is "held to a different standard."
The president will address the nation at 9:00pm ET on Tuesday amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, and the speech will be carried live by ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC and NBC.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will give a rebuttal following Trump's address, which will also be carried live on the networks.
Kurtz noted there was much deliberation Monday before the networks announced they would broadcast Trump's address live.
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) January 8, 2019
CNN anchor Don Lemon even suggested Trump's first primetime speech from the Oval Office should have a delay or live "fact-check" due to his concern that Trump will promote "propaganda."
UNBELIEVABLE: Don Lemon suggests that Trump's speech be delayed so it can be edited and kept from Americans.
Chris Cuomo (the voice of reason) corrects him and says wanting a border wall isn't immoral or wrong.
Cuomo giving Lemon a "you've lost your mind" stare is CLASSIC. pic.twitter.com/0nwI8BEssP
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 8, 2019
"This is the most fact-checked president in history," Kurtz said on "America's Newsroom" Tuesday. "The way it should work is: he makes an Oval Office request, he gets to speak to the American people and then they've got a week. Every website, every newspaper, every network can come on and say, 'Here's what was wrong, here's what was misleading, here's our analysis.' But to preemptively judge it, I think, is unfair."
Host Sandra Smith noted that there is a precedent for networks refusing presidential addresses, including speeches from former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Kurtz said there are "many, many other examples" where the networks did give those other presidents' air time for addresses.
"Immigration is -- whether you think the situation at the border is being overly hyped or manufactured by the Trump administration -- clearly a hot button issue," Kurtz said. "And it's in the middle of the third week of a government shutdown. So by any standard, this is going to be a very newsworthy speech."