Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called out ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS for doing a disservice to the American people by not televising President Obama’s immigration speech.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said,
I’m a strong supporter of immigration reform and of the need to provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. I support President Obama’s action to help working families stay together. I think everyone agrees that the current immigration system is broken. More than a year ago, I voted for an immigration reform bill that the Senate passed but House Republicans have refused to even consider. They have left the president with little choice but to act on his own.
I should add that I am extremely disappointed that the four major broadcast television networks have said they will not broadcast the president’s speech tonight. People can be for immigration reform or against it, but clearly we need an intelligent, informed debate. Unless the networks change their plans, they will be doing a disservice to the American people and failing in their obligation to serve the public good.
Sen. Sanders nailed it. The broadcast networks don’t own the airwaves. They have an obligation to use the license that they have been granted by the FCC to serve the public good. The networks have not offered a good reason for why they have chosen to ignore an important moment in public discourse.
Their flimsy claims that President Obama’s speech is overtly political hide the greed that moved front and center since news became a for profit corporate enterprise. Every speech every president has ever given has been political. Presidents are not non-partisan entities. If the media is going to hold all future presidents to a bipartisan standard than the President Of The United States will never again address the nation on broadcast television.
The broadcast networks made the decision to place November sweeps ahead of the public good. The American people should be outraged by their actions, and demand an end to the corporate control of our media.