Responding to the news that Donald Trump will be delivering a national address to be aired across the major TV networks, Democrats are fighting back.
In a joint a statement released on Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.”
The two Democrats pointed to Trump‘s previous statements as evidence that his political stunt on Tuesday night “will be full of malice and misinformation.”
The statement via Bloomberg‘s Jennifer Epstein:
Pelosi and Schumer demand equal airtime from the TV networks tomorrow night, when President Trump has been granted 8 minutes to talk about his push for a border wall. pic.twitter.com/whr2JPF3x9
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) January 8, 2019
It’s important to fact-check Trump’s lies in real-time
It’s not enough for TV networks to spend the next few days analyzing Donald Trump‘s speech. At that point, the massive audience will be gone and too many Americans will believe there is at least some truth to what Trump spewed.
That’s why it is important that the networks give Democrats equal airtime on Tuesday night after the president regurgitates the same immigration lies he has been spewing for years – about the so-called flood of violent immigrants crossing the order; about the need for a wasteful wall and who’s going to pay for it; and about terrorists coming through the border by the thousands.
As Matthew Yglesias of Vox wrote on Monday, “[W]hile there no doubt are various innovative coverage formats that could be used to fact-check the speech or otherwise detract from Trump’s tendency to deliberately misinform the public, there is no indication that any of [the networks] are going to be used.”
Yglesias added, “Instead, millions of people will see the president lying and misleading in various ways with no rebuttal, and at least some of them will come to believe some of the false things he says.”
The networks didn’t have to give Trump free airtime to spew lies. After all, they denied Obama a chance to discuss immigration in a national address in 2014. But now that they’ve given it the green light, they must do the nation a service and give Democrats a chance to correct the record on a real-time basis.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.