Discover more from Robert Reich
Office Hours: Why did NBC debut its new “Meet the Press” with Trump?
It was a disaster — more free publicity for the liar-in-chief
In the aftermath of January 6, 2021, Trump was banned from the media — broadcast, cable, social — so that his blatant and dangerous lies couldn’t cause even more harm, and American democracy could be given a chance to heal.
Now, he’s back — full throttle, with more lies, bigger lies, more shameless lies, lies that are even more dangerous. The man is now leading the pack of Republican presidential wannabes. He is polling neck and neck with Joe Biden.
So please explain to me why NBC’s Kristen Welker, on her debut as host of the flagship Sunday news show “Meet the Press,” chose Donald Trump to be her first guest? Or her producer chose Trump? Or NBC executives chose Trump?
What did NBC think it was doing? What did Welker think she’d uncover?
Trump is not a rational human being. He is a sociopath. How many times must he be given star billing — hours and hours of free publicity — before the media catch on?
It is impossible to treat him as if he functions normally. Before an interviewer can question one of his lies, he’s already on to the next one, and then the one after that, along with a vindictive kick and bigoted punch, then into a mendacious accusation, and then on to the next lie. You can’t catch up.
We have seen this over and over again. NBC should have known better. As recently as May, Trump chewed CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins to pieces at a misbegotten town hall.
Welker tried to counter Trump’s lies, but she failed miserably. His lies kept gushing at too great a pace. NBC News posted a “fact check” online after the broadcast, but at a mere 1,800 words, it couldn’t possibly correct the record adequately.
Almost none of the lies Trump told was new. He’s been spouting most of them nonstop. How could Welker be so unprepared to address them head on? Because they cannot be addressed head on. Trump cannot be addressed head on. He is a human lying machine.
It is irresponsible of the media to do a one-on-one interview with Trump. It is irresponsible to believe that Trump is capable of rational discussion. The danger he poses to democracy is not just that he lies. It’s that he does nothing but lie.
He has so little regard for the truth and so little respect for anyone seeking it that he buries all media interrogators in a fog of fabrication. Which is what he is intent on doing to America.
So today’s Office Hours comes in two parts: (A) Why do you think NBC debuted the new “Meet the Press” with Trump? (B) In the future, how should the broadcast media treat him?
Please share your thoughts, and if so moved, take our poll: