As Biden warned about democracy’s collapse, TV networks aired reruns

Washington Post
September 02, 2022

While President Biden warned the nation about threats to democracy in a prime-time address on Thursday, ABC was airing a game show, “Press Your Luck.”

As Biden spelled out his objections to former president Donald Trump and “MAGA Republicans,” NBC was broadcasting a rerun of “Law and Order.” CBS skipped the speech to show a rerun of “Young Sheldon.”

The networks’ rejection of Biden’s speech — delivered in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, washed in dramatic red lighting as Marines stood guard — marked an unusual moment in the long relationship between the White House and the nation’s most powerful broadcasters...

George Washington University professor Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor, said in an interview that the speech “was framed in very partisan, political terms, and though that may reflect reality, in strictly editorial terms it makes this a close call as to whether networks should interrupt regular programming and provide the White House 30 minutes of airtime.”

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