The government shutdown over president Trump's border wall is a crisis manufactured by one person: Donald Trump. Outside of his rabid base, literally no one wants the giant concrete wall he has been promising, including most of the GOP.
Unfortunately for the rest of the nation, Trump has staked his credibility with his base on building the wall, so he is holding the country hostage until he gets what he wants. Up until recently, Trump's ability to bargain with Congress has been limited given Democrats have no incentive whatsoever to give Trump an inch. However, Trump is set to give an Oval Office address tonight where he'll use the presidential office to hammer Democrats and attempt to change the narrative over who is to blame for the escalating political crisis. And for reasons best known to themselves, all the major news networks have agreed to give the president airtime for his address that will go live during prime time. Reported Politico:
Major broadcast and cable news networks have agreed to air President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night Oval Office address on what he has dubbed a “crisis” on the southern border.
Trump’s announcement Monday that he will deliver remarks in prime time prompted debate over whether the networks should provide the president a platform given his propensity for spreading falsehoods, especially in his fight with Democratic lawmakers to secure additional government funding for a border wall....
ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and Fox Business each confirmed by Monday evening that they would carry the president’s remarks
The Democrats are up in arms about this, with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer demanding equal airtime to respond to the president's speech. Trump has lied and given so many false statements about the border crisis that literally nothing that comes out of his mouth can be trusted. When he speaks tonight, almost no one believes he can get through the address without making egregious false statements and outright lies. Without real time fact checking, Trump has a unique opportunity to shift public perception of the crisis and paint the Democrats as the villains. Pelosi and Schumer are acutely aware of this, and are outraged for very good reason. As Politico points out, the major networks refused to air President Obama's address on immigration in 2014. An insider told Politico that "there was agreement among the broadcast networks that [Obama’s speech] was overtly political.”
There is no doubt that Trump's speech is going to be overtly political, yet the major networks seem to think it responsible to air his propaganda free of charge, right when the nation needs it the least.
The corporate news network's coverage of Donald Trump has always been shameless. Trump represents a ratings bonanza, and the networks have cashed in on it since he announced his candidacy for president back in 2015. Trump received thousands and thousands of hours of free PR from an industry that thrived on the controversy he created, and without properly vetting him. The media insisted on portraying Trump and Clinton as political equivalents, creating the myth that Trump was a legitimate candidate for the presidency. The result of this huge abdication of journalistic responsibility the election of a complete madman to the Oval Office.
As The Washington Post Fact Checker points out, Trump has made a total of 1130 false or misleading claims about immigration since taking office. It is the subject he has lied about the most, and unfortunately, the news networks appear to have learned nothing from their mistakes and will be giving him yet another free pass.