Two weeks ago, Donald Trump was predictably infected with the Coronavirus because he ignored health and safety protocols and refused to wear a mask. He was hospitalized for a few days, and he was supposed to remain in isolation for 20 days. He did not, but when the Presidential Debate Commission decided to change the format of the second debate to a virtual one because the President was contagious with a potentially lethal disease, Trump predictably threw a tantrum and quit.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, decided to use that allotted time to hold a town hall and talk with the voters. Why not, right? He shouldn’t be punished because Trump dropped out. So, he scheduled the town hall with ABC. Meanwhile, Trump — the guy who canceled the debate — decided that he needed a town hall, too, so he called up NBC — home of The Apprentice — and arranged it on one condition: That it air at the same time as Biden’s debate so that Trump could brag about how much better his ratings were, as though ratings were somehow an indication of competence.
NBC agreed, stupidly, and over the last couple of days, the network has been getting a lot of shit from social media, other political journalists and politicians, and even a lot of the primetime stars of NBC and other A-listers — Mariska Hargitay, Aaron Sorkin, J.J. Abrams, Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, Ava DuVernay, Seth MacFarlane, Damon Lindelof, Kenya Barris, Phil Lloyd & Chris Miller, Adam McKay, Billy Porter, Seth Rogen, Ben Stiller, Allison Janney, Robert Kirkman, Julianne Moore, and Amy Schumer — who wrote a letter asking that NBC reschedule the debate to any other time other than the same time as Joe Biden because, by airing it opposite Biden’s town hall, NBC is not doing a public service. It is angling for ratings.
NBC did not reschedule the town hall. Instead, NBC acquiesced to Trump’s demands and took heat for it, and then … predictably, Donald Trump lashed out at the network. “So you know I’m being set up tonight,” he said at a rally in North Carolina today in an effort to lower expectations and excuse away in advance any stupid answers he gives to questions from Savannah Guthrie. “I’m doing this town hall with Concast, C-O-N, con, cause it’s a con job,” he continued.
“It’s NBC, the worst. Home of Sleepy-Eyed Chuck Todd and some others,” he added, before calling Guthrie “lovely” and confessing that he took NBC up on their “con job,” because, “I figured what the hell, we’ve got a free hour on television.”
But here: I’ll let you all in on a secret. Come closer. Let me whisper it in your ear. No, not that close, now it’s weird. There. Cool. Listen, “You don’t have to watch.” I’m not. I’m gonna watch the back-half of Wonder Woman with the kids, maybe watch another movie, maybe finish the last two eps of Bly House. And in the morning, I’ll read all about the stupid sh*t that Trump says tonight that won’t change one single person’s vote one way or another, and I won’t have to hear his grating obnoxious voice when I do.
Anyway, the point of all this is: NBC is dumb, they should have known better, and now they are paying the price, and by that, I mean collecting high ad rates, raising the profile of Savanah Guthrie, and enduring a few hours of ritualistic humiliation that will be completely forgotten about as soon as Trump opens his dumb mouth.