Media reporters at the Daily Beast are insisting that the liberal broadcast networks are incredibly nervous about what Team Trump will want to put on television in the 10 pm hour next week, and that's why they promised only one hour. The headline?
TV News Networks Worried About Airing Two Hours of Trump’s Convention
Sources said the networks have given DNC officials a new reason they won’t air their event in full: Because they’d also have to air Trump’s in full—lies, warts, and all.
Sam Stein, Max Tani, and Lloyd Grove reported:
Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that when Democratic officials met with various broadcast network executives about their convention coverage plans, the executives stressed that they could not broadcast two hours each night in part because they then would have to give the same airtime to Trump, and all the wild unpredictability that might entail from an editorial perspective.
“We don’t know what that content is going to be,” was the line offered up, according to one source....
Executives at multiple networks told The Daily Beast privately that they were still almost completely in the dark about basic details of next week’s RNC, including its format and its roster of speakers.
It's only natural that the liberal networks would be afraid of liberal criticism. They don't care about conservative criticism, but this could be a fiasco from their point of view.
The president has complicated editorial decisions for TV executives in part because of his penchant for peddling lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Networks have come under intense scrutiny from media critics and Democrats for giving Trump unfiltered air time to spread propaganda and/or failing to fact-check some of his more dangerous claims in real-time.
That has been especially true during the coronavirus era, during which the president has routinely downplayed the severity of the pandemic, pushed unproven therapies, and attempted to discredit public-health experts that contradict his preferred policies.
The RNC also promises to be a hodgepodge of Trump sycophants, coronavirus skeptics, and alleged victims of “cancel culture.”
The Beast trio found a critic of this thesis, the one and only disgrace named Dan Rather:
“I would be very skeptical of that theory of why the networks are carrying them for only one hour,” said former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, who has covered every political convention, Democrat and Republican, since he was a local reporter in Houston... “I’m not cynical about it, but I’m skeptical because the networks in recent times never wanted to give the conventions very much time,” Rather told The Daily Beast, “because they can cram in more commercials with even deadwood content.”
While these liberals like the Democratic tone so far, they worried "the comparatively disorganized Republicans, under Trump’s reality-show influence, might end up as more exciting—and perhaps surreal—to watch."
“I think it’s one of the things that Trump and the Republicans are banking on,” Rather said. “It will be unpredictable, will have surprises, and they’ll be hoping that people will tune in just to see what’s going to happen.”
They make it sound very mischievous, which might spur viewership.