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Broadcast Nets Declined Biden Speech, as it Was ‘Political’

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Washington Post reported Friday that ABC, CBS, and NBC all declined to carry President Joe Biden’s Thursday remarks because they were viewed as too “political.”

The Post also reported after viewing the speech beforehand, Biden’s criticism of former President Donald Trump was a turnoff to networks that aired reruns and a game show.

Citing sources close to negotiations between the White House and the big three in broadcast TV, the Post‘s Paul Farhi reported:

People involved in negotiations over Thursday’s address said the networks deemed Biden’s remarks as “political” in nature and therefore decided not to televise it. These people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions, cited the speech’s criticism of Trump — who may run in the Republican presidential primaries in 2024 — and its timing two months before the midterm elections.

White House officials had earlier tried to counter the impression of partisanship, with one telling NBC News that it was “not a speech about a particular politician or even about a particular political party.”

During his remarks, Biden portrayed Trump and “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to the stability of the country.

“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” Biden said. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak in state after state, to give the power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election-deniers to undermine democracy itself.”

Networks, which were reportedly offered a look at the remarks beforehand, chose not to air the speech.

Only CNN and MSNBC carried the roughly 30-minute speech in full. Fox News declined to air it during Tucker Carlson Tonight.

ABC aired the game show Press Your Luck, CBS aired a rerun of Young Sheldon, and NBC went with a rerun of Law and Order.

As Farhi noted, it is not unprecedented for broadcast networks to decline to air primetime presidential speeches:

[The networks] have passed on speeches that were part of campaign rallies or events, or when the subject was deemed insufficiently important or newsworthy. The networks, for example, decided not to carry a speech on immigration reform by President Barack Obama in November of 2014.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Washington Post reported Friday that ABC, CBS, and NBC all declined to carry President Joe Biden’s Thursday remarks because they were viewed as too “political.”

The Post also reported after viewing the speech beforehand, Biden’s criticism of former President Donald Trump was a turnoff to networks that aired reruns and a game show.

Citing sources close to negotiations between the White House and the big three in broadcast TV, the Post‘s Paul Farhi reported:

People involved in negotiations over Thursday’s address said the networks deemed Biden’s remarks as “political” in nature and therefore decided not to televise it. These people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions, cited the speech’s criticism of Trump — who may run in the Republican presidential primaries in 2024 — and its timing two months before the midterm elections.

White House officials had earlier tried to counter the impression of partisanship, with one telling NBC News that it was “not a speech about a particular politician or even about a particular political party.”

During his remarks, Biden portrayed Trump and “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to the stability of the country.

“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” Biden said. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak in state after state, to give the power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election-deniers to undermine democracy itself.”

Networks, which were reportedly offered a look at the remarks beforehand, chose not to air the speech.

Only CNN and MSNBC carried the roughly 30-minute speech in full. Fox News declined to air it during Tucker Carlson Tonight.

ABC aired the game show Press Your Luck, CBS aired a rerun of Young Sheldon, and NBC went with a rerun of Law and Order.

As Farhi noted, it is not unprecedented for broadcast networks to decline to air primetime presidential speeches:

[The networks] have passed on speeches that were part of campaign rallies or events, or when the subject was deemed insufficiently important or newsworthy. The networks, for example, decided not to carry a speech on immigration reform by President Barack Obama in November of 2014.

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