The town hall square-off between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still happening, but very differently than originally planned. Tonight, the two candidates were slated to take part in a presidential debate, but will instead go head-to-head in separate, competing town halls on rival networks.
Joe Biden will take the stage in an event hosted by ABC at 8 p.m. ET, while President Trump will appear on NBC at the same time.
NBC employees are apparently not proud as a peacock with the network’s decision to host the President’s event. Members of NBC’s pandemic era show “Connecting,” which regularly airs on Thursday nights, took their grievances to Twitter.
“Shame on @NBC,” “Connecting” actress Shakina Nayfack of said in a Twitter thread. “Y’all sign my checks as of late but I‘m disgusted by my home network giving Trump a platform for fear mongering, bigotry & disinformation. Don’t praise yourselves for putting a trans woman on primetime then give a platform to someone who wants to abolish my rights.” Creators of the show, Martin Gero and Brendan Gall also chimed in saying they “strenuously object” to the town hall scheduling and called for the event to be rescheduled.
Former Today show anchor Katie Couric also let her feelings be known, “Having dueling town halls is bad for democracy-voters should be able to watch both and I don’t think many will. This will be good for Trump because people like to watch his unpredictability. This is a bad decision. #vote.”
Upon word from the Commission on Presidential Debates that the town hall style debate would be held virtually due to the President’s Covid-19 diagnosis, Trump refused to take part in the virtual debate, which led to the cancellation.
Both candidates and their camps will be watching the ratings very closely tonight, and no doubt one will declare himself the winner based on the Nielsen numbers.