On Sunday night, the media reporters rushed to cover a letter from the Biden campaign demanding that Rudy Giuliani be banned from network television interviews. They did not suggest democracy would die in darkness.
The letter was sent to more than a dozen TV news executives and journalists, including the presidents of CNN (Jeff Zucker), Fox News (Suzanne Scott), MSNBC (Phil Griffin), ABC News (James Goldston), NBC News (Noah Oppenheim) and CBS News (Susan Zirinsky), and hosts such as CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd and Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace.
“We write to demand that in service to the facts, you no longer book Rudy Giuliani,” Biden senior official Anita Dunn and deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield wrote, suggesting that the Trump surrogate has “demonstrated that he will knowingly and willingly lie in order to advance his own narrative.” Barring that, the Biden campaign wants "an equivalent amount of time" to be provided "to a surrogate for the Biden campaign."
CNN's Brian Stelter, Politico's Michael Calderone, and Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple all wrote full-length articles on this letter without noting or downplaying an obvious point: while Giuliani was all over the Sunday shows, why isn't Joe Biden doing interviews...or even taking questions? Where on Earth is Hunter Biden? Notice the Biden campaign wants time for surrogates -- not the Bidens.
Near the end of his article, Stelter noted "The programs may be holding out for an interview with Biden, who has not sat down for a Sunday show interview this year though he has done other network and cable TV interviews." He hasn't been interviewed since this impeachment-over-Biden exercise began.
Up to this point, we're having a very strange impeachment exercise -- aimed to removing from the president from office for talking to the president of Ukraine about the Bidens' behavior in Ukraine -- without any comments on the record from the Democrat front-runner, or his $50,000-a-month son.
Instead, these liberals highlight how terrible Giuliani is on TV. Stelter huffed: "Giuliani's interviews are typically Pinocchio-laden, confusing, and full of contradictions. What the Biden campaign is saying, in essence, is that his conduct is beyond the norms of good-faith television interviewing." Calderone argued Giuliani is pushing the "the unsupported allegation that Biden, while vice president, urged the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor in March 2016 to benefit his son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a major energy company in the country."
Wemple cynically insisted that Rudy is Good TV, so they'll never ban him:
[T]he Biden letter merges with a million pleas from social media users dating to the onset of the Trump presidential period. This crowd pleaded with cable-news networks, particularly CNN, to scale back live broadcasts of Trump’s 2016 campaign rallies; they spoke up again over Sean Spicer’s lie-heavy White House briefings, as well as those of his successor, Sarah Sanders; they shouted down the falsehoods so routinely spouted by Trump surrogates wherever they popped up on television. And, of course, they spoke up about the president himself, whose penchant for lies and stray falsehoods outpaced the frantic efforts of well-meaning journalists scouring source documents.
None of it has worked. The commitment of mainstream news outlets to shop for input from both sides — no matter the ethical failings of one — is decades old.
Whenever any of us demands that the press address the "ethical failings" of the Democrats, you can hear the Anita Dunns of the world saying it would "normalize" Trump to investigate the other side. Or "normalize" Trump to expect the Bidens to submit to interviews? In any case, it's odd that these First Amendment champions don't have a critical word for the idea of blacklisting people from TV news.