So who will you be watching Thursday at 8pm EST?

The internet is enraged at NBC for hosting a town hall for President Donald Trump after he refused to debate former Vice President Joe Biden virtually for the second presidential debate on Thursday October 15th. As a result of the debate being cancelled, Biden took matters into his own hands and arranged a town hall to be aired on ABC. In an attempt at fairness, Trump also arranged his own town hall, airing on competing network NBC at the exact same time as Biden’s.

Arguments Over Format Of Second Debate 

The second presidential debate was set for Thursday October 15th, but with President Trump’s recent diagnosis of coronavirus, it was to be moved to a virtual format instead of in-person so as not to risk any spreading of the disease. President Trump refused to take part if the debate was to be virtual. A compromise over how to do the debate could not be reached between the two candidates, and so the second presidential debate was cancelled. 

In an effort to still address the American people’s questions and concerns, Biden announced last week that he would be hosting a town hall event in Philadelphia on Thursday at 8pm EST, in place of the debate. He will be answering questions written by Americans.

Today, NBC announced that they will be hosting a town hall for President Trump in Miami on Thursday at 8pm EST as well.

#BoycottNBC

NBC’s announcement has not gone over well, generating backlash on the internet. Twitter has taken to using the “#boycottNBC,” as a way to protest the news network’s decision. Some users have been voicing concern over the media playing into “Trump’s games.” 

Many point out the similarities between a parent rewarding a child for having a tantrum and NBC hosting a town hall for Trump after refusing to take part in the scheduled debate.

Many people are outraged because of the fact that both town halls are taking place at the same time, forcing voters to choose one candidate to watch. 

Does either candidate really benefit from hosting individual town halls?

Is this giving anyone else flashbacks to the first presidential debate a few weeks ago?

Not only are everyday Americans upset, but there is palpable tension between current and former NBC employers. 

Former NBC News Executive Vivian Schiller commented on the network’s decision, labeling the coinciding timing of the event “shameful,” and stating that, “the point of a news organization is to serve the public. This is the opposite.”  

People urge NBC employees to speak out against their network.

 Despite many people being up in arms about the injustice NBC has incurred, some are blatantly showing who they’ll be watching on Thursday. 

Trump’s Coronavirus Case

NBC claimed that Trump’s town hall would be “in accordance with the guidelines set forth by health officials,” in Miami. But until Tuesday, the network had actually been planning on cancelling the event if the President was unable to provide evidence that he was not at risk of infecting others. After a test administered on Tuesday, a clinical director at the National Institute of Health Dr. Lane stated “with a high degree of confidence” that Trump “is not shedding infectious virus.” 

Dr. Lane and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert, reviewed medical data about Trump’s COVID case. They analyzed a PCR test, a commonly used virus diagnostic which is considered more reliable than rapid antigen tests. The doctors did not explicitly report a negative result from the PCR test. Melania Trump did announce that Barron Trump also contracted COVID-19, adding her son to the list of other White House associates who have contracted the virus since a number of infectious gatherings and no mask wearing enforcement. 

The town hall in Miami will take place outdoors, and President Trump will sit twelve feet, more than the commonly advised six feet apart, away from moderator Savannah Guthrie. Attendees will be required to wear masks. Joe Biden’s town hall will take place in Philadelphia moderated by George Stephanopoulos. 

As if the first presidential debate wasn’t telling enough, this Presidential election will continue to be unlike any other before it. President Trump and Joe Biden are still set to meet in person for the third and final presidential debate on Thursday October 22nd in Nashville, TN. It will be interesting to see which town hall other news outlets, such as CNN, Fox, etc. will choose to air. But more importantly, who will you be watching this Thursday at 8pm EST?