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President to Address the Nation

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By: Joe Concha – thehill.com – January 7, 2019

All major networks on Monday confirmed that they will air President Trump’s Oval Office address on the government shutdown live, after some initial uncertainty over how the organizations would handle the speech.

CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNN all confirmed to The Hill that the prime-time speech will air on their channels Tuesday night. CNN reported that local Fox stations and MSNBC also intend to carry the address live.

CBS said in a statement to The Hill that the address will start at 9:01:30 p.m., and the White House informed the network it will last no longer than eight minutes.

Trump announced the speech through Twitter on Monday. Multiple networks initially said they were considering whether to air it live.

Donald J. Trump ✔
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
12:44 PM – Jan 7, 2019

The White House also announced the president will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border amid the partial government shutdown over wall funding, which is currently in its 17th day.

The debate over whether the Trump address should be carried live or not was prominent among media members on social media, with some noting the networks still deliberating should not grant the president free airtime to push a political agenda, and others arguing the media has covered the president virtually nonstop since announcing his candidacy.

In 2014, then-President Obama reportedly put out feelers to see if the networks would pre-empt programming to carry a presidential address on immigration policy. The broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX all declined at the time, according to The Washington Post, because it was expected to be an overtly political speech. Cable news networks Fox News, CNN and MSNBC carried the November 2014 address.

Carol Roth ✔
This is so bizarre. The networks have been covering every single time Trump sneezes since the moment he announced his candidacy, to the point of exhaustive lunacy. Now, he is doing an official address and there’s a question on whether to air it?
Brian Stelter ✔
Replying to @brianstelter
TV exec texts: “He calls us fake news all the time, but needs access to airwaves… If we give him the time, he’ll deliver a fact-free screed without rebuttal. And if we don’t give him the time, he’ll call every network partisan. So we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”
1:38 PM – Jan 7, 2019

Deadline White House ✔
“Donald Trump takes his immigration propaganda to prime time tomorrow. He’s asked for network time to address the nation about the govt shutdown…OF HIS OWN MAKING… a blatant effort to distract from stories he fears, the Mueller probe and his ties to Russia”- @NicolleDWallace
3:24 PM – Jan 7, 2019

Larry Sabato ✔
Any network that gives President Trump time for his “national address” tomorrow evening on #TheWall is morally obligated to offer equal time to the opposition. Who should respond? I propose President Obama. It’s that important.
1:00 PM – Jan 7, 2019

Michael M. Grynbaum ✔
@grynbaum · 23h
TRUMP wants primetime slot tomorrow to talk shutdown, @esullivannyt & @maggieNYT scoop
At least TWO major networks still deliberating – skepticism about handing over airwaves for political statement nytimes.com/2019/01/07 Michael M. Grynbaum ✔
@grynbaum · 23h
TRUMP wants primetime slot tomorrow to talk shutdown, @esullivannyt & @maggieNYT scoop
Lisa Boothe ✔
How can the media criticize President Trump on First Amendment issues and then deny him a primetime address? Hypocrites.
12:10 PM – Jan 7, 2019

Ezra Klein ✔
1. Trump lied to the public about past presidents saying they wished they’d built a border wall.
2. Trump is asking for public airtime to make a nationally televised address on the border wall.
Trump shouldn’t be given free airtime simply to lie to the public.

David Folkenflik ✔
And here we are. Can the networks responsibly broadcast Trump’s remarks live to millions?
With any other POTUS, sole Q is newsworthiness. With Trump, hard to disentangle idea of presidential address from his frequently deceitful and untruthful claims. twitter.com/grynbaum/status

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Source: Networks to air Trump prime-time address live on Tuesday | TheHill