While Donald Trump was happily promoting Sunday morning’s interview on Meet The Press with a 1.39am post on Truth Social, there are calls for a boycott of NBC News’s flagship political Sunday morning show.
The anger comes from giving a platform to the former president’s lies, with accusations that the interview is “normalising a maniac”.
In promoting the interview, the show’s newly-appointed moderator Kristen Welker has also been accused of “whitewashing Trump’s depravity” with social media users asking “Is it 2015?” and “What is wrong with you, NBC?”
Much of the anger stems from preview clips released ahead of the full interview and comments Welker made on air to colleague Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.
She described the four-times indicted, twice-impeached former president as “fired up about a lot of issues” and “leaning into his deal-making status”.
In the preview clips, Welker does challenge Mr Trump on several issues and points of fact but the former president dominates the back-and-forth, talking over her.
Nevertheless, journalist Aaron Rupar noted that she does not call him out when he says without any evidence that President Joe Biden directed the federal indictments against him.
note the complete lack of pushback here from Kristen Welker when Trump claims, without a shred of evidence, that Biden directed the federal indictments against him pic.twitter.com/sR45e2esjp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2023
On the announcement that Welker would be interviewing Mr Trump, journalist and lawyer Dean Obeidallah wrote: “Nothing like kicking off your new political show with a man who attempted a coup and incited the Jan 6 attack. It’s as if corporate media wants FASCISM. Plus she will lose liberals forever.”
Former NBC News host Keith Olbermann posted: “She’s already irretrievably damaged. What a disastrous stenography job with Trump.”
Many also referred back to CNN’s town hall in front of a cheering Trump-friendly crowd in which the former president insulted and steamrolled over Kaitlan Collins.
“Meet the Press is over, done, finished, finito. Having trump on for a softball interview and trying to normalize him as if he isn’t the most heinous criminal traitor in the history of the United States. What’s next, NBC? Gonna hold a ‘town hall’ for him too?” one post read.
In these clips, Trump utters about 30 different lies, and there’s zero pushback from Kristen Welker, who instead calls him “fired up” and “defiant” – and “the president.” This is, actually, worse than the CNN town hall in terms of normalizing a maniac. https://t.co/WRAIDOtgS3
— Dan Froomkin (PressWatchers.org) (@froomkin) September 15, 2023
Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, wrote: “In these clips, Trump utters about 30 different lies, and there’s zero pushback from Kristen Welker, who instead calls him ‘fired up’ and ‘defiant’ – and ‘the president’. This is, actually, worse than the CNN town hall in terms of normalizing a maniac.”