News and Commentary

REPORT: DNC Airing In Snippets Because Network Heads Were Concerned About Giving Prime Time To Trump
Preparations are made on the stage on the third day before the Democratic National Convention at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware on August 18, 2020. - Barack Obama, America's first black president, is the keynote speaker at the Democratic convention Wednesday as Kamala Harris, the first black woman on a major party ticket, formally accepts the nomination to be Joe Biden's running mate. Former first lady Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Republican Donald Trump, Biden's November opponent, is also featured on the program on Day 3 of a convention being held almost entirely online for the first time. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Olivier DOULIERY has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [August 19, 2020] instead of [August 18, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Networks are airing the Democratic National Convention only in snippets and recaps, allowing most of the event viewership to go to online streaming platforms, even for major speakers like former First Lady Michelle Obama and, on Wednesday, Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), if they do not fall in a distinct, one-hour, prime time slot.

The decision, according to the Daily Beast, was a deliberate one, designed to prevent President Donald Trump from commanding a full two hours of prime time network broadcasting every day next week, during the Republican National Convention.

Although it is not required that networks set aside equal time to both parties, campaign finance rules dictate that the same amount of airtime must be offered to both campaigns — and network executives feared that Trump would opt to use all of his available airtime.

“Multiple sources told The Daily Beast that when Democratic officials met with various broadcast network executives about their convention coverage plans, the executives stressed that they could not broadcast two hours each night in part because they then would have to give the same airtime to Trump, and all the wild unpredictability that might entail from an editorial perspective,” the outlet reported.

Sources told the Daily Beast that part of the problem lay with the Republican National Committee, which decided only recently to make their convention largely virtual and did not provide network executives with a detailed list of speakers and events, leaving them — a likely left-leaning group — worried.

“We don’t know what that content is going to be,” the source reportedly said.

The Daily Beast, of course, added that network executives were concerned about Trump because of “his penchant for peddling lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories,” particularly about the coronavirus.

Although it does appear media bias could be at work — as The Daily Wire reported earlier this week, network coverage of Trump’s presidential campaign has been overwhelmingly negative — the explanation could be even simpler: people just aren’t that interested in what the Democrats have to say.

According to CNN, ratings for the Democratic National Convention are in a virtual freefall: “television viewership of the first virtual convention was down about 25% from the equivalent night in 2016.”

“According to Nielsen, the six biggest TV networks averaged a combined total of 19 million viewers during the 10 p.m. hour, which was the only hour that NBC, ABC, and CBS showed live,” the network reported. “The same six networks had almost 25 million viewers combined during the first night of the DNC in 2016.”

Michelle Obama’s speech — one of the most talked-about events of Monday’s DNC kickoff — was dwarfed in online viewership by a campaign add from Republican strategist and congressional GOP candidate Kimberly Klacik, per The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestagiacomo.

Wednesday night will feature Harris’s speech. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will speak Thursday night to close out the convention.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  REPORT: DNC Airing In Snippets Because Network Heads Were Concerned About Giving Prime Time To Trump