Monday night’s little-viewed NBC/MSNBC town hall meeting with Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden was more of a pro-Biden infomercial than an examination of the candidate.
The event, which took place at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Florida – a solidly “blue” location in the usually “red” swing state of Florida, was moderated by Lester Holt and allegedly featured an audience of “undecided voters.”
Throughout the course of the broadcast, eleven voters were chosen to ask questions of Biden. As if manufactured for a purpose, all the questions asked of Biden centered on his published platform. There were no questions that could be considered pointed; questions meant to challenge Biden’s performance as Vice President or his 47-year record in elected office.
Of those chosen to submit questions to the candidate, one was characterized as “leaning” towards Biden and one was described as a “registered Republican” who was also “leaning” towards Biden. Another questioner was said to be a former registered Republican who “voted for Hillary Clinton” and another one voted for Clinton in 2016 but said he voted for Republicans “in the past.”
Not one attendee claimed to be voting for President Trump voter or said they were “leaning” towards voting for him.
The pundit sphere, to their credit, took notice of NBCs deference to Biden with one notable tweeting, “It was a TV show that doubled as a Biden infomercial.”
NBC's town hall with Joe Biden & "undecided voters" in Miami didn't seem to have undecided voters. Nor was it much of a Miami town hall, which would have way more yelling & pointed questions. It was a TV show that doubled as a Biden infomercial. Can't blame him for doing it
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 6, 2020
I just watched that entire, hour-long NBC News townhall with Joe Biden. No questions about whether he will pack the court, nuke the filibuster, or add DC and Puerto Rico as states.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 6, 2020
The performance by NBC continues a pattern in the mainstream media of offering up softball interviews and “debate” questions to Democrats while pounding Republican candidates with challenging question, some predicated on commonly held assumptions of the truth rather than the facts.
In September, CNN was harshly criticized in the pundit sphere for its affable town hall with Biden. That non-aggressive engagement came just days after President Trump was pummeled with tough questions at an ABC News-hosted event.