After being accused of favoritism, along with its fellow Sunday shows, for allowing Donald Trump to repeatedly phone in instead of appearing — a favor not granted to any other candidates — NBC’s Meet the Press will no longer accept Trump’s calls.
This comes after journalists like Amy Goodman and Sally Kohn have started calling out the major networks on the air, complaining live about favoritism being given to Trump’s appearances in general:
With the increased scrutiny on Trump’s dangerous rhetoric, it’s inevitable that NBC’s Chuck Todd told the New York Times‘ Jim Rutenberg about his change of rules this weekend. The only other Sunday show that has made this a rule, interestingly, is Chris Wallace’s on Fox News. But Rutenberg noted that other shows have yet to follow suit:
On Friday, Chuck Todd, the moderator of “Meet the Press,” told me he had only grudgingly allowed Mr. Trump to call in to his show earlier in the campaign, determining that he would rather have Mr. Trump take questions via phone than not at all. Now, Mr. Todd said, he will no longer allow Mr. Trump to do prescheduled interviews by phone on the NBC program. And CNN told me it would think twice before giving full coverage to a Trump news conference that devolves into an infomercial. I thought I might be witnessing a midcampaign course correction. But then I tuned in to “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on ABC and there was Mr. Trump, or, that is, his disembodied voice.
Recently, Media Matters counted phone appearances on the Sunday shows, noting that: “The five shows have allowed Trump to be interviewed by phone a total of 28 times, but none of the other four remaining presidential candidates have been interviewed by phone a single time.”