CNN’s Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN’s Lemon: Asking Biden, Harris about ‘hypothetical’ court packing ‘not a legitimate question’ Jane Fonda calls coronavirus ‘God’s gift to the left’ CNN’s Lemon: Trump looked like a kid prescribed ‘too much Adderall’ MORE and MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowKamala Harris confirms she noticed fly on Pence’s head during VP debate The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sponsored by Facebook – What happens after today’s Amy Coney Barrett hearing Lawyer calls for judge’s recusal from Flynn’s criminal case MORE on Wednesday ripped NBC for scheduling a Thursday night town hall with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO calls blocking New York Post article without explanation ‘unacceptable’ Michael Cohen writing second book on Trump administration’s Justice Department As Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT MORE that will go head-to-head with a previously scheduled ABC town hall with Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTwitter CEO calls blocking New York Post article without explanation ‘unacceptable’ Cheers erupt as Trump puts on MAGA hat, takes off tie at Iowa rally Hillicon Valley: Twitter lacked adequate cybersecurity protection ahead of July hacks, regulator says | Twitter, Facebook clamp down on New York Post article about Hunter Biden | YouTube bans COVID-19 vaccine misinformation MORE.
Lemon, in a monologue on his show, called the move by NBC an “embarrassing ratings ploy” and accused the network of having been manipulated by the president.
“How does that help the American people?” Lemon asked of the scheduled event. “How does that inform the electorate, by putting those two people on at the same time and making people choose from one to the other? And don’t give me that BS about ‘Well, you can tape one.’ That’s not what this is about.”
“This is an outright embarrassing ratings ploy on behalf of NBC,” the longtime CNN anchor continued. “And I am shocked and surprised that they would allow the president of the United States to do their programming and manipulate them into doing this. It is embarrassing.”
Lemon was not alone in his sentiment. Maddow, a current NBC employee and MSNBC host, also expressed disagreement with her parent network’s town hall move while interviewing Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisKamala Harris confirms she noticed fly on Pence’s head during VP debate Key moments from Barrett’s marathon question-and-answer session OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrett says climate change is a ‘contentious matter of public debate’ | Shuffle of EPA’s science advisers elevates those with industry tries | Conservation groups to sue Trump administration, seeking giraffe protections MORE.
“Are you as mad as everybody else that NBC is doing a town hall with President Trump tomorrow instead of the debate, at the same time that Vice President Biden’s going to be on ABC?” Maddow asked Harris.
“I’m not touching that,” the California senator replied, later adding, “I know who I’ll be watching.”
ABC announced the Biden event on Oct. 8 after Trump rejected a virtual debate proposal by the Commission on Presidential Debates for Oct. 15. The commission moved to make the second presidential debate virtual after Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The Biden campaign scheduled with ABC after the Trump rejection, which eventually led to the commission canceling the Oct. 15 debate altogether last Friday.
The final presidential debate is still slated for Oct. 22.