Viewers who tuned into the Peacock Network expected to hear questions from voters, but similarly to the NBC town hall with Biden, questions for nearly the first 20 minutes of the program came from the moderator.
Guthrie spent much of that time grilling Trump on masks and white supremacy.
That didn’t sit well with many.
“How long will NBC go before giving an actual voter the chance to ask a question?” pollster Frank Luntz asked, who later called the “town hall” descriptor of the program “false advertising.”
“A third of the way into the NBC town hall and NO questions from the PEOPLE!!!” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany exclaimed.
“Savannah Guthrie posture toward Trump compared to Lester Holt’s toward Biden is night and day,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha wrote, recalling the previous NBC town hall with the former VP.
“Trump went from debating Biden to Guthrie! Not sure whether this is good or bad yet … but he’s definitely debating tonight,” CNN commentator Scott Jennings said.
“The questions from the NBC audience are actually pretty good and fair–so far–and it’s only been Savannah Guthrie that has been awful,” Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra tweeted.
“The fake pretense of a ‘town hall’ when every aspect of it has been orchestrated in advance by the producers is such obnoxious BS,” progressive journalist Michael Tracey wrote.
Meanwhile, over on ABC, NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck compared the first “softball” Biden received to the first question Trump received at his town hall last month.
Here’s the first question of the ABC #BidenTownHall — a softball from a committed Democrat lamenting ‘the lack of coordinated federal action on COVID-19″ from Trump. In contrast, Trump’s first question from a so-called GOPer saying he threw ‘vulnerable people…under the bus,'” Houck summarized.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh called out the disparency between both networks.
“These two town halls capture perfectly the difference in media treatment, Trump vs. Biden. ABC is doing everything they can to keep Joe Biden comfortable. Meanwhile, Savannah Guthrie is attacking the President like she openly hates him. Couldn’t be encapsulated better,” Murtaugh tweeted.
Both NBC and ABC were previously scrutinized for what were described as “undecided” voters had previously expressed animus towards President Trump and favoritism towards Joe Biden.
NBC was blasted by liberals for scheduling its Trump town hall opposite of Biden’s town hall on ABC.