READ: Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Issue Demand That ‘Democrats Must Immediately Be Given Equal Airtime’ After Donald Trump Speaks to the Nation


Major broadcast networks have agreed to provide coverage of President Donald Trump’s prime time address on border security…

…but Democrats have a request of their own.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement that they should be given “equal airtime” to respond to whatever the president says.

“Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” Pelosi and Schumer said.

President Trump has the “power to stop hurting the country” by “ending the Trump Shutdown,” they continued, referring to the government shutdown, now in its third week, which began after Trump disagreed with a Congressional decision regarding funding for his proposed border wall.

“Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans in Congress have repeatedly urged the President and Leader McConnell to end the Trump Shutdown and re-open the government while Congress debates the President’s expensive and ineffective wall,” they said.

CBS has confirmed that Democrats have requested airtime; CNN has confirmed it will carry the Democratic response live.

It is not unusual for presidents to ask for airtime to make a formal address to the nation. However, this is Trump’s first time doing it, and critics agree that he, given his history of lying, should be rigorously fact-checked.

“Trump is unlike any president that the country has ever had in the sense that he frequently and routinely says things that are untrue,” Mike Ananny, an expert in media and technology at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told The Washington Post.

He added:

“The challenge that the media faces is you don’t want to give a platform to somebody who is known to lie a lot, but at the same time, this is still the president of the United States, who has a lot of power and continues to use that power. The challenge the press has is to call the president out for what I expect will be the lies he will tell, because he tells them all the time, and to call them out in real time.”

Washington Post fact checkers deduced that by the end of 2018, Trump had made 7,645 “false or misleading claims.”

Many welcome the Democratic rebuttal and agree that the president needs to be held accountable while on the air.

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