Don Lemon blasts NBC's 'embarrassing ratings ploy' after Trump 'manipulated them' into town hall airing opposite Biden's

CNN host Don Lemon has blasted NBC News for scheduling a town hall with Donald Trump that’ll air at the same time as Joe Biden’s town hall with ABC News.

During his show on Wednesday night, Lemon called the move by NBC an “embarrassing ratings ploy” and said network execs have been duped by Trump. 

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“How does that help the American people?” Lemon asked about the dueling broadcasts set to air on Thursday.

“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.”

Lemon said he’s “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,” the host continued.

Lemon questioned whether NBC learned “nothing from 2016.”

“They're allowing a man who made all the wrong decisions by going – showing up at a debate, not getting a Covid test, and then becoming a super spreader and then refusing to do the debate.

The host said Trump is being rewarded “with primetime on a major network on cable and on their Spanish speaking network, someone who made all the wrong decisions and someone who backed out of a debate.”

Rachel Maddow, a liberal host on MSNBC, was also upset about the town halls airing at the same time. 

During an interview with Kamala Harris, the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee, Maddow asked whether she was concerned about the scheduled events.

“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?” she asked Harris. 

"Should the networks refuse to give the president other opportunities for airtime if he's the one who refuses the chance to debate?"

"You know, I'm not going to tell the networks what to do," Harris, a California senator, said.

"But I'll tell ya, I know who I'm going to be watching, so there you go!"

Last Thursday, October 8, ABC News announced their were hosting a town hall with Biden after Trump rejected the idea of a virtual debate that was set to take place on October 15. 

The Commission on Presidential Debates chose to make the second of the three debates virtual after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.

The second debate was canceled altogether, but the third debate, scheduled for next Thursday, October 22, is still on. 

On Wednesday, six days after ABC's announcement, NBC revealed their event with Trump would take place at the same time as Biden’s event.

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