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Kristen Welker's 'Meet the Press' Era Kicks Off with Trump Interview

Image Courtesy: NBC News

This weekend, NBC's Meet the Press kicks off a new chapter with veteran journalist Kristen Welker taking over as moderator from Chuck Todd. In a bold move, Welker's debut episode features a sit-down interview with none other than former President Donald Trump. However, many pleased to see President Trump on the NBC but some people not pleased with NBC News' decision to give Trump a platform, with liberal commentator Dean Obeidallah accusing the network of "normalizing fascism."

Obeidallah's critique highlights a growing trend among some liberals who believe that certain public figures, including Trump, are so harmful and objectionable that their views should not be given a platform, even if it means limiting freedom of speech and the principles of a free press. This line of thinking implies that the electorate cannot be trusted to discern and reject dangerous ideologies on their own and requires protection from exposure to such perspectives.

It's worth noting that Obeidallah himself acknowledges that there may be situations where a Trump interview could be considered legitimate, such as if it were to involve rigorous questioning and fact-checking. Moreover, he points out that President Joe Biden has not appeared on Meet the Press since March 2020, and his last appearance on a Sunday show dates back to December 2016.

The buzz surrounding 'Meet the Press' is hard to ignore, especially with Kristen Welker taking over as the show's moderator. Amidst this period of transition, the decision to feature former President Donald Trump in its inaugural episode under Welker's tenure has been a topic of heated debate. Critics have voiced concerns, but the fact remains that this is an excellent decision for a multitude of reasons. It offers a stage for open dialogue, which is critical to the democratic process, and quashes the notion that mainstream media is only a platform for one perspective.

One of the most troubling trends in recent years is the polarization of American society. Media often shoulders part of the blame for presenting one-sided views, which intensify the divide. That’s why it’s refreshing to see ‘Meet the Press’ take a different approach by inviting Donald Trump. To silence him would be to ignore the beliefs of millions, which is antithetical to democratic values.

It's an irrefutable fact that Donald Trump is a brand in America. The man who once commanded reality TV and later Elected as The President of the United States. Trump appearance guarantees not only viewership but also a broad spectrum of opinions and discussions that follow. For a show like 'Meet the Press,' which aims to stimulate meaningful debate on national issues, having a personality like Trump is an asset that cannot be ignored.

Interestingly, Dean Obeidallah and those who argue against Trump's appearance on the show tend to be advocates of democratic values and freedom of speech. The irony is evident. Freedom of speech is not a concept that should be selectively applied. By giving Donald Trump a platform, 'Meet the Press' lives up to the true spirit of democracy, which is to allow a variety of opinions to be heard, even those that we may personally disagree with.

Concerns have been raised about the role of media figures like Dean Obeidallah, who have been labeled as 'hate speakers' by some. If there's a push to ensure that media is a space free of hate speech, then this must be applied uniformly. Singling out Donald Trump while ignoring others who may be contributing to the divisiveness defeats the purpose. Therefore, if media outlets like NBC News other mainstream media outlets wish to maintain credibility, they must ensure that their representatives do not contribute to the current atmosphere of hostility.

In these turbulent times, where divisions run deep, the media's role should be to facilitate discussion and not to stifle it. The decision to feature Donald Trump in the inaugural episode of 'Meet the Press' under Kristen Welker's moderation is, therefore, a welcome one. It not only ensures a wider range of perspectives but also lends credence to the media's role as an impartial facilitator of dialogue. In doing so, it truly upholds the democratic values that America holds dear.


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