Ted Koppel: Give Trump Oval Office Address ‘Benefit of the Doubt’

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Veteran establishment media journalist Ted Koppel believes President Donald Trump’s first Oval Office address on Tuesday evening should be given “the benefit of the doubt.”

“When the president of the United States asks for airtime, you’ve got to do it,” Koppel, the former Nightline and ABC News anchor, told the New York Times on Monday as broadcast networks were debating whether to grant Trump airtime. “If what he has to say is clearly just in his self-interest and does not address the greater national interest, then the next time the White House comes around, I might not be inclined to offer it.”

The broadcast networks decided to air Trump’s Oval Office in which he will make the case for a border wall, but many journalists suggested that television networks air Trump’s speech on a delay so Trump could be fact-checked in real time.

CNN’s Don Lemon, for instance, on Thursday evening wondered what networks should do to not promote “propaganda” from a president who “has a problem with the truth.”

“Listen, I’m not saying that we should do it, but do you think it should be, I don’t know, a delay of some sort? And then you can… Because people will believe it, the president will say what he has to say, people will believe it whether the facts are true are not—I guess that’s a chance you take with any president, but this one is different,” Lemon said. “And then, by the time the rebuttals come on, we’ve already promoted propaganda, possibly, unless he gets up there and he tells the truth.”

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