A network television presenter was so disruptive during her interview with the president that industry peers swiftly condemned her unprofessional conduct.
NBC town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie interrupted President Donald Trump so often that her fellow media professionals began to seriously question her editorial integrity.
The Australian-born presenter interviewed the incumbent president about Democratic Party concerns that he was “dodging” questions about right-wing extremism.
However, she repeatedly spoke over the president, making it difficult for viewers to hear his response and forcing the president to voice his objection.
“I denounced white supremacy, I denounced white supremacy for years but you always do it–you always start off with a cannon question,” he said in a video shared by Fox News.
The president expressed concern about Guthrie’s failure to question Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden about his silence about extreme anarchist protesters who have looted businesses and vandalized both religious and historical monuments in the name of racial equality.
“You did not ask Joe Biden whether or not he denounces antifa,” he said. “I watched him on the same basic show with [NBC News anchor] Lester Holt and he was asking questions like Biden was a child.”
The moderator tried to talk over him again but the president refused to be bullied and finished his answer.
Savannah Guthrie’s editorial integrity
“So are you listening?” he said. “I denounce white supremacy. What is your next question?”
Guthrie continued to press the president on his reluctance to condemn right-wing extremism even though he had already done so.
“It feels sometimes you are hesitant to do so, like you weigh the beat,” she said.
However, the president maintained his composure and refused to behave in the same way.
“Here we go again, every time,” he said. “I am sure they came, they will ask you the white supremacy question, I denounce white supremacy.”
News commentators’ reactions
Fox News host Greg Gutfeld called Guthrie’s persistent interruptions an embarrassment to the journalist profession.
“NBC is embarrassing itself, worse than expected,” he said on Twitter. “Guthrie is like a poorly disguised ambush. Even she follows up with planned questions after the ‘town hall’ question. What a horrible show trial.”
Political commentator Lisa Boothe was confused by the interruptions as if the moderator was arguing on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Why is Savannah Guthrie debating President Trump?” she said on Twitter. “I thought this was [supposed to be] a town hall. The media is garbage these days.”
Fellow political commentator Megyn Kelly described the heated exchange as a clear example of media hostility toward a head of state.
“So far, this is not a town hall for voters, it is designed to appease the angry NBC employees/Dems who are [expletive removed] Trump’s on NBC at all,” she said on Twitter.
Another political commentator Dan Bongino could not recall a poorer example of how to run a debate.
“Savannah Guthrie is, without a doubt, the worst moderator I have ever seen,” he said on Twitter.
Although the moderator was much harder on the president than previous debate moderator Chris Wallace, Reuters political reporter James Oliphant believes this worked in the president’s favor.
“Savannah Guthrie tougher on Trump than most but he also fought back and was better in this arena than he was in the first debate,” he said on Twitter.
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer estimated Guthrie interrupted the president more frequently in 60 seconds than ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos did throughout his 40 minutes with Biden.
“NBC is an interrogation, ABC is a picnic,” he said on Twitter.