Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Sunday urged major U.S. TV-news outlets to cease booking Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, as a guest, citing his penchant for spreading “false, debunked conspiracy theories” on behalf of the White House.
The letter, signed by top Biden aides Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield, was sent to top executives at several major news outlets, as well as a handful of prominent anchors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Daily Beast previously reported the existence of the letter.
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“We write to demand that in service to the facts, you no longer book Rudy Giuliani, a surrogate for Donald Trump who has demonstrated that he will knowingly and willingly lie in order to advance his own narrative,” the aides wrote.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, has been a popular guest on various news outlets, in part because his prior life as a New York politician, security consultant and former presidential candidate gives him an air of credibility. But he has also demonstrated a predilection for dropping incriminating details about actions he says he has taken on behalf of Trump that tend to spur their own news cycles.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, pushed back on the report on Twitter on Sunday. “Can we request the removal of Democrats on TV that push hoaxes? Wait, but then who would do the interviews?”
Giuliani has been among those pushing debunked theories about Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and some business he previously had in the Ukraine. News outlets have shown that these theories are false.
The Biden campaign told TV-news executives that “Giuliani is not a public official, and holds no public office that would entitle him to opine on the
nation’s airwaves. The decision to legitimize his increasingly outlandish and unhinged charges and behavior – calling it “news” – rests solely with you. And let us be clear: we do not believe you should be giving legitimacy to someone who has publicly said he is concerned his tombstone will say he “lied for Donald Trump,” — but if you do, you need to give an equivalent amount of time to a surrogate for the Biden campaign. Vice President Biden and his campaign are the target of these attacks. Saying simply that you will put a Democrat on, at a time when there are many declared candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, is neither fair treatment nor equal treatment.”
Political campaigns often complain about a news outlet’s choice of critics of a specific candidate, as well as the amount of air time these people obtain. But it is rare for a campaign to make the case that someone should be banned from the airwaves. News outlets will usually make the point that the choice of whom to interview and how much time to allocate to individuals is theirs alone.