2024 Presidential Debate Host ABC News Falsely Casts Biden As Issuing Debate Challenge

The Regime Media kicked off their respective evening newscasts by hyping the upcoming presidential debates, which were just agreed to by President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. But ABC News, aggressively Biden-servile and an announced debate host, chose to disinform the public by insisting on casting Biden as the one who challenged Trump to a debate, when the record reflects the exact opposite.

Watch as ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir, who will co-moderate the September 10th debate with Lindsey Davis, falsely depicts Biden as the aggressor before throwing over to Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce, who promptly does the same:

DAVID MUIR: Early today, president Biden issuing the challenge. Trump, who refused to debate his primary opponents, saying yes. And within hours, two debates were set, one in June, the other in September, right here on ABC. Our Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce leading us off at the White House tonight.

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, in a true campaign surprise, President Biden and Donald Trump agreeing to two one-on-one debates, the first just a few weeks from now, at the end of June, the earliest general election showdown in American history. Trump has been pushing for debates for months.

DONALD TRUMP: I’m trying to get him to debate.

BRUCE: This morning, Biden with this surprise challenge.

JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice.

BRUCE: Biden then taunting Trump, referencing the one day a week that he’s not tied up in court.

BIDEN: So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.

Note the sleight-of-word here: Right after Biden is said to have issued the challenge, Trump is depicted as “pushing for debates for months”. Biden is then again presented as the challenger.

Why insist on pushing such a blatant and easily refutable falsehood? Because it is the only way to cast Biden in a favorable light, as opposed to reporting that the incumbent President of the United States responded to his challenger after months of baiting. 

CBS’s Nancy Cordes took a less obvious but similar approach on the CBS Evening News:

NANCY CORDES: President Biden threw down the gauntlet at 8:00 A.M. Eastern, in a video posted online.

On the other hand, Cordes is more transparent about Biden doing the debate as a way to inject life into his flagging campaign:

CORDES: So why are these two debating in June, more than four months before the election? Well, the campaigns say it’s because so many people now vote early, but the Trump team is also looking for a way to turn the page after his criminal trial ends, while Biden, who is trailing in many polls, could use a strong head-to-head performance to remind voters why they went for him over Trump in 2020

NBC Nightly News was easily the most transparent of the three major networks:

PETER ALEXANDER: Tonight the stage is set for the first TV confrontation between President Biden and former President Trump in more than three years. The agreement punctuating a dizzying day of deal-making. The president posting this video responding to weeks of pressure from Mr. Trump for a debate.

Both sides bypassing the Commission on Presidential Debates’ proposal for three fall showdowns. President Biden’s decision comes after former President Trump repeatedly challenged him to debate.

DONALD TRUMP: You can see, we have an empty podium right here to my right. You know what that is? That’s for Joe Biden. I’m trying to get him to debate.

The clear and unequivocal truth is that Trump forced the issue on debates, and Biden accepted his challenge. Reporting the truth would not have changed much in the way of ABC’s report (and, to a lesser extent, CBS). But ABC insisted on casting Biden in the most favorable light, even at the expense of the truth.

If this is how ABC reports the debate announcement, how will they actually moderate the debate?  

Click “expand” to view the full transcripts of the aforementioned reports as aired on their respective evening newscasts on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024:

ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT

DAVID MUIR: We do begin tonight with this presidential debate showdown now coming. President Biden and former President Trump both agreeing to two debates. The first in just a matter of weeks on CNN, before the conventions, the earliest debate ever for a general election. It will be the first debate stage faceoff, Biden versus Trump, since 2020, when they met twice. Early today, president Biden issuing the challenge. Trump, who refused to debate his primary opponents, saying yes. And within hours, two debates were set, one in June, the other in September, right here on ABC. Our Chief White House Correspondent Mary Bruce leading us off at the White House tonight.

MARY BRUCE: Tonight, in a true campaign surprise, President Biden and Donald Trump agreeing to two one-on-one debates, the first just a few weeks from now, at the end of June, the earliest general election showdown in American history. Trump has been pushing for debates for months.

DONALD TRUMP: I’m trying to get him to debate.

BRUCE: This morning, Biden with this surprise challenge.

JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice.

BRUCE: Biden then taunting Trump, referencing the one day a week that he’s not tied up in court.

BIDEN: So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.

BRUCE: Trump firing back, “Just tell me when. I’ll be there. Let’s get ready to rumble.”

TRUMP: I really think he has to debate. He might as well get it over with. Probably should do it early so that he can — you know, because — he’s not going to get any better.

BRUCE: A short time later, the debates were set, the first on June 27th hosted by CNN, before either candidate is declared the official nominee at their party’s convention. And the second on September 10th hosted by ABC News, just weeks before voters head to the polls. There will be no live audience, just the moderators and the candidates themselves a television studio, face-to-face. 

And tonight, inside the campaigns, they are well aware the stakes are extremely high here. Both men confident that they can outperform the other. Donald Trump, of course, has been pushing for this for months. President Biden eager to show the stark differences between the two of them and jump-start this race. They both are now looking forward to this, of course, the first debate now coming, we know, June 27th on CNN. The second debate, at a key moment in the fall just weeks before the election, and ABC News will be having that debate on September 10th. And ABC News tonight is announcing the moderators of that debate, David Muir and Linsey Davis. David?

MUIR: We will all be very busy in the months ahead. Mary Bruce, among the team here covering this. Mary, thanks so much again. September 10th here on ABC.

CBS EVENING NEWS

NORAH O’DONNELL: The stage is set. The dates are picked, and President Biden and Donald Trump are already throwing jabs ahead of two presidential debates that are now on the calendar. Until today, it was unclear if there would be any general election debates, but that all changed this morning when the two men, who can’t agree on anything, agreed in a matter of hours that they would face off on June 27th and September 10th. The first date, now just 43 days away, will be the earliest televised presidential debate in American history. CBS’s Nancy Cordes starts us off tonight from the White House on how it all came together.

NANCY CORDES: President Biden threw down the gauntlet at 8:00 A.M. Eastern, in a video posted online.

JOE BIDEN: Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice.

CORDES: He even tossed it a dig at Trump’s trial schedule, which currently keeps him in court four days a week.

BIDEN: So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.

CORDES: Nevertheless, within half an hour, Trump said he was in. 

DONALD TRUMP: I‘ve accepted the two, 100%.

CORDES: He added an insult of his own.

TRUMP: Probably should do it early so that he can, you know, he’s not going to get any better.

CORDES: Just after 11:00 A.M., Trump’s campaign upped the ante, calling for four debates over the next four months. By noon, both campaigns had accepted invitations for one debate in late June, and another in mid-September, though the Biden team appeared to turn down a third debate invitation that came from Fox News.

MICHAEL TYLER: The president has said he is willing to debate twice.

CORDES: Michael Tyler is communications director for the Biden campaign. 

CORDES: …think that President Trump wouldn’t show up?

TYLER: Well, he certainly does have a history of complaining about debates, skipping out on debates.

CORDES: The two men squared off twice in 2020.

BIDEN: You are the worst president that America has ever had.

TRUMP: I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years, Joe.

CORDES: Those debates were so hostile, many wondered if there would be a sequel this year.

BIDEN: Will you shut up, man?

TRUMP: Listen, who is on your list, Joe?

BIDEN: This is so…

CHRIS WALLACE: Gentlemen 

BIDEN: This is so unpresidential.

CORDES: We asked voters in Philadelphia if they plan to watch this time.

VOTER: I might watch part of it. But I think it’ll just annoy me so much.

VOTER: I doubt it. I might, but I doubt it because I know what each one is going to say.

CORDES: So why are these two debating in June, more than four months before the election? Well, the campaigns say it’s because so many people now vote early, but the Trump team is also looking for a way to turn the page after his criminal trial ends, while Biden, who is trailing in many polls, could use a strong head-to-head performance to remind voters why they went for him over Trump in 2020. Norah.

O’DONNELL: Will be interesting. Nancy Cordes, thank you so much.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

LESTER HOLT: Good evening and welcome. Not one but two presidential debates are on the books tonight after an exchange of verbal taunts more akin to a prizefight promotion. President Biden and former President Trump have agreed to televised one-on-one debates, the first happening June 27th and notably without a live audience. The second one, September 10th. The arrangement first proposed by President Biden was quickly accepted by Mr. Trump, who refused to take part in this year’s Republican primary debates. The first of the showdowns timed by the Biden campaign to take place before early voting begins. In the time being, the debate among pundits will likely be over which candidate has the most to gain or maybe lose. White Hhouse correspondent Peter Alexander now with how it all came together.

JOE BIDEN: Before I get started, I want to…

PETER ALEXANDER: Tonight the stage is set for the first TV confrontation between President Biden and former President Trump in more than three years. The agreement punctuating a dizzying day of deal-making. The president posting this video responding to weeks of pressure from Mr. Trump for a debate.

JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then he hasn’t shown up for debates. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal.

ALEXANDER: The president taunting his rival over his Manhattan hush money trial that’s kept him in court four days a week.

BIDEN: So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.

ALEXANDER: There are traditionally three debates. The president offering two. Mr. Trump, who refused all of the primary debates, quickly saying yes and pushing for more writing, “I am ready and willing to debate crooked Joe at the two proposed times. I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue. Just tell me when, I’ll be there”. Within hours, a pair of debate dates were set- one in late June, another in September. Both sides bypassing the Commission on Presidential Debates’ proposal for three fall showdowns. President Biden’s decision comes after former President Trump repeatedly challenged him to debate.

DONALD TRUMP: You can see, we have an empty podium right here to my right. You know what that is? That’s for Joe Biden. I’m trying to get him to debate.

ALEXANDER: The June 27th face-off with no audience will come at a critical moment in the race, with recent polls showing Mr. Trump in a strong position in some key battleground states, and shortly after the former president’s criminal trial is expected to wrap up. Today Senator Mitt Romney, a fierce Trump critic, arguing the president should have pardoned Mr. Trump.

MITT ROMNEY: I would have immediately pardoned him. I’d have pardoned President Trump. Why? Oh, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardon the little guy.

ALEXANDER: The debate is certain to be a bitter battle with the president and his predecessor trading insults.

TRUMP: The worst presidents– take ‘em, give me the ten worst names. They haven’t done the damage to our country that this total moron has done.

ALEXANDER: And from Mr. Biden just today:

BIDEN: The guy has sort of lost his mooring. He seems like the guy who just doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing anymore.

ALEXANDER: In an already unprecedented campaign, the first crucial clash now the earliest in modern history.

HOLT: ANd Peter, to be clear, this means this happens before the conventions?

ALEXANDER: That’s right- likely even before Mr. Trump has picked his vice presidential nominee here. The former president is now saying that he accepted an offer for a third debate in October. The Biden campaign, though, they are brushing that off, Lester, telling me no more games, no more chaos and their words: President Biden will do TWO debates. 

HOLT: All right. Peter, thanks very much.

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