Oct 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Media becomes the story ahead of Election Day

Axios editorial illustration for election night

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

With just weeks to go until Nov. 3, controversies surrounding the media seem to be gobbling up most of country's attention.

Why it matters: In a healthy democracy, the media shouldn't be the story.

Driving the news: Twitter and Facebook became the subject of a censorship controversy Wednesday when both firms took sweeping measures to reduce the spread of a New York Post story containing damaging information about Hunter Biden.

  • Their actions were done in an effort to curb the spread of potentially hacked materials, but Twitter in particular ended up backtracking from the way it handled the censorship.
  • By the end of the day on Thursday, Senate Republicans were vowing to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to explain the platform's decision on curbing the spread of the Post story.

On Wednesday, a flurry of press coverage exploded over internal backlash against NBC for scheduling its town hall with President Trump at the same time that ABC scheduled its town hall with Joe Biden.

  • Stories about the drama at NBC and the president's reaction to the dueling town halls dominated the news cycle Wednesday and much of Thursday morning.

On Thursday, C-SPAN suspended its longtime political editor Steve Scully for lying about being hacked on Twitter.

  • Scully's lie was tied to a public tweet he sent asking former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci: "should I respond to Trump."
  • Scully was supposed to be moderating the second presidential debate Thursday before it was cancelled due to President Trump's refusal to participate.
  • Conservatives said it proved the media's bias against President Trump.
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