Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy yell at each other during the Republican debate.

NBC Partners With Far-Right Media for Next RNC Debate

The next Republican National Committee primary debate is fast approaching, with NBC hosting and airing the event. Two NBC reporters, Leslie Holt of Nightly News and Kristen Welk of Meet the Press, will serve as moderators. What is eyebrow-raising for many is who NBC has chosen to partner with on this event: Two outlets that cater to the far-right fridge, Salem Network and Rumble.

Recommended Videos

The third moderator for this debate will be Hugh Hewitt, host of The Hugh Hewitt Show on Salem Radio Network. Hewitt rose to prominence by riding Trump’s coattails. He has bolstered Trump’s reputation at some deeply controversial moments. He lent his pen to provide a revisionist take on Trump, one that presents the former president as measured and thoughtful. Hewitt’s controversies extend beyond Trump. He defended a former scandal-embroiled EPA official due to his own personal interests. Hewitt’s interviews of past presidential candidates have proven shocking and controversial, such as his questioning Ben Carson about whether he had the stomach to kill civilians during war.

Salem Radio, Hugh Hewitt’s platform, has earned a reputation for airing extremist views and conspiracy theories. The network has also platformed right-wing voices like Charlie Kirk, Sebastian Gorka, and Dinesh D’Souza.

A third media outlet will be part of this upcoming Republican debate: Rumble, a video-sharing platform. Rumble has been around since 2013 and bills itself as a “rights management video platform” and a “free speech” YouTube alternative. It has received support from right-wing venture capitalist and Ohio Senator J.D. Vance. Former House Representative and current Trump employee Devin Nunes was an early adopter and promoter of Rumble. Rumble’s messaging and brand leans heavily into the narrative promoted by Trump’s Truth Social app—that conservative views are being unjustly censored and that American freedom of speech is under assault.

So what is actually on Rumble’s seemingly uncensored site? According to The Guardian, the platform contains disturbing pro-Nazi and Hitler content. Rumble hosts a dedicated show for “proud Islamophobe” Laura Loomer, a failed GOP congressional candidate who has candidly expressed her support for a “white ethnostate.” In addition to being a home for hate, Rumble also hosts anti-science rhetoric. Rumble has promoted the “documentary” Dies Suddenly by Scott Peters. The film espouses the conspiracy theory that the Covid vaccine is a hoax and its real aim is to reduce the global population. Peters’s film helped promote the phrase “dies suddenly” as coded speech for the anti-vax myth that the vaccine causes death (which is, of course, a lie). Most damning is Rumble’s partnership with misogynist influencer and accused rapist and human trafficker Andrew Tate.

NBC partnering with extremist media outlets for this debate sends a deeply concerning message. In working with them, NBC is lending credibility to these sites that promote hate and conspiracy theories. Americans’ trust in the media has hit an all-time low with only 34% percent believing the media is objective and reliable. Comprehensive recent polling reveals that Americans have been to see media sources as entertainment and shock-driven, persuasive rather than objective. In addition to getting news from often polarized social media sites, Americans are increasingly relying on podcasts to get their news. The majority of Americans (55%) trust podcast news—which could be an issue if the source is deeply partisan or not a professional journalist.

To see what NBC pairing up with far-right media outlets looks like, tune into the RNC debate which will be held in Florida at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
airing on on Wednesday, November 8. Trump, once again, is not expected to participate. Those scheduled to be in attendance are former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

(featured image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy