MTV's parent company Viacom is giving President Obama an hour of free air time for a town hall meeting on Thursday, claiming that the event will not be political. Because of that claim, a spokeswoman says, Viacom will not be extending the same courtesy to any Republicans.
Human Events reports that the TV special, called “A Conversation with President Obama,” will be live and commercial-free on six Viacom networks at 4 p.m. on Thursday, including MTV, BET, and CMT.
According to Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew, the company is adamant that the event will not be political, and therefore does not require equal time for someone who may think differently than Obama about the country's issues. That's despite the fact November's mid-term elections are about three weeks away.
“We’re not giving an hour of free time to the president to freely express his views. We’re hosting a town hall with 250 young people to ask questions of the president," McAndrew told HE.
"This is not a campaign appearance. This is a town hall discussion.”
The White House conceived of the concept and asked for the commercial-free TV time, according to Viacom. However, MTV and BET already had "asks" into the White House to do something with the president.
While McAndrew said that the audience's questions would not be submitted in advance, she did admit that the the audience members would be pre-screened to ensure "diverse" inquiries.