New York (CNN Business)Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani does not belong on TV.
In a highly unusual letter to the major networks — including CNN — on Sunday, the Biden campaign said booking Giuliani does a disservice to viewers.
The letter from Biden officials Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield says “we ask that you no longer book him on your air.” Barring that, the Biden campaign wants “an equivalent amount of time” to be provided “to a surrogate for the Biden campaign.”
It was sent to the moderators of the Sunday shows, their executive producers, and the heads of their respective news divisions. Those networks had no immediate comment on Sunday afternoon. CBS and CNN declined to comment.
On Sunday,Giuliani appeared on two of the best-known Sunday morning public affairs shows, “This Week” on ABC and “Face the Nation” on CBS. He also appeared on Fox News, where he has been a near-daily presence, defending Trump and bashing Biden.
At issue: Giuliani’s wild-eyed promotion of wildly debunked conspiracy theories about Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.
Giuliani’s interviews are typically Pinocchio-laden, confusing, and full of contradictions.
What the Biden campaign is saying, in essence, is that his conduct is beyond the norms of good-faith television interviewing.
Giuliani, meanwhile, says he is just serving his client, the president. “I am defending my client the best way I know how,” he said on ABC on Sunday.
Among many other claims, Giuliani said he is “proving that Donald Trump was framed by the Democrats.”
“While you often fact check his statements in real time during your discussions, that is no longer enough,” the Biden campaign’s letter said. “By giving him your air time, you are allowing him to introduce increasingly unhinged, unfounded and desperate lies into the national conversation.”
Both ABC and CBS were offered a Biden campaign surrogate to respond to Giuliani, according to a Biden campaign source. Both networks declined.
The programs may be holding out for an interview with Biden, who has not sat down for a Sunday show interview this year though he has done other network and cable TV interviews.
The Daily Beast, which first reported on the letter, noted that “rarely, if ever, has one campaign made an affirmative demand that a top aide to a rival candidate no longer be given a platform.”
At the same time, Giuliani’s actions have gone far beyond the usual “spin” in which politicians and lawyers typically engage.