I was just watching NBC's town hall interview with Donald Trump, and was very distracted by a lady sat behind him who kept nodding ferociously whenever he spoke and shook her head whenever he was asked a question. This all seemed very unnatural, very exaggerated, while the other guests seemed very neutral in comparison.

Apparently many people noticed this before me, and it has quickly become clear who she is, that she was very keen on showing herself on social media meeting the president afterwards, and that he did not seem to really know who she is.

This raises the question: who invites the people to be guests on this (kind of) show/debate, and who does the seats arrangements. It might seem trivial but there could be much larger (than TV) forces at work here. It's this particular guest that raised my interest but there very well could have been many more before her.

Like I said this is all over the internet, but the closest I got to an answer to the question is on the site of the Miami Herald: "A spokesperson for NBC did not respond to a request for comment on whether or not the network determined who could attend the event."

I don't expect to get a definitive answer here, but does anyone have any clue about how this would work? Who gets to decide who are there and where they sit?

Because although this was IMHO laughably overdone, even then, or if done in a more subtle way, it could really influence the (hundreds of millions of) people who watch this.

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    Is there a threshold for notoriety here? Because, well, who cares? If she was a Dem plant to make Trump supporters look foolish, it might be relevant. But that's not the case as she is pro-Trump. Yes, people are passionate about this election, but how well would the site work if it was saturated with campaign trivia from elections everywhere? – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Oct 16 '20 at 20:10
  • @Italian Philosophers 4 Monica It might be even much more relevant if she's a Republican "plant". And I'm pretty sure that when asked, a TV network spokesperson in most European countries (included in " everywhere") would not get away so easily with "no comment". – Reznik Oct 16 '20 at 20:37
  • @divibisan That is pretty much what I am asking. But it is this this specific event that raised the question for me, mainly because it was so much "overdone". I'm sorry if I have worded this a bit poorly. – Reznik Oct 16 '20 at 20:41
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    In the meantime I found this related question: How is the audience for Fox News Town Halls chosen? (politics.stackexchange.com/questions/41010/…). But the answer there is: "they won't tell us". And Fox is not NBC. Their official statement is very much the same, still someone might shed some insight on how this is done... – Reznik Oct 16 '20 at 21:12
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    @Reznik I'd say to change the question that way, though like that other question (which I asked, interestingly enough) there might not be an answer, but I would really like to see if someone can find one. – divibisan Oct 16 '20 at 21:51

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