Archive for Kyle Drennen

MSNBC Warns: Trump Rally Raising ‘Concerns About People’s Safety’

<p>Throughout the day on Tuesday, MSNBC sounded the alarm that President Trump’s planned rally in Phoenix, Arizona could lead to violence. Hour after hour, hosts, pundits, and correspondents hyped “concerns about people’s safety” and the “combustible situation” that was supposedly being created by the presidential visit.</p>

Lauer Grills Pence on ‘Extremely Open-Ended Commitment’ in Afghanistan

<p>In an exclusive interview with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday’s NBC <em>Today</em>, co-host Matt Lauer noted that President Trump was “getting applause from a lot of people” for his address to the nation on Afghanistan, but then focused entirely on criticism of the newly announced war strategy.  <br />  </p>

Morning Joe: GOP Must Make ‘Full Capitulation to Nancy Pelosi’ on Debt Ceiling

During a discussion on Monday’s Morning Joe about the upcoming debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling, host Joe Scarborough and his entire panel of liberal journalists agreed that Republican leaders would have to make a “full capitulation to Nancy Pelosi” in order to increase the nation’s borrowing limit and overcome opposition from conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus.

The exchange began with Scarborough noting that President Trump has “a horrible calendar ahead of him” with “looming crises, legislative crises, coming up in September and October on the Hill.” USA Today Senior Politics Reporter Heidi Przybyla declared: “...there’s a whole faction in the House that is going to make this no easier on him than they did on President Barack Obama.” “This is how we spent the past five to eight years, Joe, was arguing over these spending bill increases, these so-called continuing resolutions, and that is what I would predict is that we’re going to have a food fight,” she added.

 

 

Later in the discussion, political analyst Mark Halperin proclaimed: “That’s why the most likely outcome is a full capitulation to Nancy Pelosi to let her get what she wants to raise the debt ceiling.” Scarborough agreed: “They are going to have to work with Democrats.”

Halperin went on to reiterate that the left’s demands were all that mattered on the issue: “The question isn’t, will the Freedom Caucus vote for a clean debt ceiling? They’re not going to be asked to. The question is, will the Democrat – what will the Democratic left demand Nancy Pelosi insist on to get her cooperation?”

Scarborough chimed in: “And which is why I said Donald Trump’s first call this morning needs to be Chuck Schumer. And they need to figure out how do they move forward and get 15, 20, 30 Democratic votes in a way that doesn’t sell out Donald Trump’s base.”

Ironically, throughout the conversation, Scarborough repeatedly voiced his support for the position of conservatives:

I'm just telling you right now, a lot of people think I’ve gone moderate or squishy, I wouldn’t make that vote unless I got a lot in return. If you're talking about long-term entitlement reform....So how does a member of the Freedom Caucus go back to their districts and go to town hall meetings through the end of the year and say, “Yeah, we did nothing on ObamaCare, we’ve done nothing on tax reform, and hey, look at me, I’m your guy, I just raised the debt ceiling so we can spend more than $20 trillion in debt”? Ain’t gonna happen, and it shouldn’t happen for those members of the Freedom Caucus....

There’s no – listen, let tell – let me just tell editorial writers, let me just tell, like EPs and people that run networks, just mark it down right now, if you’re a member of the Freedom Caucus, Jeremy, you can’t vote for a clean [debt ceiling raise]. You know and everybody’s going, “Just vote for a clean, the full faith and credit of the United States.” I’m just telling you, that’s like telling Nancy Pelosi to go to her people and say, “You know what? We really need to pass that pro-life bill.” It’s just – they can’t do it politically....

And by the way, I’ll tell you what, I didn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling. You know why? Because when they were trying to raise the debt ceiling, they weren’t doing anything in return. They were saying, “Oh, we just want a clean debt ceiling this time.” I think I – our vote was to like raise it $4 trillion, we're at $20 trillion. And they keep going, “Oh, oh, we need a clean – ” Why? Why do you need a clean debt ceiling increase? Why can’t people say, “You’re going to take care of America’s long-term entitlement program? Then show me how you’re going to do that and then talk to me about raising the debt ceiling.”

The biased discussion was brought to viewers by Honda, Purina, and Fidelity Investments.

Here are excerpts of the August 21 segment:

7:02 AM ET

(...)

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And Heidi, horrible [poll] numbers, but also a horrible calendar ahead of him [Trump]. As you pointed out last hour, he can’t huddle everybody together and start talking about passing health care reform because he’s got some looming crises, legislative crises, coming up in September and October on the Hill.

HEIDI PRZYBYLA [SR. POLITICS REPORTER, USA TODAY]: Right, and like I said, there’s a whole faction in the House that is going to make this no easier on him than they did on President Barack Obama. This is how we spent the past five to eight years, Joe, was arguing over these spending bill increases, these so-called continuing resolutions, and that is what I would predict is that we’re going to have a food fight. We’re going to get some kind of a temporary patch that gets us through maybe til Christmas. But it’s going to be time consuming and consume a lot of the energy up here on Capitol Hill.

The President has not shown that he’s willing to go out and take to the bully pulpit and go to places like Arizona to stump for those things like infrastructure that could be the things that would bring both sides of the aisle together and get something done.

SCARBOROUGH: And, Harold, if you’re a member of the Freedom Caucus, you’ve got to go back to your district. And everybody’s gonna say, “Wait a second, we still have ObamaCare. You’ve been promising me for seven years we were going to get rid of ObamaCare. And, let me get this straight, we got a $20 trillion national debt and you voted to raise the debt ceiling?”

I'm just telling you right now, a lot of people think I’ve gone moderate or squishy, I wouldn’t make that vote unless I got a lot in return. If you're talking about long-term entitlement reform, I’ll talk about raising the debt ceiling. But I’m not going to do it by cutting 7% of the budget, I’m not going to do it by cutting funding for Big Bird, I’m not going to do it by National Institutes of Health. If you want to talk about real spending restraint over the next 20 years, then talk to me.

They’re never going to do that. So how does a member of the Freedom Caucus go back to their districts and go to town hall meetings through the end of the year and say, “Yeah, we did nothing on ObamaCare, we’ve done nothing on tax reform, and hey, look at me, I’m your guy, I just raised the debt ceiling so we can spend more than $20 trillion in debt”? Ain’t gonna happen, and it shouldn’t happen for those members of the Freedom Caucus.

(...)

HAROLD FORD JR.: I think Heidi’s right, they’re going to punt this debt ceiling and I would imagine those Freedom Caucus members are going to say, “We will not vote for a clean, permanent one for the bill into next year unless you deal with some sort of spending reform.” Because I don’t know how they do it. I’m agreeing with you, I don’t know how they do it.

SCARBOROUGH: There’s no – listen, let tell – let me just tell editorial writers, let me just tell, like EPs and people that run networks, just mark it down right now, if you’re a member of the Freedom Caucus, Jeremy, you can’t vote for a clean [debt ceiling raise]. You know and everybody’s going, “Just vote for a clean, the full faith and credit of the United States.” I’m just telling you, that’s like telling Nancy Pelosi to go to her people and say, “You know what? We really need to pass that pro-life bill.” It’s just – they can’t do it politically.

(...)

SCARBOROUGH: So if I’m running against a member of the Freedom Caucus who votes to raise the debt ceiling, just to sort of make this a little easier for everybody to understand, I would go out and say, “Look, look, look what he has done. Or what he hasn’t done. He said – for seven years he’s been telling us we’re going to get rid of ObamaCare. We haven’t gotten rid of ObamaCare. He said he was going to build the wall. There ain’t to wall. He said, you know, tax reform. Have they passed tax reform? No. Congressman so and so hasn’t done it, but you know what he has done? You know what he has done? He stole more money from our children and grandchildren. We had a $20 trillion national debt. He won’t do what it takes to save Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, but he will raise the debt ceiling.” I’m telling you –  

MARK HALPERIN: That’s why the most likely outcome is a full capitulation to Nancy Pelosi to let her get what she wants to raise the debt ceiling.

SCARBOROUGH: They are going to have to work with Democrats. Because I’m just telling you, if you’re a member of the Freedom Caucus and you vote for a clean debt ceiling increase, all the do-gooders on editorial boards across the northeast and on both coasts, nothing they say is going to ring true to anybody.

KATTY KAY: And by the way, you probably signed a pledge saying that you were never gonna raise the debt ceiling.

SCARBOROUGH: And by the way, I’ll tell you what, I didn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling. You know why? Because when they were trying to raise the debt ceiling, they weren’t doing anything in return. They were saying, “Oh, we just want a clean debt ceiling this time.” I think I – our vote was to like raise it $4 trillion, we're at $20 trillion. And they keep going, “Oh, oh, we need a clean – ” Why? Why do you need a clean debt ceiling increase? Why can’t people say, “You’re going to take care of America’s long-term entitlement program? Then show me how you’re going to do that and then talk to me about raising the debt ceiling.”

(...)

HALPERIN: The question isn’t, will the Freedom Caucus vote for a clean debt ceiling? They’re not going to be asked to. The question is, will the Democrat – what will the Democratic left demand Nancy Pelosi insist on to get her cooperation?

SCARBOROUGH: And which is why I said Donald Trump’s first call this morning needs to be Chuck Schumer. And they need to figure out how do they move forward and get 15, 20, 30 Democratic votes in a way that doesn’t sell out Donald Trump’s base.

(...)

Michael Moore Admits: ‘Donald Trump Outsmarted Us All’

Promoting his one-man anti-Trump Broadway show on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers early Friday morning, left-wing activist Michael Moore admitted the reality of the President’s 2016 election victory: “You have to say, ‘Donald Trump outsmarted us all.’ And then deal with the throw-up that’s in your mouth....It’s the truth.”
    
Earlier in the exchange, Meyers promoted: “...one of the things in your show is the 12-step program for helping people sort of deal with this Trump presidency. And you’ve just added a another step.” Moore replied: “Yes, yes. The new step, I just added it last night, was we have to sober the [expletive] up.... What I mean by that is we have to keep – ‘Oh, he’s going to be impeached’...every time something happens....he’s not going anywhere.”

 

 

The leftist filmmaker lamented: “This guy gets away with everything. He’s – the Republicans, I’m sorry to say this, they’re not going to impeach him.”

Hoping for the President to be found guilty of a crime, Moore remarked: “Mueller, the special prosecutor, he can’t indict the president – I mean, he can be indicted after he’s impeached. And I think, I was telling your producer backstage, I think the problem’s going to be that when he is indicted or arrested, do we try him as an adult?”

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Minutes later, Meyers noted: “And you point this out in your show, that Donald Trump, you need everybody to admit, that’s the first step, is that Donald Trump outsmarted us.” After making the admission, Moore explained:

I mean, generally, in a game, the person who wins the game obviously was better, at least that day....And he figured it out. He was smart enough to – to convince eight million Obama voters to vote for him....He was smart enough to convince the majority of white women to vote for him. 53% of white women voted for him. Smart enough – he was smart enough to know where the state of Wisconsin was and go there....he knew the right things to say because he was a TV star. He knew how to communicate on TV.

At the end of the segment, Moore begged viewers to go see his Broadway show – which has been panned by even the most liberal critics. He touted that balcony seats were only $29 and offered to spot people the money.

Here is a transcript of the exchange aired early on August 18:

12:56 AM ET

(...)

SETH MEYERS: Now, you’re show – one of the things in your show is the 12-step program for helping people sort of deal with this Trump presidency. And you’ve just added a another step.

MICHAEL MOORE: Yes, yes. The new step, I just added it last night, was we have to sober the [expletive] up. 

MEYERS: Okay, great. [Laughter] So, what do you mean? [Applause]

MOORE: What I mean by that is we have to keep – “Oh, he’s going to be impeached. “Oh” –  every time something happens, James Comey. It’s like I tell everybody in the audience, please put your whiskey bottles and your flasks on the table right now. Because every month you're drinking from a new – you know, “James Comey, that’s the end of him. Ha, ha, ha, ha.” [Laughter] You know, “Oh, Russia, that’s going to be the end of him.” [Laughter] You know, and now this week, the press conference and  he CEOs desert him. You know, “Oh, that will be the end of him now.” You know? And no. No.  

MEYERS: Yeah, so we’re giving ourselves cirrhosis of the liver and he’s fine.

MOORE: He’s fine – he’s not going anywhere.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: He’s not the Teflon president. Teflon implies you have to be in the pan. He’s not even in the pan.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: This guy gets away with everything. He’s – the Republicans, I’m sorry to say this, they’re not going to impeach him.

MEYERS: Right.

MOORE: They’re not. They’ve already polled their gerrymandered districts and they know most of them think they’re going to get re-elected. So they’re not gonna impeach him. Mueller, the special prosecutor, he can’t indict the president – I mean, he can be indicted after he’s impeached. And I think, I was telling your producer backstage, I think the problem’s going to be that when he is indicted or arrested, do we try him as an adult?

MEYERS: Yeah, that’s a good question. [Cheers and applause] I hadn’t even thought about that. Really problematic.

MOORE: I think he has to be tried as an adult.

MEYERS: But this is interesting. Because don’t – do you think – because I think there’s this issue now is the Democratic Party sort of hoping for, you know, something to fall from the heavens to fix this and not focusing enough on being a strong party. Do you think the focus needs to be on the mid-terms or do you think that is a lost cause?

MOORE: Not – we only have to flip 24 of the Republican seats. There’s 435 seats in the House. To get the House back, we only need 24. In the Senate, we only need three. Are we that much of a loser group of people that we can’t get three?

I mean, let me give you the statistic, most people don’t realize this. In the last seven presidential elections, the Democrat has won the popular vote in six of them. Six of the last seven. The Republicans have only won the popular vote once in the last 30 years. Once since 1988. The American people want the Democrat. They want the liberal agenda. They believe women should be paid the same as men. They believe that there’s climate change. [Cheers and applause] They believe in stronger gun control laws. That’s our fellow Americans. And yet, we hold no power!

MEYERS: And you point this out in your show, that Donald Trump, you need everybody to admit, that’s the first step, is that Donald Trump outsmarted us.

MOORE: You have to say, “Donald Trump outsmarted us all.” And then deal with the throw-up that’s in your mouth.

MEYERS: Yeah. [Laughter] But I think that’s fair to say.

MOORE: It’s the truth.

MEYERS: You have to give credit there.

MOORE: I mean, generally, in a game, the person who wins the game obviously was better, at least that day.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: And he figured it out. He was smart enough to – to convince eight million Obama voters to vote for him. Smart enough –  

MEYERS: Which is still – yeah.

MOORE: He was smart enough to convince the majority of white women to vote for him. 53% of white women voted for him. Smart enough – he was smart enough to know where the state of Wisconsin was and go there.

MEYERS: Go there. That’s a big deal, yeah.

MOORE: And I think that he – you know, he knew the right things to say because he was a TV star. He knew how to communicate on TV. You keep it simple.

(...)

Michael Moore Admits: ‘Donald Trump Outsmarted Us All’

Promoting his one-man anti-Trump Broadway show on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers early Friday morning, left-wing activist Michael Moore admitted the reality of the President’s 2016 election victory: “You have to say, ‘Donald Trump outsmarted us all.’ And then deal with the throw-up that’s in your mouth....It’s the truth.”
    
Earlier in the exchange, Meyers promoted: “...one of the things in your show is the 12-step program for helping people sort of deal with this Trump presidency. And you’ve just added a another step.” Moore replied: “Yes, yes. The new step, I just added it last night, was we have to sober the [expletive] up.... What I mean by that is we have to keep – ‘Oh, he’s going to be impeached’...every time something happens....he’s not going anywhere.”

 

 

The leftist filmmaker lamented: “This guy gets away with everything. He’s – the Republicans, I’m sorry to say this, they’re not going to impeach him.”

Hoping for the President to be found guilty of a crime, Moore remarked: “Mueller, the special prosecutor, he can’t indict the president – I mean, he can be indicted after he’s impeached. And I think, I was telling your producer backstage, I think the problem’s going to be that when he is indicted or arrested, do we try him as an adult?”

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Minutes later, Meyers noted: “And you point this out in your show, that Donald Trump, you need everybody to admit, that’s the first step, is that Donald Trump outsmarted us.” After making the admission, Moore explained:

I mean, generally, in a game, the person who wins the game obviously was better, at least that day....And he figured it out. He was smart enough to – to convince eight million Obama voters to vote for him....He was smart enough to convince the majority of white women to vote for him. 53% of white women voted for him. Smart enough – he was smart enough to know where the state of Wisconsin was and go there....he knew the right things to say because he was a TV star. He knew how to communicate on TV.

At the end of the segment, Moore begged viewers to go see his Broadway show – which has been panned by even the most liberal critics. He touted that balcony seats were only $29 and offered to spot people the money.

Here is a transcript of the exchange aired early on August 18:

12:56 AM ET

(...)

SETH MEYERS: Now, you’re show – one of the things in your show is the 12-step program for helping people sort of deal with this Trump presidency. And you’ve just added a another step.

MICHAEL MOORE: Yes, yes. The new step, I just added it last night, was we have to sober the [expletive] up. 

MEYERS: Okay, great. [Laughter] So, what do you mean? [Applause]

MOORE: What I mean by that is we have to keep – “Oh, he’s going to be impeached. “Oh” –  every time something happens, James Comey. It’s like I tell everybody in the audience, please put your whiskey bottles and your flasks on the table right now. Because every month you're drinking from a new – you know, “James Comey, that’s the end of him. Ha, ha, ha, ha.” [Laughter] You know, “Oh, Russia, that’s going to be the end of him.” [Laughter] You know, and now this week, the press conference and  he CEOs desert him. You know, “Oh, that will be the end of him now.” You know? And no. No.  

MEYERS: Yeah, so we’re giving ourselves cirrhosis of the liver and he’s fine.

MOORE: He’s fine – he’s not going anywhere.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: He’s not the Teflon president. Teflon implies you have to be in the pan. He’s not even in the pan.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: This guy gets away with everything. He’s – the Republicans, I’m sorry to say this, they’re not going to impeach him.

MEYERS: Right.

MOORE: They’re not. They’ve already polled their gerrymandered districts and they know most of them think they’re going to get re-elected. So they’re not gonna impeach him. Mueller, the special prosecutor, he can’t indict the president – I mean, he can be indicted after he’s impeached. And I think, I was telling your producer backstage, I think the problem’s going to be that when he is indicted or arrested, do we try him as an adult?

MEYERS: Yeah, that’s a good question. [Cheers and applause] I hadn’t even thought about that. Really problematic.

MOORE: I think he has to be tried as an adult.

MEYERS: But this is interesting. Because don’t – do you think – because I think there’s this issue now is the Democratic Party sort of hoping for, you know, something to fall from the heavens to fix this and not focusing enough on being a strong party. Do you think the focus needs to be on the mid-terms or do you think that is a lost cause?

MOORE: Not – we only have to flip 24 of the Republican seats. There’s 435 seats in the House. To get the House back, we only need 24. In the Senate, we only need three. Are we that much of a loser group of people that we can’t get three?

I mean, let me give you the statistic, most people don’t realize this. In the last seven presidential elections, the Democrat has won the popular vote in six of them. Six of the last seven. The Republicans have only won the popular vote once in the last 30 years. Once since 1988. The American people want the Democrat. They want the liberal agenda. They believe women should be paid the same as men. They believe that there’s climate change. [Cheers and applause] They believe in stronger gun control laws. That’s our fellow Americans. And yet, we hold no power!

MEYERS: And you point this out in your show, that Donald Trump, you need everybody to admit, that’s the first step, is that Donald Trump outsmarted us.

MOORE: You have to say, “Donald Trump outsmarted us all.” And then deal with the throw-up that’s in your mouth.

MEYERS: Yeah. [Laughter] But I think that’s fair to say.

MOORE: It’s the truth.

MEYERS: You have to give credit there.

MOORE: I mean, generally, in a game, the person who wins the game obviously was better, at least that day.

MEYERS: Yeah.

MOORE: And he figured it out. He was smart enough to – to convince eight million Obama voters to vote for him. Smart enough –  

MEYERS: Which is still – yeah.

MOORE: He was smart enough to convince the majority of white women to vote for him. 53% of white women voted for him. Smart enough – he was smart enough to know where the state of Wisconsin was and go there.

MEYERS: Go there. That’s a big deal, yeah.

MOORE: And I think that he – you know, he knew the right things to say because he was a TV star. He knew how to communicate on TV. You keep it simple.

(...)

MSNBC Analyst Suggests Charlottesville Inspired Barcelona Terror Attack

Echoing a similar prior sentiment from CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, during MSNBC’s 1 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, NBC News Terrorism Analyst Malcolm Nance argued that violence in Charlottesville, Virginia may have inspired the unfolding vehicle terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.

Talking to host Craig Melvin, Nance observed that “the attack in Charlottesville that we saw was just an American version of this same style of attack.” He then proclaimed: “And interestingly enough, with the intensity of information that we’ve had related to the Charlottesville incident over the last five days, it’s quite possible that may have precipitated this terrorist group’s, you know, desire to gain the limelight and carry out a similar attack.”     

 

 

Earlier in that same hour on CNN, Blitzer feared, without evidence, that the attack in Spain may be “a copycat” of what occurred in Charlottesville.

Back in April, Nance infamously took to Twitter to actually nominate a Trump property in Turkey as a target for an “ISIS suicide bombing.”

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Here is a full transcript of Nance’s August 17 speculation:

1:54 PM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Malcolm Nance, NBC News Terrorism Analyst, lived in Spain for eight years, is still with me. Malcolm, London, Stockholm, Berlin, Nice, now Barcelona. It really does seem as if every few months now we are seeing an attack in Europe that is eerily similar to the previous attack. Is this going to be the case for the foreseeable future?

MALCOLM NANCE: Well, I’m afraid, Craig, that’s true. It’s going to be a tactic they’ll resort to because it is horribly, horribly simple. And you know, within that continuum of attacks, we just can’t limit that to Europe. We’ve seen these attacks occur in Israel for years. There have been over 60 of what we call vehicle-as-weapon attacks that have happened there, where the assailant just jumps into a small truck or into a personal vehicle, they drive to a bus stop or some other crowded place, and they ram into it. And then in Israel’s case, they – we call it a suicide-vehicle-as-weapon attack. They actually wait there to be killed by the police forces.

What we’re seeing here today is just another one of these types of attacks. Because like a knife attack or an arson, they are horribly simple, they are just easy to effect. And you know, for the most part, and I have to put this into context, the attack in Charlottesville that we saw was just an American version of this same style of attack. And interestingly enough, with the intensity of information that we’ve had related to the Charlottesville incident over the last five days, it’s quite possible that may have precipitated this terrorist group’s, you know, desire to gain the limelight and carry out a similar attack.

MELVIN: Malcolm Nance there on the phone for us. Malcolm, thank you.  

NBC Claims it Won’t ‘Provide Platform’ to White Supremacists…As it Does Just That

After Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News devoted an entire report to elevating the racist views of a white nationalist, on Thursday’s Today, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez claimed the network wanted to avoid promoting such offensive extremists: “Experts who track these groups say that they feel emboldened and are not going away. And while we don’t want to provide a platform for these fringe voices, it’s important to understand who they are.”
                    
On Nightly News, correspondent Jacob Soboroff invited white supremacist William Johnson to spew his hateful rhetoric: “And do you believe that Donald Trump saying things like that will ultimately bring America closer to your goal of a white ethno-state?” During his report for the Today show, Gutierrez similarly highlighted: “Self-proclaimed white nationalist Matthew Heimbach helped organize the Charlottesville rally and is planning one in Lexington.”

 

 

Gutierrez went on to note: “Richard Spencer, speaking on Israeli TV, says the movement has grown since President Trump’s election.” Spencer proclaimed: “No doubt, our movement is winning.”

Introducing the segment, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: “So who’s leading the movement and why are they gaining traction?” Perhaps the answer is in the amount of air time provided by national news networks like NBC, giving such hate groups exactly what they crave most – attention.

The segment was brought to viewers by Walmart, Chevy, and Folgers.

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Here is a portion of Gutierrez’s August 17 report:

7:31 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Despite the growing backlash, extremist groups are planning more rallies like the one that ended in violence in Charlottesville last weekend. So who’s leading the movement and why are they gaining traction? NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez has a closer look at that. Gabe, good morning.

GABE GUTIERREZ: Matt, good morning to you again. Experts who track these groups say that they feel emboldened and are not going away. And while we don’t want to provide a platform for these fringe voices, it’s important to understand who they are. A warning, some of language you are about to hear is disturbing.

This morning, a growing number of cities across the country are bracing for far-right rallies like this one in Charlottesville. From Boston to San Francisco to Lexington, Kentucky, where white supremacists are fighting city officials who plan to vote tonight on a resolution to remove two confederate statutes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, “Their message of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America.”

MATTHEW HEIMBACH: We will engage in peaceful, legal demonstrations throughout America’s cities, becoming more active than ever.

GUTIERREZ: Self-proclaimed white nationalist Matthew Heimbach helped organize the Charlottesville rally and is planning one in Lexington.

HEIMBACH: We’re standing up for white folks that deserve a voice.

GUTIERREZ: Richard Spencer, speaking on Israeli TV, says the movement has grown since President Trump’s election.

RICHARD SPENCER: No doubt, our movement is winning.

(...)

MSNBC Touts Iranian Dictator Lecturing U.S. on Race Relations

During MSNBC’s 1 p.m. ET hour on Wednesday, NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford turned to the one regime on earth most like the Nazis in order lecture the United States on race relations. The reporter actually cited a tweet from Iran’s brutal anti-Semitic dictator Ali Khamenei as an example of “global criticism” of President Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville.

Radford declared: “I want to show you what Iran’s Supreme Leader put up today on Twitter. He put up this photo of him with – holding a young black child, and he wrote, ‘If the U.S. has any power, they better manage their country, tackle white supremacy, rather than meddle in nation’s affairs.’”

 

 

As further evidence of how supposedly woke the Islamist fascist was, Radford added: “And this isn’t the first time he’s jumped in and commented on the race relations in the United States, he’s retweeted Black Lives Matter during that spate of shootings of unarmed black men.”

The outrageous report was brought to viewers by AT&T, Volkswagen, and DirectTV.

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Here is a full transcript of the August 16 segment:

1:48 PM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: NBC's Morgan Radford is here now with a look at some of the criticism that the President is getting overseas, abroad. What are you seeing, what are you hearing?

MORGAN RADFORD: Well, Craig, both here and abroad, the political reaction has been really, really swift. And most leaders have been joining into what’s really been this global criticism of the President’s remarks. All the way from Europe and some of our closest allies to Iran. And I want to show you what Iran’s Supreme Leader put up today on Twitter. He put up this photo of him with – holding a young black child, and he wrote, “If the U.S. has any power, they better manage their country, tackle white supremacy, rather than meddle in nation’s affairs.” And this isn’t the first time he’s jumped in and commented on the race relations in the United States, he’s retweeted Black Lives Matter during that spate of shootings of unarmed black men.

But the truth is, Craig, I’ve been following this story for a while and if you really look at the data, it reveals some of the feelings in this country about race that were bubbling up beneath the surface before Charlottesville. So I want to show you this one poll we found that shows nearly three quarters of Americans feel like race relations now are worse than they were in the ‘90s. And, of course, that was after the O.J. Simpson verdict, and that was after the Rodney King riots. And so that’s kind of a striking sense of the American psyche.

And also more shockingly, we found in a second poll that whites see anti-white bias now in our country as more prevalent than anti-black bias. So it really shows you that we’re in this moment where our country is acknowledging this critical space we’re in, and how we’re going to define tolerance and how we’re going to name it moving forward.

MELVIN: Morgan Radford. Morgan, thank you for that.

MSNBC: Trump ‘Prop’ Elaine Chao ‘Complicit’ in White Supremacy

Following President Trump’s controversial news conference on Tuesday regarding the deadly Charlottesville violence perpetrated by white supremacists, on MSNBC on Wednesday, anchor Stephanie Ruhle and political contributor Steve Schmidt hurled a nasty smear against Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was present at the event for an announcement about the nation’s infrastructure.  

Ruhle ranted: “We heard nothing from Mitch McConnell, whose own Asian-American wife had to stand there, humiliated by her own president. Why won’t these Republican leaders call the President out?” Schimdt replied: “Elaine Chao is a good person. She has served the country in public service for a long time. But now she will be indelibly marked by this, standing behind as a prop while the President gives sucker to white supremacist groups.”

 

 

He continued with his tirade:

She’s complicit in this, an enabler of it, and really now a fellow traveler with these groups if she doesn’t resign her office. She’s not in the national command authority. She’s not there just in case there’s an escalation with North Korea....But for people like [White House economic adviser] Gary Cohn, the decision that they’ve made obviously, if they don’t resign and resign soon, is they crave the power more than doing the right thing. You cannot serve honorably and morally a president who holds these positions. You simply can’t.

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A short time later, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell did release a statement unequivocally condemning white supremacist hate groups: “The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America.”

In July, left-wing attorney Tamara Holder appeared on MSNBC to toss out vicious personal insults at a women who worked in the administration, including Secretary Chao: “I think that the women in Donald Trump's life probably have smaller minds than his small hands....He has continued to surround himself – Donald Trump – with very, very weak-minded women who are afraid of him.”

Back in 2014, as husband Senator McConnell was up for reelection, Chao endured racist attacks from liberals.

The exchange between Ruhle and Schmidt was brought to viewers by Volkswagen and TripAdvisor.

Here is a transcript of the August 16 segment:

9:32 AM ET

(...)

STEPHANIE RUHLE: We heard nothing from Mitch McConnell, whose own Asian-American wife had to stand there, humiliated by her own president. Why won’t these Republican leaders call the President out? I cannot imagine those young white males wielding torches are going to get them elected.

STEVE SCHMIDT: Elaine Chao is a good person. She has served the country in public service for a long time. But now she will be indelibly marked by this, standing behind as a prop while the President gives sucker to white supremacist groups. And she has a decision to make this morning. She’s complicit in this, an enabler of it, and really now a fellow traveler with these groups if she doesn’t resign her office.

She’s not in the national command authority. She’s not there just in case there’s an escalation with North Korea like you hope Generals McMaster and Mattis and Kelly will be. But for people like Gary Cohn, the decision that they’ve made obviously, if they don’t resign and resign soon, is they crave the power more than doing the right thing. You cannot serve honorably and morally a president who holds these positions. You simply can’t. And so now everybody will decide what side of the bridge to cross on.

RUHLE: What if they made the argument to us, what if they said, “Listen, if you go back to the holocaust and you say those who stood idly by, they’re to blame while horrible things happened.” But what if they want to make an argument that says, “Behind the scenes, it could be so much worse. We’re trying to help.” I mean I certainly can’t imagine someone looking at the president of Goldman Sachs and say he’s martyring himself inside the White House, but is there any credibility to that argument?

SCHMIDT: No. There is some credibility with the national security team because the world is a dangerous place and we have somebody with no moral rectitude as commander-in-chief in the West Wing of the White House. But when it comes to people outside the national command authority, outside the decision-making process and the deployment of American troops, this is rather easy.

(...)

Pence Calls Out Media for ‘Spending More Time Criticizing’ Trump Than Neo-Nazis

After all three broadcast networks spent Sunday blaming President Trump for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, in an exclusive interview with NBC News aired on Monday’s Today show, Vice President Mike Pence took the liberal media to task for its biased coverage.

Talking to correspondent Peter Alexander during a trip to Central America on Sunday, Pence scolded the press: “I will tell you that I take issue with the fact that many in the media are spending more time criticizing how the President addressed the issue yesterday....many in the media have spent an awful lot of time focusing on what the President said and criticisms of what the President said, instead of criticizing those who brought that hatred and violence to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.”

 

 

Rather than discuss the purpose of Pence’s overseas travel, Alexander spent the entire exchange discussing what was wrong with the President’s response to the violence on Saturday:

>  I traveled down here to Colombia yesterday with the Vice President and during our exclusive interview he did what many critics say the President should have done, he condemned white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. So I began by our conversation by asking him why the President hasn’t called out those evil groups by name.

> You say that, why won’t the President use those same words? Why hasn’t he?

> To be fair, some Americans heard that, others didn’t, including Orin Hatch, who wrote, “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.” Was it a mistake for the President not to be more clear when he made those remarks? And if you were advising him now, would you suggest he do it differently?

> He said on “many sides.” Name those sides. What are the sides?...Well that’s one side, what’s the other side? He says on many sides.

>  But only one group yesterday – with respect, only one group yesterday, Mr. Vice President, killed an American.

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Proving Pence’s point on Sunday, all three networks focused on blasting Trump:

Cokie Roberts Blames Trump/Sessions for Sending ‘Signals’ to Racists

NBC Lashes Out at President Trump After Charlottesville Attack

Slate’s Bouie: The ‘Roots’ of Charlottesville Found at the White House

Alexander’s contentious exchange with Pence was brought to viewers by Microsoft, StateFarm, and Cheerios.

Here is a full transcript of the August 14 segment:

7:09 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We are hearing from the Vice President, Mike Pence, this morning as  he begins a week-long trip to South and Central America. While he singled out white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK, he also defended the President for not being specific in citing those groups in his initial statement. NBC National Correspondent Peter Alexander is traveling with the Vice President and spoke with him one on one. Peter, good morning.

PETER ALEXANDER: Savannah, good morning to you. I traveled down here to Colombia yesterday with the Vice President and during our exclusive interview he did what many critics say the President should have done, he condemned white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. So I began by our conversation by asking him why the President hasn’t called out those evil groups by name.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pence Defends Trump; Vice President on Criticism of President’s Remarks]

MIKE PENCE: President Trump yesterday stated clearly that he condemns hate and violence in all of its in forms. We will not tolerate hatred and violence of groups like white supremacists, the KKK, and the neo-Nazis. These extremist fringe groups have no place in the American debate.

ALEXANDER: But you say that –

PENCE: And we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

ALEXANDER: You say that, why won’t the President use those same words? Why hasn’t he?

PENCE: I think the American people heard the President yesterday speak plainly and condemn, in his words, in the strongest possible terms, organizations that purvey hate and violence. I think the American people heard him. But what they also heard, Peter, was the President calling for national unity.

ALEXANDER: To be fair, some Americans heard that, others didn’t, including Orin Hatch, who wrote, “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.” Was it a mistake for the President not to be more clear when he made those remarks? And if you were advising him now, would you suggest he do it differently?

PENCE: I think the President yesterday spoke into a national moment, words that the American people needed to hear, that we condemn acts of violence, acts of hatred.

ALEXANDER: He said on “many sides.” Name those sides. What are the sides?

PENCE: Well, look. As I said today, we condemn in the strongest terms the hate and violence advocated by groups like white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and their ilk.

ALEXANDER: Well that’s one side, what’s the other side? He says on many sides.

PENCE: Well, as you look throughout the course of the years, we’ve seen protests turn violent. We’ve seen fringe groups use peaceful protest environment to bring violence in some cases against police officers to tragic results.

ALEXANDER: But only one group yesterday – with respect, only one group yesterday, Mr. Vice President, killed an American.

PENCE: And we’re bringing the full weight of the federal government to bear on investigating and prosecuting that individual for that heinous act that took the life of that innocent woman.

I will tell you that I take issue with the fact that many in the media are spending more time criticizing how the President addressed the issue yesterday –  

ALEXANDER: But this is Orin Hatch and Cory Gardner, it’s not me. I’m reading their quotes.

PENCE: Well, many in the media have spent an awful lot of time focusing on what the President said and criticisms of what the President said, instead of criticizing those who brought that hatred and violence to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

ALEXANDER: At the end of our conversation, I asked the Vice President if this was an act of domestic terrorism. He says it may well have been. He said the administration is exploring that, that the President has directed the Department of Justice to initiate a full investigation into an attack that he said was well eerily similar to the other terrorist attacks around the world. Craig and Savannah?

GUTHRIE: Peter Alexander, thank you so much.

MSNBC Panel All Agree: Trump a ‘Borderline Irrational Leader’ Like Kim Jong-un

On her 9 a.m. ET hour show, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle and her panel of political analysts all agreed that Donald Trump was just as dangerous, if not more so, that North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un. Ruhle began the segment by fretting: “President Trump, we started with ‘fire and fury,’ now ‘fully locked and loaded’....But we’re talking about the threat of nuclear war.”

Former Obama State Department official and Time magazine editor Richard Stengel sneered: “You know, it’s disturbing. Apart from the fact that he seems to have borrowed the North Korean speechwriters, what’s disturbing is language like ‘locked and loaded’ is not diplomatic language....Trump using this bombastic language is that it can potentially cause a miscalculation, a mistake....we can have a terrible nuclear potential mistake.”

Ruhle then turned to “Republican interpreter” Robert Traynham to “dissect” Trump’s words. Traynham acknowledged that the President “believes the soft rhetoric, you know, these nuance statements, no disrespect to the State Department, has not worked. He’s got point there. He’s got a valid point.” However, he then compared Trump to the brutal North Korean leader:

You’re also dealing with a very emotional leader. When he’s offended, he’s offended.... And so, that’s the dangerous thing here, is that you have two very emotional leaders, dare I say borderline irrational, and they both have their thumb on the nuclear button and that’s what’s really, really, really scary here.

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Ruhle eagerly seized on that characterization: “...in terms of upping the ante, two borderline irrational leaders, Kim Jong-un and President Trump, these are two gentlemen who are not afraid of a fight, neither who back down, both who insist on having the last word.” Turning to Slate’s Michael Pesca, she worried: “Given that, that is the two individuals we’re working with, where could this go?”

Pesca actually argued that Kim Jong-un was more rational than Trump: “Well, first of all, I’d say Kim Jong-un is rational. He’s evil, he’s despotic, but nothing he’s done is not in his interest, in terms of pursuing nuclear.”

Later in the exchange, he warned: “Donald Trump is talking about, ‘If these threats continue, you’re gonna get fire and fury.’ Unless he delivers the fire and fury, which I hope to God he doesn’t...I hate even saying this on TV, because if we convince him that he made a red line, he might act on the red line.”

Stengel implored: “There’s no action that can or should be taken by either side....And the idea that these guys are in a bargain and a kind of dare is a terrible situation....There’s a lot of negotiation and diplomacy that can happen here, rather than this threatening crazy language.”

The biased panel discussion was brought to viewers by GEICO, Office Depot, and Bird’s Eye.

Here is a full transcript of the August 11 segment:

9:09 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Now we have to turn to my stellar panel this morning. Richard Stengel served as Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department under President Obama, Robert Traynham, a former Bush/Cheney senior adviser, both MSNBC Senior Political Analysts. And Slate’s Mike Pesca, host of The Gist podcast. Richard, I gotta start with you. President Trump, we started with “fire and fury,” now “fully locked and loaded.” You know, Kelly O’Donnell...

RICHARD STENGEL: Alliteration, Stephanie.

RUHLE: ...saying off-hand this is branding. But we’re talking about the threat of nuclear war. We’re talking about a nuclear nation. What do you make of all this?

STENGEL: You know, it’s disturbing. Apart from the fact that he seems to have borrowed the North Korean speechwriters, what’s disturbing is language like “locked and loaded” is not diplomatic language. It may might mean something to the North Koreans, but what does it mean to our allies, to the South Koreans, to Japan. They don’t know how to interpret this. And part of the problem with Trump using this bombastic language is that it can potentially cause a miscalculation, a mistake. Because nobody knows how it’s done. The way it’s traditionally done is the language comes to the NSC, it’s worked through the State Department and everybody else, it’s sent out to the allies so everybody’s on the same page, they know what it is. Now nobody knows what he means. And that means we can have a terrible nuclear potential mistake.

RUHLE: We have a Republican interpreter in the house today. So Robert, I want to share more of what President Trump said and maybe you can dissect it.

DONALD TRUMP: We are preparing for many different alternative events at North Korea. He has disrespected our country greatly, he has said things that are horrific. And with me he’s not getting away with it.

RUHLE: How do you interpret that, “with me he’s not getting away with that”? There's no diplomacy here. And many Trump supporters would say who needs diplomats.
    
ROBERT TRAYNHAM: Yeah, I’m going to try to thread a needle here. The positive to this is I think Donald Trump believes that we’ve been disrespected for the last generation when it comes to North Korea. I think he believes he inherited a mess, George W. Bush, Barack Obama. I think he believes the soft rhetoric, you know, these nuance statements, no disrespect to the State Department, has not worked. He’s got point there. He’s got a valid point. You’re also dealing with –

RUHLE: Well, we haven’t had a nuclear war with North Korea.

TRAYNHAM: Of course, of course. You’re also dealing with a very emotional leader. When he’s offended, he’s offended.

RUHLE: Which one are you talking about?

TRAYNHAM: Well, that’s my second point. And so, that’s the dangerous thing here, is that you have two very emotional leaders, dare I say borderline irrational, and they both have their thumb on the nuclear button and that’s what’s really, really, really scary here.

But Donald Trump has got, I think, a major point here that I don’t think he’s very articulate in expressing: “The situation that I’ve inherited is broken. This nuance stuff that we’ve tried over the last 20 years has not worked. The reality is, I inherited this mess and I’m try something different.” I'm not condoning it, but to your point, I’m trying to interpret what he’s thinking.

RUHLE: Understood. Michael, in terms of upping the ante, two borderline irrational leaders, Kim Jong-un and President Trump, these are two gentlemen who are not afraid of a fight, neither who back down, both who insist on having the last word. Given that, that is the two individuals we’re working with, where could this go?

MIKE PESCA: Well, first of all, I’d say Kim Jong-un is rational. He’s evil, he’s despotic, but nothing he’s done is not in his interest, in terms of pursuing nuclear.

(...)

PESCA: But think about the part where we’re communicating deterrence. Donald Trump is talking about, “If these threats continue, you’re gonna get fire and fury.” Unless he delivers the fire and fury, which I hope to God he doesn’t –  

TRAYNHAM: It’s his red line.

PESCA: Yeah, he – I hate even saying this on TV, because if we convince him that he made a red line, he might act on the red line. But think about what happens if he doesn’t act on this red line. The entire message of deterrence gets weakened. Maybe the North Koreans then start thinking, “Huh, maybe the United States doesn’t really retaliate no matter what we do. It just weakens our entire strategy of communicating,“You cannot use a nuclear missile or else you’ll get destroyed.”  

STENGEL: There’s no action that can or should be taken by either side. I mean, one reason that we haven’t had this resolve over all these generations is there are no good options, there are no good military options. And the idea that these guys are in a bargain and a kind of dare is a terrible situation. And so, the idea is to have something that people have talked about, military-to-military talks so that there aren’t mistakes. There’s a lot of negotiation and diplomacy that can happen here, rather than this threatening crazy language.         

(...)

MSNBC Host Suggests Focus on Opioid Crisis is Racist

Talking to NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres on Friday about the Trump administration promising aggressive action on the nationwide opioid crisis, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin worried that the focus on the deadly drug abuse epidemic was based on race:

And, again, this is truly a national tragedy. But, you know, two decades ago in this country, you had lots of folks who look like me who were dying in D.C. and Chicago and L.A. in greater numbers than what we’re seeing right now as a result of the crack cocaine epidemic that plagued this country. It seems as if we are treating this particular drug crisis differently than we treated that one. Why?

Somewhat taken aback by the implication, Torres replied: “And I think we are treating it differently, and I think it’s because of where it’s hitting and who it’s hitting....And the big thing you have to remember is an overdose and an overdose death is an overdose and an overdose death, regardless of what it’s from, what kind of drug.”

The doctor noted that with crack cocaine “a lot of effort was placed into trying to get that under control through legislation means, through – ” Melvin interrupted: “Law enforcement.” Torres continued: “Law enforcement, punitive action type things, and treatment. This one’s focusing more on treatment.”

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The African American host followed up: “Is that because – and I don’t want to put you on the spot, as I put you on the spot – is that because a lot of the folks who are dying as a result of opioid overdoses in this country don’t look like me?”

Torres explained:

And it could be in part because of the fact that, you know, people that die from overdoses, a lot of people look at that, and say, “Well, you know, they started that on their own, and did it themselves.” Whereas with this one they’re saying, “Well, it was a legal method they started with, and that legal method turned into this drug problem.” So it could be part of the issue.

Melvin’s racially-charged insinuation was brought to viewers by Blue Apron and GEICO.

Here is a transcript of the August 11 exchange:

1:45 PM ET

(...)

CRAIG MELVIN: Before I let you go, I want to ask you the same question I asked a couple days ago. And, again, this is truly a national tragedy. But, you know, two decades ago in this country, you had lots of folks who look like me who were dying in D.C. and Chicago and L.A. in greater numbers than what we’re seeing right now as a result of the crack cocaine epidemic that plagued this country. It seems as if we are treating this particular drug crisis differently than we treated that one. Why?

DR. JOHN TORRES: And I think we are treating it differently, and I think it’s because of where it’s hitting and who it’s hitting. Because it can hit anyone, anywhere, anytime. That one could, too. And the big thing you have to remember is an overdose and an overdose death is an overdose and an overdose death, regardless of what it’s from, what kind of drug. And so a lot of effort was placed into trying to get that under control through legislation means, through –  

MELVIN: Law enforcement.

TORRES: Law enforcement, punitive action type things, and treatment. This one’s focusing more on treatment. And so there are a lot of parallels between the two and there are a few differences.

MELVIN: Is that because – and I don’t want to put you on the spot, as I put you on the spot – is that because a lot of the folks who are dying as a result of opioid overdoses in this country don’t look like me?

TORRES: And it could be in part because of the fact that, you know, people that die from overdoses, a lot of people look at that, and say, “Well, you know, they started that on their own, and did it themselves.” Whereas with this one they’re saying, “Well, it was a legal method they started with, and that legal method turned into this drug problem.” So it could be part of the issue.

MELVIN: Dr. John Torres, answering the tough questions for us on this Friday. Thank you, sir.

TORRES: You bet.

(...)

Who’s Side Are They On? Nets Tout North Korea’s Anti-U.S. ‘Defiance’

In a remarkable display of group think on Thursday, all three network morning shows touted North Korea hurling personal insults against President Trump as an act of “defiance” and promoted forced demonstrations in Pyongyang as a “display of unity” from the oppressed people in the authoritarian regime.

On NBC’s Today, correspondent Miguel Alamaguer parroted the propaganda from the communist dictatorship: “The North Korean regime responding to President Trump’s chilling warning....Calling the President ‘senile,’ saying he ‘was cooped up at the golf course and was clueless about how things are developing.’ Adding, ‘Sound dialogue is not possible with someone as bereft of reason’ as President Trump and ‘only absolute force can work on him.’”

 

 

In a separate report, while explaining how fearful South Koreans were of Trump’s “fiery rhetoric,” correspondent Bill Neely declared: “From North Korea, the latest show of defiance, chanting ritual hatred of America and loyalty to Kim Jong-un and the nuclear weapons he says protects them from Donald Trump’s fiery threat.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Martha Raddatz proclaimed: “A defiant rebuke by North Korea in a statement calling President Trump’s recent comments ‘a load of nonsense,’ saying the President is ‘a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.’”

Moments later, the reporter highlighted a highly-orchestrated government march in the brutal nation’s capital: “And in Pyongyang on Wednesday, a rallying call. Thousands of North Korean citizens packing the square in that nation’s capital in a display of unity.”

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Leading off CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose announced: “The North Korean general in charge also mocked President Trump’s angry vow to respond to new threats.” Fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan followed: “The general called the President’s ‘fire and fury’ warning a ‘load of nonsense.’ He went on to say ‘only absolute force can work’ on someone as, quote, ‘bereft of reason’ as President Trump.”

Introducing another report, Brennan maintained: “North Korea is showing further defiance to the United States. Thousands of people hit the streets yesterday to protest the stiffer economic sanctions that the U.N. approved last weekend.” Correspondent Ben Tracy described the bizarre scene:

Tens of thousands of people packed the main square of Pyongyang for a mass rally orchestrated by the North Korean regime. The speaker said the U.S. said the U.S. “will face a miserable and wretched fate,” while marchers carried signs that read, “Let’s become bullets and bombs defending Kim Jong-un.” This man said, “I will become the nuclear warhead of ICBM to smash down the U.S. mainland, the nest of evils.”

After noting how North Korea threatened to turn the South Korean capital into a “sea of fire,” Tracy amazingly seemed to think military leaders in Seoul were overreacting to the crisis: “Today South Korea’s defense chiefs vowed strong retaliation if North Korea continues to provoke, an unusual warning against mere threats rather than an actual attack.”     

The promotion of North Korean propaganda across all three networks was brought to viewers by StateFarm, Walmart, and Tide.

Here are excerpts of August 10 coverage on the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows:

Today
7:01 AM ET

(...)

MIGUEL ALMAGUER: Savannah, good morning. North Korea’s military is upping the ante, making new threats against the United States, saying they hope to be able to attack this region by mid-August if their military leaders accept it.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: War of Words Escalates; North Korean Officials Calls Trump “Senile” Amid Threats]

This morning the small island of Guam is said to be a target. This American territory facing an elevated threat as the war of words between the United States and North Korea reaches a fever pitch. The North Korean regime responding to President Trump’s chilling warning.
            
DONALD TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury.

ALMAGUER: Calling the President “senile,” saying he “was cooped up at the golf course and was clueless about how things are developing.” Adding, “Sound dialogue is not possible with someone as bereft of reason” as President Trump and “only absolute force can work on him.”

(...)

7:07 AM ET

BILL NEELY:  From North Korea, the latest show of defiance, chanting ritual hatred of America and loyalty to Kim Jong-un and the nuclear weapons he says protects them from Donald Trump’s fiery threat. A threat his military calls “a load of nonsense,” warning that only “absolute force” can work on him.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:02 AM ET

PAULA FARIS: But first let’s get right to those new developments on North Korea. We want you to take a live look at Guam where it is nighttime right now.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, that is the U.S. territory in the Pacific home to thousands of Americans that North Korea threatened to launch missiles toward last night. Of course that was their response to the President Trump’s “fire and fury” warning. They’re also calling it a “load of nonsense.”

(...)

MARTHA RADDATZ: This is truly a war of words between Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader, but it could have very real consequences. A U.S. territory is facing a very specific threat from North Korea in response to Donald Trump’s strong words.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: North Korea Issues New Threat; Says “Only Absolute Force” Can Work on Trump]

A defiant rebuke by North Korea in a statement calling President Trump’s recent comments “a load of nonsense,” saying the President is “a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

(...)

RADDATZ: And in Pyongyang on Wednesday, a rallying call. Thousands of North Korean citizens packing the square in that nation’s capital in a display of unity.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:03 AM ET

(...)

CHARLIE ROSE: The North Korean general in charge also mocked President Trump’s angry vow to respond to new threats.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The general called the President’s “fire and fury” warning a “load of nonsense.” He went on to say “only absolute force can work” on someone as, quote, “bereft of reason” as President Trump.

(...)

7:09 AM ET

BRENNAN: North Korea is showing further defiance to the United States. Thousands of people hit the streets yesterday to protest the stiffer economic sanctions that the U.N. approved last weekend. Ben Tracy is watching it all from Beijing. Ben, good morning.

BEN TRACY: Good morning. So North Korea is now using President Trump’s “fire and fury” comments as well as those new U.N. sanctions to rally its own people. And that was on full display Wednesday in North Korea’s capitol.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: North Korea’s Defiance; Regime Downplays President’s Comments as Tensions Rise]

Tens of thousands of people packed the main square of Pyongyang for a mass rally orchestrated by the North Korean regime. The speaker said the U.S. said the U.S. “will face a miserable ans wretched fate,” while marchers carried signs that read, “Let’s become bullets and bombs defending Kim Jong-un.” This man said, “I will become the nuclear warhead of ICBM to smash down the U.S. mainland, the nest of evils.”

North Korea has now launched more than a dozen missiles just this year and continues to threaten to turn the capital of South Korea into a “sea of fire.” Today South Korea’s defense chiefs vowed strong retaliation if North Korea continues to provoke, an unusual warning against mere threats rather than an actual attack.

(...)

NBC Touts South Koreans Fearing ‘Fiery Rhetoric’…From Trump

In the wake of all three networks freaking out over President Trump’s “fire and fury” warning against North Korea, on Thursday’s NBC Today, Chief Global Correspondent Bill Neely reported from Seoul, South Korea and portrayed the people there as being just as afraid of the American president as they were of Kim Jung Un.

“It’s called the world’s most dangerous border and it’s a little more dangerous today. A war of words threatening to reignite the war that never finished here,” Neely ominously began. Moments later, he proclaimed: “People here in South Korea are used to fiery rhetoric from North Korea, but never from an American president, until now.”

 

 

Noting that “views here divided,” Neely introduced soundbites of South Korean citizens reacting to Trump’s comments. One women scolded: “I thought it’s very irresponsible and selfish.” Another woman revealed: “I was quite shocked.” Only one man featured agreed the strong words: “I think it’s a good response.”

Neely hyped: “The war of words putting this city on edge....they’d likely be the first casualty.” Turning up the fearmongering to maximum, the reporter concluded: “The unthinkable this morning perhaps just a little closer.”

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Following the taped portion of the segment, Neely told co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie: “Well, South Korea’s president today saying ‘stop.’ Stop ratcheting up the tension. It was a message directed at the north, but it’s one that many in Asia are also privately directing at President Trump.”

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Here is a full transcript of the August 10 report:

7:07 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Overnight South Korea’s military jumped into the escalating rhetoric as well, saying it is prepared to sternly punish its neighbor to the north should the regime act on those recent threats. NBC’s Chief Global Correspondent Bill Neely is in Seoul this morning. Bill, good morning to you.

BILL NEELY: Good morning, Savannah. We are 35 miles from North Korea here, and from its missiles. It’s a city that’s been protected for decades by American troops and by America’s nuclear umbrella, but today it’s feeling suddenly vulnerable. South Korea’s president saying today, “Strengthen our defenses now.”

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Americans in the Danger Zone; 30,000 U.S. Troops Based in Region]

It’s called the world’s most dangerous border and it’s a little more dangerous today. A war of words threatening to reignite the war that never finished here. 30,000 American troops among millions in the firing line. From North Korea, the latest show of defiance, chanting ritual hatred of America and loyalty to Kim Jung Un and the nuclear weapons he says protects them from Donald Trump’s fiery threat. A threat his military calls “a load of nonsense,” warning that only “absolute force” can work on him.

People here in South Korea are used to fiery rhetoric from North Korea, but never from an American president, until now. Views here divided.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I thought it’s very irresponsible and selfish.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B: I was quite shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it’s a good response.

NEELY: U.S. troops here exercise with South Korean allies regularly, there’s another one planned later this month. North Korea says these are provocative, South Korea that they’re vital. Its president now calling for a complete overhaul of South Korea’s military. The war of words putting this city on edge. Like the American troops here to protect them, they’ve lived for decades with threats from the north, but in any conflict, they’d likely be the first casualty. The unthinkable this morning perhaps just a little closer.

Well, South Korea’s president today saying “stop.” Stop ratcheting up the tension. It was a message directed at the north, but it’s one that many in Asia are also privately directing at President Trump. Matt, Savannah?

GUTHRIE: Bill Neely in Seoul, thank you.

Nets More Terrified by Trump’s ‘Dangerous’ ‘Rhetoric’ Than North Korea

On Wednesday, the network morning shows portrayed President Trump’s stern warning to North Korea as being more “dangerous” than the rogue authoritarian regime threatening the world with nuclear weapons. Going into full panic mode, hosts and correspondents warned viewers that Trump was “going to make a bad situation worse” with his “blistering rhetoric.”

At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “War of words. North Korea threatens to attack the U.S. territory of Guam after President Trump warns the regime with his harshest language yet....What will bring the two sides back from the brink?” Moments later, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie hyped the “rapidly developing North Korea crisis” with “ominous threats being exchanged by the U.S. and the North Korean regime.”

 

 

After noting how North Korea was threatening to attack the U.S. territory of Guam, Lauer suggested Trump was to blame by provoking the hostile nation: “So what was the timing of this? Well, it followed a harsh warning hours earlier from President Trump that any further threats from Kim Jong Un would be met with, quote, ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen.’”

In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell asserted: “The North Korean threat, frighteningly routine for the rogue regime, was a chilling response to thunderous words from President Trump.” Later in the segment, she touted:

Meanwhile, the President’s strong language is being criticized by leading lawmakers of both parties. Democrat Dianne Feinstein calling his rhetoric “bombastic” and saying diplomacy is the only path. Republican John McCain cautioning Trump against making empty threats.     

Mitchell concluded that “the real fear is that the rhetoric is escalating from both sides.”

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In a discussion with military analyst Jack Jacobs and MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace, Guthrie fretted: “Let’s talk about the rhetoric....Is this the President giving Kim Jong Un a taste of his own medicine, maybe his own vocabulary? Or is it going to make a bad situation worse?” Jacobs downplayed the importance: “Well, I think it’s irrelevant, actually.” However, he quipped: “When I first heard the remarks...I thought that Kim Jong Un had said those remarks.”

Guthrie pressed: “But is it dangerous? I mean, do the words matter in this context?”

As Jacobs continued to reject the fearmongering language being pushed by the anchor, Lauer jumped in:

Let’s not dismiss the words so quickly. We all remember “shock and awe” in Iraq. “Fire and fury,” as a military guy, Jack, what do you read into “fire and fury”? Is this conventional weaponry? Or is he threatening something else?

Meanwhile, Wallace was freaking out. “He has now drawn a far more stark, a far more inflammatory, a far more dangerous red line,” she declared of the President’s comments. “And he’s the kind of guy who would be sort of shamed into sort of keeping up with his own word,” Wallace added.  

She then incorrectly claimed: “So the language is so stunning because it contradicts all of the traditions of American military history.” In reality, in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy issued the following warning during an address to the nation on October 22, 1962: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

In addition, Trump’s language was very similar to remarks made by President Harry Truman following the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced:

You know, that blistering rhetoric is a real break from past presidents and it is being met with concern from Republican and Democratic lawmakers. As a new poll shows that six out of ten Americans are uneasy about President Trump’s ability to handle North Korea.

Correspondent Martha Raddatz insisted: “This morning, some political leaders, even from the President’s own party, concerned that the commander-in-chief’s fiery warnings could further incite the already volatile North Korean leader.”

At least national security expert Steve Ganyard reminded the journalists of Truman’s words: “...this is really the first kind of fiery rhetoric we’ve seen out of a U.S. President since really Harry Truman.” Stephanopoulos acknowledged: “Steve mentioned that was the kind of rhetoric Harry Truman used after dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.”

On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Vladimir Duthiers highlighted: “Some Republicans and Democrats say the President's strong words are not helping the situation. Mr. Trump echoed the tone of another presidential statement made as the U.S. attacked Japan with nuclear weapons 72 years ago this week.” Correspondent Major Garrett emphasized: “But beyond that Cold War imagery of fire and fury, the Trump administration has not articulated a policy to stop North Korea or defuse this crisis.”

Garrett went on to promote polling showing Americans “uneasy” with Trump as well as Democrats on the attack:

America’s appetite for conflict appears limited. Only 29 percent favor military action in a CBS News poll and 61 percent are uneasy about the President's ability to solve the crisis. Some Democrats took pause. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said Mr. Trump’s comments “once again show that he lacks the temperament.” And Senator Dianne Feinstein said Trump was bombastic and “is not helping the situation.”

In a report prior to Garrett’s, correspondent Ben Tracy parroted talking points from the Chinese government criticizing the President:

We actually just received this response from the Chinese government and in it they say, “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is highly sensitive, we hope the parties will be cautious with words and behavior and stop provoking each other and avoid escalation.” Now the Chinese government fears that this war of words could lead to a regional arms race and that already appears to be happening....Now keep in mind, China just agreed this past weekend to go along with the U.N. sanctions on Kim Jong Un’s regime, which will largely be up to China to enforce. Having the President of the United States throw more fuel on this fire may make China think about how far down the road it wants to go in supporting U.S. actions on North Korea.

Later in the 8:30 a.m. ET half hour, during an interview with former Hillary Clinton staffer Jake Sullivan, co-host Charlie Rose wondered: “You say North Korea is a land of lousy options. Where are we going? What is going to happen and does the language of the President help or hinder?” Unsurprisingly, Sullivan blasted Trump: “It just doesn't help when our allies and the countries in the region can’t tell whether it’s Donald Trump or Kim Jong Un who’s the crazier one.”

The biased reporting across all three networks was brought to viewers by PetSmart, Walmart, and Popeye's.

Here are excerpts of the August 9 coverage on the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts:

Today
7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let’s talk about the rhetoric, let’s pick it up where Andrea just left off. Is this the President giving Kim Jong Un a taste of his own medicine, maybe his own vocabulary? Or is it going to make a bad situation worse?

COL. JACK JACOBS: Well, I think it’s irrelevant, actually. When I first heard the remarks – I hadn’t read them before or heard them before – when somebody read them to me, I thought that Kim Jong Un had said those remarks. I think it’s just for consumption by each side, and consumption in Korea for the North Koreans.

GUTHRIE: But is it dangerous? I mean, do the words matter in this context?

(...)

MATT LAUER Let’s not dismiss the words so quickly. We all remember “shock and awe” in Iraq. “Fire and fury,” as a military guy, Jack, what do you read into “fire and fury”? Is this conventional weaponry? Or is he threatening something else?

(...)

LAUER: Nicolle, when someone says something like what President Trump said yesterday, he draws a line in the stand. And then the question is, do our adversaries cross that line? Shortly after he said that, North Koreans issued a statement and said they are looking at plans to attack Guam, which is a U.S. territory. By the very fact that they said that, didn’t they cross the line?

NICOLLE WALLACE: Sure. And listen, this president ran as someone who was going to almost in a Seinfeld-like way, be the opposite of Barack Obama in every way, shape, and form. Over and over again, he criticized President Obama for drawing that red line in Syria. He has now drawn a far more stark, a far more inflammatory, a far more dangerous red line. And he’s the kind of guy who would be sort of shamed into sort of keeping up with his own word. So the language is so stunning because it contradicts all of the traditions of American military history.

You talked about “shock and awe,” those were words used after the military phase had begun. Those weren’t words used –

JACOBS: By the media, as a matter of fact.  

WALLACE: But those weren’t words when we were still engaged in diplomacy. Those weren’t words when the debate about Iraq and whether or not they had WMD was at the U.N. Security Council, which is where this conversation was over the weekend. And this is a president that has now used language that he can’t put back in the toothpaste tube.

GUTHRIE: Okay, there’s a theory of the case – and I’ll see if either of you sign on to it – that perhaps this is all by design, this is strategic. The president uses this hot rhetoric so that the North Koreans feel like, “Hey, this guy might be – he might be willing to actually use that force.” And that’s the deterrent effect. Do you buy it?

JACOBS: No. This president does nothing – or does very few things by design. He shoots from the hip all the time. And I think his words are taken with a grain of salt.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:01 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, that blistering rhetoric is a real break from past presidents and it is being met with concern from Republican and Democratic lawmakers. As a new poll shows that six out of ten Americans are uneasy about President Trump’s ability to handle North Korea.

(...)        

7:03 AM ET

MARTHA RADDATZ: This morning, some political leaders, even from the President’s own party, concerned that the commander-in-chief’s fiery warnings could further incite the already volatile North Korean leader.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN [R-AZ]: You gotta be sure that you can do what you say you’re gonna do. The great leaders that I’ve seen, they don’t threaten unless they are ready to act.

(...)

7:05 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Steve, you have also served in the State Department, so you know about the diplomatic side of things. And what is your take on the words, the language that President Trump has used with this?

STEVE GANYARD:  Robin, this is really the first kind of fiery rhetoric we’ve seen out of a U.S. President since really Harry Truman. And so, the President has made the decision to make a direct video appeal to Kim Jong Un to make him understand what the U.S. response will be. The question now is, does this ramp up, does the rhetoric continue to ramp up or do things begin to calm down? The next few days will be critical.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

STEPHANOPOULOS: Steve mentioned that was the kind of rhetoric Harry Truman used after dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. We’re going to talk about it more now with our Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega right here. You know, such a bracing moment yesterday to see the president kind of hugging himself as he said these words. But at least parts of the statement tightly scripted.

CECILIA VEGA: Very much so, George. And this was a question that was prompted – this was an answer that was prompted by a question from a reporter....Look, I am told this was very much a strategic answer by people in the White House, that the president knew that if he was asked about this, that he would have this answer ready to go. And if you watch that tape of the president, it seems as though during parts of it he looks down and is – seems to be reading a little bit. This as we’ve seen ramped-up rhetoric from the president over the course of North Korea.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:07 AM ET

(...)

7:08 AM ET

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Some Republicans and Democrats say the President's strong words are not helping the situation. Mr. Trump echoed the tone of another presidential statement made as the U.S. attacked Japan with nuclear weapons 72 years ago this week. Major Garret is near the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey. Major, good morning.  

MAJOR GARRETT: Good morning. President Trump broke from his working vacation to sound an alarm of sorts, using vivid imagery and rhetoric meant to capture the attention of nations throughout Asia, especially China. But beyond that Cold War imagery of fire and fury, the Trump administration has not articulated a policy to stop North Korea or defuse this crisis.

(...)

GARRETT: America’s appetite for conflict appears limited. Only 29 percent favor military action in a CBS News poll and 61 percent are uneasy about the President's ability to solve the crisis. Some Democrats took pause. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said Mr. Trump’s comments “once again show that he lacks the temperament.” And Senator Dianne Feinstein said Trump was bombastic and “is not helping the situation.”

GARRETT: But Republican Congressman Peter King said Trump’s comments send “a very strong deterrent signal to North Korea. To me, there’s more of a chance of war if the U.S. does not stand strong.” On Phoenix radio, Republican Senator John McCain was critical of Mr. Trump.

JOHN MCCAIN: The great leaders that I have seen, they don’t threaten unless they are ready to act. And I’m not sure that President Trump is ready to act.

(...)

8:34 AM ET

CHARLIE ROSE: [Former Hillary Clinton/State Department adviser Jake Sullivan] You say North Korea is a land of lousy options. Where are we going? What is going to happen and does the language of the President help or hinder?

JAKE SULLIVAN: Well, what we need right now is steady resolve, calm, and absolutely strong and consistent leadership and the problem with what the President said is it puts all the attention on the United States and what the United States is thinking. When right now the attention should be on north Korea and producing pressure to produce a diplomatic outcome. It just doesn't help when our allies and the countries in the region can’t tell whether it's Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un who's the crazier one.

(...)

Andrea Mitchell Tees Up Ex-Republican: How Has GOP ‘Failed You’?

In a glowing softball interview on Monday with third-party Utah congressional candidate Jim Bennett, son of the late Senator Robert Bennett, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell eagerly set up the former Republican to explain why he left the party and how the GOP had “failed” him.

Bennett was happy for the chance to slam Republicans: “Ronald Reagan used to say he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him, and I feel the same way about the Republican Party. The Republican Party is now the party of Trump, which is a party that I didn’t want to be associated with anymore.”

Mitchell followed up: “Now you talk about the Republican Party, in what way do you think the Republican leaders – let’s say Mitch McConnell, the Speaker, Paul Ryan – how have they failed you as a Republican?” Bennett ranted: “Well, the entire party has failed me, I think, by uniting behind a president who is unfit to hold the office.”

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Later in the friendly exchange, Mitchell wondered: “And what is your message to other Republicans who have been, many people say, either rolling over or are only quietly protesting, maybe not going along with the president on all of his initiatives, but not taking stands?” Speaking to Utah voters, Bennett pleaded: “...you don’t have to go along with the party of Trump. You can come along with a centrist moderate party, the United Utah Party, that represents what you believe and who you are.”

The biased segment was brought to viewers by GEICO, Panera Bread, and Fixodent.

Here is a full transcript of the August 8 interview:

12:39 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: When former Republican Utah Senator Bob Bennett was in the final days of a battle with pancreatic cancer last May, he expressed to his son, Jim, one very specific dying wish from his hospital bed. The senator wanted to apologize to all Muslims on behalf of the Republican Party for what Donald Trump, the candidate, was saying. Bob Bennett told his family he wanted to see Muslims treated with kindness and not ostracized.

Today, Jim Bennett is carrying out his father’s political fight. A long-time Republican, Jim left the party shortly after Trump was nominated. He’s now running as a third party candidate in Utah’s special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by Justin Chaffetz. In June, Bennett sued state officials to get on the November ballot with his new political party, United Utah Party. And last week he won that battle after a federal judge ruled in his favor.

Jim Bennett joins me from Utah. Jim, it’s great to see you, thank you so much. Tell me about the legal battle and why you left the Republican Party.

JIM BENNETT: Well, the Republican Party – Ronald Reagan used to say he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him, and I feel the same way about the Republican Party. The Republican Party is now the party of Trump, which is a party that I didn’t want to be associated with anymore.

But with regard to the legal battle, I went and tried to file according to the deadlines for the special election and the state threw up every possible road block to keep me off the ballot. And we had to take this to court and we were confident that the law was on our side and a federal judge agreed with us.

MITCHELL: Now you talk about the Republican Party, in what way do you think the Republican leaders – let’s say Mitch McConnell, the Speaker, Paul Ryan – how have they failed you as a Republican?

BENNETT: Well, the entire party has failed me, I think, by uniting behind a president who is unfit to hold the office. You look at the fact that you have both houses of Congress united with one party and yet they’re on track to be the most unproductive Congress in 140 years. So the Republican Party has demonstrated that it’s incapable of overcoming the divisions within it’s own party. And I want to get back to Washington and demonstrate that it’s important to solve problems, not just please your party.

MITCHELL: What is you path to victory in a state – tell me about your district – but in the state, Donald Trump won with 45% of the vote in a three-way race, so the opposition to Trump got divided and he won.

BENNETT: And a third party candidate got 22% of that vote.

MITCHELL: Right.

BENNETT: There’s a local polling firm here in Utah that conducted a poll after our party was formed and before I had announced my candidacy, asking, would you be willing to consider a candidate from the United Utah Party? And the answer was 63% of people in Utah said they would. That included 39% of Republicans. I think in the era of Trump, people are looking for an alternative, and there are a lot of people like me who have felt like they don’t have a political home in either of the two major political parties. And so that’s one the reasons why we created the United Utah Party and we saw this special election as a great opportunity to introduce this party to the people of the state.

MITCHELL: And is your plan – let’s say you’re successful in this special election, is your plan to try to run candidates in other congressional districts?

BENNETT: Well, our plan is to be a viable party in the state of Utah, where the Democarts have essentially given up and the Republicans are so arrogant they think they can do whatever they want. We want to be not necessarily the third party, but the second party. And we began this prior to the special election, we began creating this party, and we plan to be around long after the special election is over. We’re in this for the long haul. We want to recruit candidates for state office and for local office and we want to recruit candidates for federal office as well.

MITCHELL: Did you ever talk to your father about getting into politics, following in his footsteps?

BENNETT: Not really. In fact, I thought that my political career was over after he lost his election in 2010, I thought I was done. And this new party and the unique political environment in which we found ourselves is what dragged me back in.

MITCHELL: And what is your message to other Republicans who have been, many people say, either rolling over or are only quietly protesting, maybe not going along with the president on all of his initiatives, but not taking stands?

BENNETT: Right, well, my message is, you have a new home, particularly – at least this is a message to Republicans in Utah – is you don’t have to go along with the party of Trump. You can come along with a centrist moderate party, the United Utah Party, that represents what you believe and who you are.

MITCHELL: Well, Jim Bennett, just on a point of personal privilege, I knew your father well, I covered him in the Senate, and we all miss him. Miss him in public life and I know it’s a profound loss for all of you. But thanks for being with us today.

BENNETT: Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity.

MITCHELL: You bet.

Nets Yawn at Gov Dumping Dems; Saw GOP Doom With Specter Switch

During the first year of a new administration, a prominent elected official switches his political affiliation to the party that just came into power. The national media hail the news and warn the politician’s former party that it has become too extreme and out of touch with country. That was the scene in 2009, when Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter abandoned the Republican Party and became a Democrat in a desperate attempt to win a tough reelection fight.

However, on Thursday, when West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced he was leaving the Democratic Party in favor of the GOP, the liberal media couldn’t be bothered to cover the stunning political news. The NBC and ABC evening newscasts completely ignored the story, while CBS Evening News only offered a pathetic 13 seconds of air time.

On Friday morning, things weren’t much better. The most CBS This Morning could manage was a 14-second clip during its “Eye Opener” segment of Fox News reporting on Governor Justice’s switch. NBC finally noticed the story, with correspondent Kristen Welker even calling it “a big victory for the GOP” during a report on the Today show. However, that “big victory” for Republicans was only worth a mere 22-second mention.

Amazingly, ABC News has not said one word about Justice becoming a Republican.

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Contrast such paltry network coverage of the Democrats losing a moderate member of their own party to how the media hyped Senator Specter’s departure from the GOP in 2009 as a devastating political blow worthy of multiple full reports and analyses.

When the news broke on April 28 that year, the networks went wild. On CBS Evening News, Chip Reid touted that Specter “says he’s leaving the Republican Party because the Republican Party left him” and “blames the party’s increasingly conservative tilt.” On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell fretted over Specter “facing a much more conservative challenger” in a Senate primary and “that voters who tend to turn out in the primaries tend to be on the fringe of the party, not a moderate Republican like he is.” On ABC’s World News, Jonathan Karl declared: “Specter said he had been driven out by the right-wing of the Republican Party.”

The coverage didn’t end there, the following morning on NBC’s Today, Chuck Todd proclaimed that Specter’s move was “devastating” for Republicans and questioned “what it says about the future of the GOP.” Days later, ABC’s World News Saturday and CBS Evening News used polling to blame Specter’s switch on the GOP’s social conservative agenda.

By the way, the same liberal talking points were employed by the press in 2001 when liberal Republican Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican to become a Democrat.

The question now is, where are all the network stories about the Democrats moving too far to left and forcing moderates like Justice to jump ship? Where are the panel discussions analyzing how bad things have become for the party and demanding that it abandon extreme positions on a host of issues?

The silence is deafening and the double standard is glaring. 

Here are transcripts of the August 4 “coverage” on the NBC and CBS morning shows:

Today
7:05 AM ET

(...)

KRISTEN WELKER: This morning the President trying to keep the focus away from Russia and on his agenda, tweeting this morning, “West Virginia was incredible last night. Crowds and enthusiasm were beyond, GDP at 3%, wow! Dem governor became a Republican last night. That a reference to Governor Jim Justice switching his affiliation from the Democrat to Republican Party, a big victory for the GOP.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:02 AM ET

(...)

DANA PERINO [FOX NEWS]: Democratic Governor Jim Justice decided, “I’ve got to get on the Trump train,” became a Republican.

GOV. JIM JUSTICE [R-WV]: You know what else is unbelievable? This man now has a chief of staff that all of us can pronounce his first name.

(...)

Nets Yawn at Gov Dumping Dems; Saw GOP Doom With Specter Switch

During the first year of a new administration, a prominent elected official switches his political affiliation to the party that just came into power. The national media hail the news and warn the politician’s former party that it has become too extreme and out of touch with country. That was the scene in 2009, when Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter abandoned the Republican Party and became a Democrat in a desperate attempt to win a tough reelection fight.

However, on Thursday, when West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced he was leaving the Democratic Party in favor of the GOP, the liberal media couldn’t be bothered to cover the stunning political news. The NBC and ABC evening newscasts completely ignored the story, while CBS Evening News only offered a pathetic 13 seconds of air time.

On Friday morning, things weren’t much better. The most CBS This Morning could manage was a 14-second clip during its “Eye Opener” segment of Fox News reporting on Governor Justice’s switch. NBC finally noticed the story, with correspondent Kristen Welker even calling it “a big victory for the GOP” during a report on the Today show. However, that “big victory” for Republicans was only worth a mere 22-second mention.

Amazingly, ABC News has not said one word about Justice becoming a Republican.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Contrast such paltry network coverage of the Democrats losing a moderate member of their own party to how the media hyped Senator Specter’s departure from the GOP in 2009 as a devastating political blow worthy of multiple full reports and analyses.

When the news broke on April 28 that year, the networks went wild. On CBS Evening News, Chip Reid touted that Specter “says he’s leaving the Republican Party because the Republican Party left him” and “blames the party’s increasingly conservative tilt.” On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell fretted over Specter “facing a much more conservative challenger” in a Senate primary and “that voters who tend to turn out in the primaries tend to be on the fringe of the party, not a moderate Republican like he is.” On ABC’s World News, Jonathan Karl declared: “Specter said he had been driven out by the right-wing of the Republican Party.”

The coverage didn’t end there, the following morning on NBC’s Today, Chuck Todd proclaimed that Specter’s move was “devastating” for Republicans and questioned “what it says about the future of the GOP.” Days later, ABC’s World News Saturday and CBS Evening News used polling to blame Specter’s switch on the GOP’s social conservative agenda.

By the way, the same liberal talking points were employed by the press in 2001 when liberal Republican Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican to become a Democrat.

The question now is, where are all the network stories about the Democrats moving too far to left and forcing moderates like Justice to jump ship? Where are the panel discussions analyzing how bad things have become for the party and demanding that it abandon extreme positions on a host of issues?

The silence is deafening and the double standard is glaring. 

Here are transcripts of the August 4 “coverage” on the NBC and CBS morning shows:

Today
7:05 AM ET

(...)

KRISTEN WELKER: This morning the President trying to keep the focus away from Russia and on his agenda, tweeting this morning, “West Virginia was incredible last night. Crowds and enthusiasm were beyond, GDP at 3%, wow! Dem governor became a Republican last night. That a reference to Governor Jim Justice switching his affiliation from the Democrat to Republican Party, a big victory for the GOP.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:02 AM ET

(...)

DANA PERINO [FOX NEWS]: Democratic Governor Jim Justice decided, “I’ve got to get on the Trump train,” became a Republican.

GOV. JIM JUSTICE [R-WV]: You know what else is unbelievable? This man now has a chief of staff that all of us can pronounce his first name.

(...)

NBC Advises Shoppers to Throw Groceries at Robbers, No Mention of Guns

In a report on Friday’s NBC Today about how people could defend themselves during a convenience store robbery, National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen and security expert Mykel Hawke suggested that shoppers should hurl groceries off the shelves at the armed criminals in an attempt to escape. The possibility of using a firearm for protection was never mentioned.

Introducing the segment, fill-in co-host Hoda Kotb warned: “This summer there’s been a rash of violent convenience store robberies across the country with customers caught in the middle.” Fellow co-host Matt Lauer followed: “So how do you protect yourself if you’re ever faced with a situation like that?”

 

 

Rossen began:

And we’ve all seen those videos, right? Some suspect walking into a convenience store, a coffee shop, a gas station, robbing the clerk at gunpoint, then some customer comes from behind and attacks the suspect. It looks brave, we’ve reported on it right here, and it is, but is it really what you’re supposed to do? This morning, the advice from law enforcement officials...

Hawke promised: “I’m going to teach you some tips today that could save your life.”

While the report began with standard advice of escaping the store or finding a place to hide and calling the police, it soon took a bizarre turn. Rossen imagined: “Worst-case scenario, last resort, you’ve done all that, he’s still agitated and you feel like he is right about to shoot you.” With the reporter pointing his hands like a gun at Hawke, the security expert explained: “Absolutely, if you think you have no other choice and you are about to be killed then you’ve got to try to escape. So what you do is you do something mental like, ‘Please, mister, don’t shoot,’ and then you set yourself up with, oh!”

In that moment, Hawke could be seen flinging a box of oatmeal packets from a nearby shelf at Rossen. The correspondent rightfully asked: “And then what?” Hawke simply replied: “And then you escape. Okay? So that’s it.”

That’s it?! Even Rossen seemed a little puzzled as to how such a feeble defense could prevent someone from being shot.

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At least NBC remained consistent in its pattern of never suggesting that people use a gun to defend themselves against a violent criminal. Within the past year, Rossen has had two separate reports on how to handle dangerous attackers. While looking at the threat of being mugged on the street, he touted cell phone apps as the best protection. In a segment about home invasions, he told homeowners, “don’t fight back.” During a 2014 report along the same lines, Rossen offered advice like spraying the intruder with bug spray or treating them “like royalty” as they robbed you.   

Friday’s crime-fighting tips were brought to viewers by Smuckers and Xfinity.  

Here are excerpts of the Rossen’s August 4 report:

8:17 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We have a new Rossen Reports for you now. This summer there’s been a rash of violent convenience store robberies across the country with customers caught in the middle.

MATT LAUER: So how do you protect yourself if you’re ever faced with a situation like that? Today National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen has more on it. Jeff, good morning to you.

KOTB: Hey, Jeff.  

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Customers Fighting Back; What Should You Do During a Store Robbery?]

JEFF ROSSEN: Hey, guys, good morning. New cases just this week of stores held up with customers inside. And we’ve all seen those videos, right? Some suspect walking into a convenience store, a coffee shop, a gas station, robbing the clerk at gunpoint, then some customer comes from behind and attacks the suspect. It looks brave, we’ve reported on it right here, and it is, but is it really what you’re supposed to do? This morning, the advice from law enforcement officials...

(...)

ROSSEN: I think about this whenever I walk into any store, what would I do in that situation, what am I supposed to do? Should I fight the guy and be the hero or run and hide? Well, good news, today we’re about to all learn together in this convenience store. We have Mykel Hawke here, former special forces officer, now you are a survival expert.

MYKEL HAWKE: That’s right, Jeff, and I’m going to teach you some tips today that could save your life.

(...)

HAWKE: If there’s a robbery, don’t try to be a hero, don’t try to fight, try to escape undetected if you can. Just remember, they’re probably just there to get money.

ROSSEN: So don’t make things more violent than they have to be.  

HAWKE: Absolutely.

ROSSEN: What if I can't escape? What if there’s an accomplice blocking another exit?

HAWKE: Glad you asked. You always have options. You can look for hiding places. For example, right here is a bathroom, you can go in the bathroom and hide, lock the door.

ROSSEN: I see there’s a freezer.

HAWKE: Yeah, absolutely .

ROSSEN: So anyplace where you can just run in and get out of the way, out of sight, out of mind.

HAWKE: Absolutely.

(...)

ROSSEN: But sometimes you can’t run or hide. He says if the gunman has you cornered, comply and hand over anything he wants.

ROSSEN [TO HAWK]: Worst-case scenario, last resort, you’ve done all that, he’s still agitated and you feel like he is right about to shoot you.

[ROSSEN POINTS HIS HANDS LIKE A GUN]

HAWKE: Absolutely, if you think you have no other choice and you are about to be killed then you’ve got to try to escape. So what you do is you do something mental like, “Please, mister, don’t shoot,” and then you set yourself up with, oh!

[HAWKE HURLS BOX OF OATMEAL PACKETS AT ROSSEN]

ROSSEN: And then what?

HAWKE: And then you escape. Okay? So that’s it. All I’m trying to do is distract you for a moment, give myself an opportunity to make a diversion and escape. That’s it.

(...)

KOTB: Good advice. Alright, thanks, Jeff.

LAUER: I see stories like that and I always think, what would I do in that situation?

MSNBC Panel Denounces Trump’s ‘Assault on Civil Rights’

After all three broadcast networks fretted Wednesday morning over the Justice Department taking steps to challenge Affirmative Action policies that may discriminate against white students, on her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, anchor Andrea Mitchell worried the move had the “potential to reopen long decided cases of Affirmative Action, which is alarming civil rights groups and academic institutions across the country.”

Moments later, liberal Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart ranted: “...when you have an atmosphere where the Justice Department is saying to the country there’s a problem of white students being harmed by Affirmative Action, I think it sends a signal that I think there should be very vigorous push-back on.”

 

 

Turning to NAACP Associate Counsel Director Janai Nelson, Mitchell dismissed the notion that white students could be victims of discrimination in the college admissions process:

...obviously the counterpoint is that white students claim, perhaps – I don’t know if there are cases even, this seems to be the Justice Department looking for a problem in order to put resources there – so the claim would be that white students are being disadvantaged by other students, minority students, getting entrance to, you know, the available slots.

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“What about the fact that this takes money away from the pursuit of more pressing civil rights cases that are out there?,” she feared.

Nelson launched into a tirade:

...in terms of diverting resources away from key civil rights issues, we should all be greatly alarmed by what the Department of Justice is doing right now. This is what a 21st Century assault on civil rights looks like. An assault on voter rights, an assault on police-community relations, and now this latest attack on Affirmative Action. It is really stoking an us-vs.-them narrative that is doing nothing but harm to our country.

Capehart went further: “...when you have someone like Steve Bannon as a senior counselor to the President of the United States, with his connections to the so-called alt-right, but white supremacists....this is in line with that type of thinking.”

The biased discussion was brought to viewers by Gillette, CarFax, and Angie's List.

Here is a full transcript of the August 2 segment:

12:31 PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: The Trump administration is apparently planning to divert resources from the Justice Department away from pursuing civil rights investigations to instead study alleged bias against whites instead of minorities in college admissions. A potential to reopen long decided cases of Affirmative Action, which is alarming civil rights groups and academic institutions across the country. A Department of Justice spokesperson tells NBC News that DOJ, quote, “does not confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigation” into Affirmative Action.  

Joining me now is Janai Nelson, the Associate Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and with me here, Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for The Washington Post and also an MSNBC contributor. Janai, we’ve seen cases in Texas and Michigan over the years, I remember covering the Bakke case back in the 70s at the Supreme Court. This has gone through various iterations at various universities with compromises along the way. Where do we stand as far as the law is concerned?

JANAI NELSON: Well, just last year, in June of 2016, the Supreme Court, for the third time in 40 years, validated the use of race in college admissions. It basically validated the use of Affirmative Action programs to promote and expand democracy in our institutions of higher learning. It was a 4-3 decision, it was written by Justice Kennedy, a justice who had been on the fence on this issue in the past, but who spoke out quite strongly and clearly in 2016, saying that this is precisely what our nation requires for equality and dignity of all residents. And that colleges and universities can craft narrowly tailored plans that support the goal of diversity and that are perfectly constitutional and do not constitute intentional discrimination.

MITCHELL: I mean, Jonathan, the point here, from the university perspective, many universities, is that diversity is a goal, a positive goal of an overall education. And that schools that do not have diverse student populations can do things in a narrow way to try to achieve that as long as people meet all the other standards.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Right, of course. I mean, an educational institution, if it’s doing it’s job right, is preparing young people to go out into the world as it is, not as it’s envisioned on a campus that might be monochromatic. And so, if a college or university isn’t doing its best to make sure that all the students there reflect the country as much as they can, then they’re not doing their job. And you know, colleges and universities have a time of it trying to not only find qualified students to come to their campuses, but then they have to convince those students to come to those campuses.

And, you know, as a person of color who went to Carlton College in Minnesota, in the middle of the corn fields of Minnesota, I loved Carlton, I loved North Field, but there were lots of African-American students who got there and as welcoming and as open as Carlton was, they weren’t comfortable. That’s not something that is the fault of the college, but when you have an atmosphere where the Justice Department is saying to the country there’s a problem of white students being harmed by Affirmative Action, I think it sends a signal that I think there should be very vigorous push-back on.

MITCHELL: Now, Janai, let’s talk about this, because the, obviously the counterpoint is that white students claim, perhaps – I don’t know if there are cases even, this seems to be the Justice Department looking for a problem in order to put resources there – so the claim would be that white students are being disadvantaged by other students, minority students, getting entrance to, you know, the available slots. What about the fact that this takes money away from the pursuit of more pressing civil rights cases that are out there?

NELSON: Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, first, just the premise that this is harming white students is wrong on at least two key fronts. There are more white students in college now than ever before, so to suggest that white students are somehow not getting the advantage of higher education is absolutely false. And the second thing to consider is that all students, including white students, benefit from being in a diverse learning environment. They are better prepared for the workplace, they are better prepared to think on diverse teams. Companies that have diverse teams earn 35% more successful in terms of revenue generation than those that do not have diverse teams. So racial diversity is critical to the success of our country.

And in terms of diverting resources away from key civil rights issues, we should all be greatly alarmed by what the Department of Justice is doing right now. This is what a 21st Century assault on civil rights looks like. An assault on voter rights, an assault on police-community relations, and now this latest attack on Affirmative Action. It is really stoking an us-vs.-them narrative that is doing nothing but harm to our country.

MITCHELL: And in fact, the Department of Justice last week, unsolicited, joined another case, filed a lawsuit in another case, unbidden, claiming that there was no discrimination involved.

CAPEHART: Look, I think what’s happening here is – and I’ve written this many times – that when you have someone like Steve Bannon as a senior counselor to the President of the United States, with his connections to the so-called alt-right, but white supremacists, what’s not surprising about this, about the story in The New York Times today, is that this is in line with that type of thinking. What you just talked about, unbidden, is in line with that type of thinking.

What we’re seeing here is the ultimate manifestation of elections have consequences. President Trump is President of the United States. He came into office with ideas – surrounded by people with clear ideas about what they want to do, about the kinds of ideas and philosophies they want to push, and they are pushing them. We’re seeing it with Affirmative Action today, we saw it with transgender last week, who knows what it will be next week.

MITCHELL: Jonathan Capehart, Janai Nelson, thank you both so very much. Appreciate it.  

Brokaw: ‘Need to be Reminded’ of U.S. ‘Concentration Camps,’ ‘Especially During These Days’

On Tuesday’s NBC Today, while marking the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing a 1942 executive order to intern Japanese-American citizens in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, co-host Matt Lauer and special correspondent Tom Brokaw both described the internment locations as “concentration camps.” Brokaw also emphasized that it was important to remember that period in our history “especially during these days.”

“This year marks a somber anniversary, 75 years since a shameful chapter in American history,” fill-in co-host Hoda Kotb proclaimed at the top of the segment. Lauer followed: “The year after Pearl Harbor, with paranoia spreading about everything relating to the Japanese, President Roosevelt signed an executive order, 9066. Japanese-Americans were forced from their homes and businesses at gun point and shipped to primitive concentration camps in remote areas.”

Brokaw began his report by reiterating: “In August 1942, 10,000 Japanese-Americans from the west coast were shipped to a remote, barren concentration camp, that’s what it was, in north-central Wyoming, Heart Mountain.”

Following the taped portion of segment, Brokaw noted how “young men of draft age were drafted out of the camp and sent to war....while their relatives were in concentration camps effectively.”  

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After repeated comparisons of U.S. detention facilities to Nazi death camps, Lauer observed: “...it’s really important for us to go back and remember some of the moments we are not proud of in our nation’s history.” Brokaw agreed: “No, that’s right, absolutely. You know, and so many Americans were really unaware...completely unaware of what had happened there and we do need to be reminded, especially during these days.”

The former NBC Nightly News anchor never elaborated on why Americans needed to be reminded of such decades-old civil rights abuses “especially during these days,” but one can imagine it was meant as a smear against the Trump administration.

The biased report was brought to viewers by Mazda and Ross.  

Here are excerpts from the August 1 segment:

8:34 AM ET

HODA KOTB: This year marks a somber anniversary, 75 years since a shameful chapter in American history.

MATT LAUER: We want to take you back. The year after Pearl Harbor, with paranoia spreading about everything relating to the Japanese, President Roosevelt signed an executive order, 9066. Japanese-Americans were forced from their homes and businesses at gun point and shipped to primitive concentration camps in remote areas. NBC's Tom Brokaw spent the weekend at one of those in Wyoming. Tom, this is an incredible era in our history.
                                    
TOM BROKAW: You know, I’ve been aware of this for a long time, but every time you bump up against it, you just can’t believe that it happened. FDR, who had so many qualities, signed that order, Earl Warren, later the chief of the Supreme Court, signed off on it, he was in California at the time. So I went to a place called Heart Mountain, which is in north-central Wyoming. And when you get there, you have a sense of the desperation and the loneliness and the isolation and the un-American attitude that caused all of that.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Remembering Heart Mountain; Brokaw on Anniversary of Japanese Internment Camps]

In August 1942, 10,000 Japanese-Americans from the west coast were shipped to a remote, barren concentration camp, that’s what it was, in north-central Wyoming, Heart Mountain. It was a shocking change from the lives they left behind.

(...)

BROKAW: And not only that, but young men of draft age were drafted out of the camp and sent to war. There’s an amazing new book out called Just Americans about the 442nd, that was Danny Inouye’s outfit, the most heavily decorated one in Europe, while their relatives were in concentration camps effectively. And when they resisted, the young men, they were thrown in jail as draft dodgers. And one of them, when he got out after two years, joined the Army and fought in Korea.

LAUER: You know, in our last half hour we celebrated some proud moments in space exploration. And while it’s interesting and important to remember those moments, it’s really important for us to go back and remember some of the moments we are not proud of in our nation’s history.

BROKAW: No, that’s right, absolutely. You know, and so many Americans were really unaware later, our generation, and younger generations like yours, were completely unaware of what had happened there and we do need to be reminded, especially during these days.

KOTB: Tom, thank you.

LAUER: So important, powerful piece.

KOTB: Thanks, Tom.

CBS Touts Video of Woman Berating Border Patrol Agent

On Wednesday, CBS This Morning devoted over three minutes of air time to video of a woman refusing to answer routine questions from a Border Patrol agent at a check point near the U.S.-Mexico border. Co-host Norah O’Donnell hyped: “Cell phone video of a confrontation at a border patrol check point is stirring up new controversy in the immigration debate. A California teacher posted this video of border patrol agents detaining her after she refused to say if she was a U.S. citizen.”

Correspondent Mireya Villarreal breathlessly followed: “Shane Parmely was headed home from vacation with her three children when she asked one of them to start recording. The videos have generated thousands of views on Facebook, but it’s also sparked a debate, a heated debate about immigration rights.”

In the staged confrontation, after the agent simply asked Parmely if she was a United States Citizen, the vacationing teacher ranted: “Are we crossing a border? I’ve never been asked if I’m a citizen before when I’m traveling down the road.” Villarreal sympathetically noted: “The middle school teacher says she did it after hearing her Latino friends talk about their experiences at check points.”

A clip ran of Parmely hysterically proclaiming: “It made me feel sick to get asked, knowing what my friends have been through. It just made me feel physically ill.” Her friend Gretel Rodriguez lamented: “They do more than ask that I’m a citizen. They will ask where my kids go to school, they’ll ask what grade they’re in. They’ll ask what type of job I have.”

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Despite all the hyperventilating from Parmely in the cell phone video, the Border Patrol agent could be seen quoting Supreme Court rulings justifying his questions. Villarreal acknowledged: “The Supreme Court does allow agents to set up check points within 100 miles of the border and ask questions about citizenship without warrants.”

Regardless of the law being clear on the subject, a soundbite was included from immigration attorney Victor Nieblas claiming: “She had the right to remain silent, she had the right to question why was she being detained.” Villarreal wondered: “What other avenues can these border patrol agents take to verify citizenship?” Nieblas argued: “Well, they need a reasonable suspicion that the individual is either committing a crime or is here unlawfully, and that's difficult to ascertain by someone just saying, ‘I don’t want to answer a question.’”
 
Villarreal then admitted that while “some applauded Parmely’s activism,” “Others criticized her actions.” The reporter quoted one such critic reacting to the video on Parmely’s Facebook page: “I am sorry, but you are disrespectful. The Border Patrol is doing a job that must be done.” However, that one line of opposition was not allowed to stand on its own, as a comment from Parmely immediately followed: “There are a lot of criticisms that seem to basically be on this logical fallacy that if you question authority you’re disrespectful, and I disagree.”

Villarreal concluded:

Parmely was released after about 90 minutes of being detained without answering the question. Now, Border Patrol said in a statement that they want to make sure that they understand what the immigration status is. They are allowed to detain drivers for a reasonable amount of time in order to verify immigration status. They also said that they treat every individual that comes through those checkpoints with respect and dignity.

Following the sensationalized report about the incident, co-host Gayle King rightfully observed: “You know, when you look at the video, I know there’s two sides, but it seems like he was trying to do his job, and she was trying to make a point.” O’Donnell agreed: “What I didn’t hear from the teacher was what she would suggest he do otherwise. I mean, he’s at a border check point, he’s got to find out if you’re supposed to be in there lawfully or not. How do you do that? Ask the question.”

Of course that begs the question, why did CBS feel the need to wastes its viewers’ time with this ridiculous story in the first place?   

The biased segment was brought to viewers by Olay, Colgate, and Toyota.

Here is a full transcript of the July 26 report:

7:36 AM ET

NORAH O’DONNELL: Cell phone video of a confrontation at a border patrol check point is stirring up new controversy in the immigration debate. A California teacher posted this video of border patrol agents detaining her after she refused to say if she was a U.S. citizen. Now the checkpoint was in New Mexico, about 35 miles from the border. The video has many wondering if she was within her rights or had an obligation to comply. Mireya Villarreal is in Los Angeles. Mireya, good morning.

MIREYA VILLARREAL: Well, good morning. Shane Parmely was headed home from vacation with her three children when she asked one of them to start recording. The videos have generated thousands of views on Facebook, but it’s also sparked a debate, a heated debate about immigration rights.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Citizenship Clash; Woman Confronts Border Patrol Agents in Video]

U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENT: Are you United States citizens?

SHANE PARMELY: Are we crossing a border? I’ve never been asked if I’m a citizen before when I’m traveling down the road.

VILLARREAL: When Shane Parmely was stopped at this New Mexico border patrol station, she refused to answer the agent’s questions.

PARMELY: You can ask me, I don’t have to answer. Am I free to go or are you detaining me?

AGENT: You are being detained, ma’am.

VILLARREAL: The middle school teacher says she did it after hearing her Latino friends talk about their experiences at check points.

PARMELY: It made me feel sick to get asked, knowing what my friends have been through. It just made me feel physically ill.

GRETEL RODRIGUEZ [PARMELY’S FRIEND]: They do more than ask that I’m a citizen. They will ask where my kids go to school, they’ll ask what grade they’re in. They’ll ask what type of job I have.

PARMELY: So what’s the grounds? What’s the violation for being detained?

AGENT: You know what? Just for you, here we go. The U.S. Supreme Court.

VILLARREAL: The Supreme Court does allow agents to set up check points within 100 miles of the border and ask questions about citizenship without warrants.

PARMELY: What happens if I refuse to answer your question?

AGENT: You’ll stay here until you answer.

PARMELY: I'm a teacher, I'm on vacation. I've got time.

VICTOR NIEBLAS [IMMIGRATION LAW ATTORNEY]: She had the right to remain silent, she had the right to question why was she being detained.

VILLARREAL: What other avenues can these border patrol agents take to verify citizenship?

NIEBLAS: Well, they need a reasonable suspicion that the individual is either committing a crime or is here unlawfully, and that's difficult to ascertain by someone just saying, “I don’t want to answer a question.”

PARMELY: I’m not answering.

VILLARREAL: On Facebook, some applauded Parmely’s activism. Others criticized her actions. “I am sorry, but you are disrespectful. The Border Patrol is doing a job that must be done.”

PARMELY: There are a lot of criticisms that seem to basically be on this logical fallacy that if you question authority you’re disrespectful, and I disagree.

PARMELY [TO AGENT]: Are we free to go?

AGENT: You’re free to go now. Thank you.

VILLARREAL: Parmely was released after about 90 minutes of being detained without answering the question. Now, Border Patrol said in a statement that they want to make sure that they understand what the immigration status is. They are allowed to detain drivers for a reasonable amount of time in order to verify immigration status. They also said that they treat every individual that comes through those checkpoints with respect and dignity. Gayle?

GAYLE KING: Alright, thank you, Mireya. Well, he did say “thank you” at the end. You know, when you look at the video, I know there’s two sides, but it seems like he was trying to do his job, and she was trying to make a point.  

O’DONNELL: What I didn’t hear from the teacher was what she would suggest he do otherwise. I mean, he’s at a border check point, he’s got to find out if you’re supposed to be in there lawfully or not. How do you do that? Ask the question.

KING: Interesting conversation. Mireya, thank you again.

Roland Martin on MSNBC: Trump a ‘Crackhead When it Comes to Large Crowds’

Appearing on MSNBC’s 11 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday, NewsOne Now host Roland Martin said something so offensive about President Trump that even liberal anchor Stephanie Ruhle had to object. Discussing the President giving an unusually political speech to the Boy Scouts on Monday, Martin launched into a tirade: “Here’s the deal, large rallies for Donald Trump – that’s his crack. He is addicted to it. He is a crackhead when it comes to large crowds.”

Ruhle was forced to interrupt her guest and scold him for his nasty attack: “Hold on. Roland – Roland, hold on a second. Hold on – we’re talking about being respectful. This is the president – ” Martin insisted: “No, no, no, follow me here....follow me, Stephanie – ” Ruhle continued to admonish him: “Hold on a second, no. This is the President of the United States. If you want to say he’s an adrenaline addict, if you want to say this fires him up, fine. You’re not going to say it’s his crack.”

Adjusting his language slightly, Martin ranted: “That’s his fix....When he gets in front of a large crowd, he loses it.” The left-wing commentator proclaimed: “He’s gonna keep doing this, and you sat there and listened to it, and it was horrible....I’m sorry, that was despicable and I would like to respect the President, but can he please respect the office?”

After first lecturing Martin, Ruhle then joined in the harsh criticism: “I’ll tell you, my mother, who voted for President Trump, she herself was disgusted by last night’s speech.” She then noted that the President would be “giving another rally tonight to a huge crowd in Ohio.” Co-anchor Ali Velshi remarked: “He’s going to get a fix tonight.” Ruhle agreed: “He’s certainly going to get a fix.”

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Wrapping up the segment, she reiterated: “Ali, I appreciate the sentiment, but if we’re calling to raise the bar, if we’re calling for respect – ” Velshi interjected: “We’re going to go with a ‘fix.’”

Martin’s offensive statements were brought to viewers by American Express, Trivago, and AARP.

Here is a transcript of the July 25 exchange:

11:49 AM ET

(...)

ALI VELSHI: The organizers of the [Boy Scout] Jamboree sent out a notice to all the various scouts that are going to be there and their leaders and said, “You can help make the President’s visit a success by ensuring that any reaction to the President’s address are, as we state in our Scout Law, friendly and courteous and kind. Please help us ensure that all scouts can enjoy this historical address by making sure your troop members are respectful not only of the President, but of the wide variety of viewpoints held by Scouts and Scouters in the audience tonight.” So the Scouts had instructions about how to be respectful.

This man can make anything political. Right after his inauguration, went to the CIA, a place where respect is paid by presidents to the fallen, unnamed CIA employees who have died, and he made that political.  

ROLAND MARTIN: Here’s the deal, large rallies for Donald Trump – that’s his crack. He is addicted to it. He is a crackhead when it comes to large crowds.  

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Okay.

MARTIN: No, no, no, follow me here.

RUHLE: Hold on. Roland – Roland, hold on a second. Hold on –

MARTIN: No, no, follow me, Stephanie –

RUHLE: Roland, hold on –  

MARTIN: Follow me here.

RUHLE: We’re talking about being respectful. This is the president –

MARTIN: No, I know, but follow me here –  

RUHLE: Hold on a second, no. This is the President of the United States. If you want to say he’s an adrenaline addict, if you want to say this fires him up, fine.

MARTIN: When he stands – no, no, no, follow me here. That’s his fix.

RUHLE: You’re not going to say it’s his crack.

MARTIN: That’s his fix.

RUHLE: Fine.

MARTIN: When he gets in front of a large crowd, he loses it. The CIA, this one here, it doesn’t matter. “Oh, the big win, I won this state. I couldn’t win.” He did not spend the time talking about public service, what you should do for the country. It’s all him, him, him. America would like to see the President of the United States act like it.

And we keep saying, people were saying, “Oh, it’s gonna change him.” No, it's not. We’re six months in and it’s not going to change him. He’s 71 years old. He’s gonna keep doing this, and you sat there and listened to it, and it was horrible. And I had Boy Scouts, people who are now adults, saying, “Is that what you want to hear?”

So here’s the question. Can we trust this President to speak to America’s young? Or is he simply going to trash President Obama, a boy scout, is he gonna trash former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Is he going to sit here and joke about hot people at parties? I’m sorry, that was despicable and I would like to respect the President, but can he please respect the office?

RUHLE: Alright, then, Roland Martin. I’ll tell you, my mother, who voted for President Trump, she herself was disgusted by last night’s speech.

MARTIN: There you go.

RUHLE: He’s giving another rally tonight to a huge crowd in Ohio.

VELSHI: He’s going to get a fix tonight.

RUHLE: He’s certainly going to get a fix.

MARTIN: And watch what happens. That’s his fix.

VELSHI: We’re going to stick with “fix.” Roland, thank you for coming. I do wish you’d come out of your shell a little bit when you come on TV with us.  

MARTIN: I’m trying. I’m trying. I’ll be a little bit more forthright next time.

VELSHI: Alright, Roland.

RUHLE: Ali, I appreciate the sentiment, but if we’re calling to raise the bar, if we’re calling for respect –  

VELSHI: We’re going to go with a “fix.”  

GOP Rep. Calls Out Media ‘Unhealthy Obsession’ With Russia, MSNBC Freaks Out

Appearing on MSNBC’s 11 a.m. ET hour on Friday, Republican North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer called out the “unhealthy obsession” the media have with accusations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, sending co-hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle into full freak-out mode. The liberal anchors dismissed the notion as “nonsense.”

After being grilled by Velshi on unnamed sources claiming that President Trump was looking into whether he could pardon himself with regard to the Russia investigation, Cramer responded: “These distractions are more interesting to the Washington press corps and to the New York press corps than they are to the people in the middle of America or here in North Dakota.” Ruhle asserted: “Congressman, hold on, not necessarily to Ali and I....it’s not the press corps. I would absolutely love to focus on the agenda, sir. The President isn’t.”  

 

 

Cramer pushed back: “Listen, there’s an unhealthy obsession with all things Russian and all things the last election by plenty of people, largely in the press corps.” Velshi was enraged and refused to allow the lawmaker to continue: “I going to interrupt you, sir. It is not an unhealthy obsession. Do you believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?...How is that an unhealthy obsession?”

In reply, Cramer actually cited a recent Media Research Center study detailing the avalanche of Russia coverage featured on CNN’s New Day: “It’s an unhealthy obsession when 90% of a newscast is focused on that when there are plenty of other things going on.”

Despite Cramer not saying anything about MSNBC’s coverage specifically, Velshi was extremely defensive:

Sir, have you ever watched what we do?...Have you watched what we do? You know what Stephanie and I concentrate on, on a daily basis? We talk about tax reform, we talk about health care. Sir, you’re issuing Republican talking points right now. Can we have a conversation just from a legislator to journalists right now? Can we do that?

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While it’s true that Velshi and Ruhle do take breaks from their Russia coverage to attack the Trump administration and Republicans on a whole host of other issues, the ongoing investigation is undisputedly a favorite topic of conversation on MSNBC. In fact, back in May, Velshi warned viewers: “It certainly feels like we’re in the opening stages of a devastating political chapter in American history. Evidence is mounting for the President’s meddling in the Russia probe.”

In March, he entertained left-wing Congresswoman Maxine Waters ranting that she wanted Trump to be impeached over the Russia allegations.

Minutes later in the contentious Friday exchange, Velshi made a point to blast Cramer one more time:

I’m going to ask our producers, Congressman, to send you links to all of the stuff that Stephanie and I have done on health care, on infrastructure, on American-made...minimum wage, on economic growth, please. So that you don’t go on anybody else’s TV and spout this nonsense about how the media is obsessed with Russia. We talk about a lot of stuff.

The biased interview was brought to viewers by Geico, Tylenol, and Joseph A. Bank.

Here are excerpts of the July 21 segment:

11:21 AM ET

ALI VELSHI: We're back with more reports today that President Trump may be looking for ways to undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. And also, that the President is exploring his pardon powers.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Focusing on that again, lost opportunity, how about the agenda? Joining us live now, Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, he is a member of the House Energy and Commerce committee. Congressman, that’s exactly what I want to start with, opportunity lost. President Trump asking about his power to pardon aides, family members, and even himself, aiming to discredit Robert Mueller. You’re a congressman, a Republican congressman with a Republican president, with an agenda you’d love to get to, and this is what your president is focused on.

KEVIN CRAMER [R-ND]: Well, first of all, let’s be clear that we’re talking about, once again, that famous source of The Washington Post named “unnamed.” And so, until such time as there’s a legitimate source or evidence, we’re talking about a rumor. That said –

VELSHI: Well, we’re not, sir. With respect to the President talking to The New York Times, he said it to The New York Times, he talked about Robert Mueller not crossing red lines, he talked about Jeff Sessions not – I mean, come on, we’re not making this up sir, let’s assume –

CRAMER: No, but you’re talking about pardon –

RUHLE: So in that New York Times

CRAMER: You're talking about –

VELSHI: Go ahead, sir.

CRAMER: But the pardon, the issue of the pardon is a rumor and it’s been denied by his counsel.

(...)

CRAMER: These distractions are more interesting to the Washington press corps and to the New York press corps than they are to the people in the middle of America...

RUHLE: Actually, Congressman –

CRAMER: ...or here in North Dakota.

RUHLE: Congressman, hold on, not necessarily to Ali and I. And in that interview that President Trump did with The New York Times, he had ample opportunity to discuss infrastructure, health care, tax reform, and he didn't. He chose to dig into attacking Jeff Sessions. And when he discussed health care, he was absolutely wrong in discussing, “Well, you pay $12 a year and then when you’re 70 you should have something.” That’s just categorically untrue. So it’s not the press corps. I would absolutely love to focus on the agenda, sir. The President isn’t.

CRAMER: Listen, there’s an unhealthy obsession with all things Russian and all things the last election by plenty of people, largely in the press corps.

VELSHI: Representative, sir, with all due –

CRAMER: And you’re right, there are times –

VELSHI: I going to interrupt you, sir. It is not an unhealthy obsession. Do you believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?

CRAMER: I think Russia has attempted to interfere in several elections over the last several decades in many countries.

VELSHI: How is that an unhealthy obsession?

CRAMER: It’s an unhealthy obsession when 90% of a newscast is focused on that when there are plenty of other things going on. That said –  

VELSHI: Sir, have you ever watched what we do?

CRAMER: That said, we continue to do our job –

VELSHI: Have you watched what we do? You know what Stephanie and I concentrate on, on a daily basis? We talk about tax reform, we talk about health care. Sir, you’re issuing Republican talking points right now. Can we have a conversation just from a legislator to journalists right now? Can we do that?  

CRAMER: Sure, we can. In fairness to you, I don’t see a lot of TV in the afternoon. I do watch Morning Joe in the morning. However, there are a lot of good things going on. And you're right, the President’s focused a lot on the other issues the other day. My advice to him would be don’t call in The New York Times for interviews when you’re having a theme week on American Made. To me that’s a great theme. The week before, couple weeks before, the energy theme was a very good theme, good for north Dakota, good for much of America. I think there’s a lot of great things to be talking about and that I wish we were spending more time talking about. And I applaud Ali and Stephanie for doing exactly that on your show. I wish more did.

(...)

VELSHI: I’m going to ask our producers, Congressman, to send you links to all of the stuff that Stephanie and I have done on health care, on infrastructure, on American-made –

RUHLE: On minimum wage.

VELSHI: Minimum wage, on economic growth, please. So that you don’t go on anybody else’s TV and spout this nonsense about how the media is obsessed with Russia. We talk about a lot of stuff.

(...)

Andrea Mitchell ‘Can’t Think Of’ Showing Any Bias, Maybe ‘Too Aggressive’ on Hillary

During an interview with fashion magazine Womens’s Wear Daily on Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell was asked: “Do you feel that you’ve ever gone too far where you’ve shown bias in your reporting?” The reliably liberal reporter struggled to recall any examples: “Everything is subjective to a certain extent. Let me think about that. I’m sure there have been times where I have – either through not enough reporting or through some sort of incipient opinion – let something creep in. I can’t think of it.”

Still scratching her head to think of a single instance of bias in her long career of acting as a Democratic Party mouthpiece, Mitchell finally thought of something: “I know some of the candidates that I’ve covered might think I’ve been too aggressive. I know that Hillary Clinton didn’t like being asked a lot of the questions she got asked on rope lines...”

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What?! The only regret the Hillary Clinton superfan can think of is that she may have been too tough on Hillary Clinton?!

The magazine’s Alexandra Steigard began the glowing profile of Mitchell’s 50 years in journalism by fawning: “Mitchell, 70, is petite and unassuming as she sips on a cup of coffee – a staple in her diet, along with peanut M&Ms and bananas. Her producers, many of whom are less than half her age, are confounded by Mitchell’s seemingly unwavering energy and passion.”

She continued to gush:

At NBC and sister station MSNBC, Mitchell is a legend for her drive to relentlessly chase down taciturn political types and demand answers, shouting out questions on any occasion without any shame....But Mitchell’s reputation for being an aggressive, at times pushy, never-take-no-for-an-answer spitfire of a reporter contradicts the journalist’s polite, soft-spoken and thoughtful demeanor.

In one of the first questions to Mitchell, Steigard fretted: “What is the impact of the Trump administration’s obfuscation of the truth on the office of the president and on journalism?” Mitchell scolded: “I think it diminishes and demeans the presidency. It affects the credibility of the White House as well as the way people view our institutions, and that includes the media.”

The veteran NBC correspondent worried:

He’s got a big megaphone, as do his spokespeople, and so when they say we are fake news, a lot of people are going to believe that. The media are not held in high regard. We know how bad our polling is, so we have to be very, very careful about always fact-checking ourselves, going through our processes, making sure that we don’t make mistakes, because they will seize on any mistake. We owe it to our viewers, and the print people owe it to their readers online.     

Steigard eagerly asked: “What do you think has to happen for the Republicans to turn on Trump?” Mitchell predicted: “If they begin to see more events like these emails from Don Jr., which were pretty shocking to the President’s own party, you’re going to start seeing more and more people bail. But party loyalty is on the cusp; it’s wavering.”

MSNBC’s Ruhle Giddy Over Elizabeth Warren Giving Trump a ‘F’ Grade

In a fawning softball interview with Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren during Thursday’s 9 a.m. ET hour, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle was thrilled that the left-wing lawmaker had issued President Trump a failing grade in a partisan “report card” marking his six months in the White House.

Opening the segment, Ruhle gushed: “Wonder if the White House is celebrating? Today marks the end of the first six months of the Trump presidency and this morning there’s a new report card out that shows he has fallen far short in fulfilling one of his key promises from the campaign – draining the swamp in Washington.”

 

 

Turning to Warren, Ruhle was eager to tee up the liberal idol to blast the President: “You’ve given him an ‘F.’ Well, at least it wasn’t an ‘F-,’ and you found that his administration and his transition team has included 193 lobbyists and corporate insiders. Can you put that in context for me in terms of his entire administration and how that’s impacted policies?” Warren ranted: “So, look, Washington works great right now for giant corporations....This matters to people on a day by day by day basis that Donald Trump has put the corporate lobbyists in charge of running our government.”

Warren hardly had to recite her talking points as Ruhle did the work for her, fretting: “Unfortunately, report cards can get slid under beds, in the back of draws. What can actually be done?” The anchor further worried about pictures of Trump signing executive orders with corporate executives standing by:

...he has a CEO like Andrew Liveres of Dow Chemical standing next to him and he says maybe we should call this the Dow bill. You know, pesticides that companies like Dow Chemical make, dangerous pesticides. Well maybe they’re suddenly going to be legal again. Or Steve Schwarzman, a CEO adviser from Blackstone, joining President Trump on that trip to Saudi Arabia, where Blackstone also raised a cool $40 billion in permanent capital from the Saudi family.

Ruhle warned: “These are not just anecdotes, these are bad things. What can be done about them?”

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Warren declared that she was “trying to wave the flag” with her nasty hit piece on Trump: “...try to get the word out....to send it around to everybody that we can because it is only when the voices of the people are heard that we’re going to be able to fight back against this.”

Of course, MSNBC was only too happy to oblige.

Ruhle did briefly point out Warren’s obvious bias: “Most people would not be surprised that you gave the President an ‘F.’ What do you say to those who say, ‘Great, Elizabeth Warren, this is just a partisan argument, we’ve heard it, you’re anti-Trump’? What do you say to them?” Warren predictably stood by her slanted report.

Wrapping up the friendly exchange, Ruhle once again applauded Warren’s attack: “Alright, Senator Warren, doing the thing none of us ever want, sending President Trump back to summer school after this report card. Nobody wants an ‘F’ in July. And after six months in office, that’s what you’ve given him. Thank you so much for joining me.”

During the lengthy segment, Ruhle also used the President’s recent critical comments about Attorney General Jeff Sessions to urge Warren to bash the Justice Department head:

I’ve gotta ask you about President Trump’s comments about his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, yesterday....What do you make of this? And for you, is it almost a gift that President Trump continues to muddy the waters and never get to an agenda?...if you opposed Jeff Sessions before, he then recused himself, and now it sure sounds like Donald Trump wants him out. Do you want Jeff Sessions to quit?

Warren responded: “Oh, I’d be very glad for Jeff Sessions to quit....There are many reasons for Jeff Sessions not to be attorney general.” Ruhle cautioned: “But do you think President Trump’s next pick would be better than Jeff Sessions?” Warren replied: “Well, we can have that fight. But Jeff Sessions, in major areas, is trying to pull us in the wrong direction.”

The biased interview was brought to viewers by Behr Paint, Listerine, and Joseph A. Bank.

Here is a transcript of Ruhle’s questions to Warren during the July 20 segment:

9:29 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Wonder if the White House is celebrating? Today marks the end of the first six months of the Trump presidency and this morning there’s a new report card out that shows he has fallen far short in fulfilling one of his key promises from the campaign – draining the swamp in Washington. Joining me now is one of the authors of that report card. Man, a report card in the summer? Nobody wants one of those. Massachusetts Senator, Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

(...)

RUHLE: Well, let’s talk about you and the report card you have been working on over the last few weeks. You put together this report card on President Trump’s efforts to drain the swamp in Washington. He talked so much about it, speeches he gave about the Goldman Sachs partners that Hillary Clinton would be lining the halls of the White House with, and mind you, the President has done so. You’ve given him an “F.” Well, at least it wasn’t an “F-,” and you found that his administration and his transition team has included 193 lobbyists and corporate insiders. Can you put that in context for me in terms of his entire administration and how that’s impacted policies?

ELIZABETH WARREN:  So, look, Washington works great right now for giant corporations.

(...)

WARREN: This matters to people on a day by day by day basis that Donald Trump has put the corporate lobbyists in charge of running our government.

RUHLE: Unfortunately, report cards can get slid under beds, in the back of draws. What can actually be done? When I think about some of those photographs I’ve seen with President Trump signing executive orders, well, he has a CEO like Andrew Liveres of Dow Chemical standing next to him and he says maybe we should call this the Dow bill. You know, pesticides that companies like Dow Chemical make, dangerous pesticides. Well maybe they’re suddenly going to be legal again. Or Steve Schwarzman, a CEO adviser from Blackstone, joining President Trump on that trip to Saudi Arabia, where Blackstone also raised a cool $40 billion in permanent capital from the Saudi family. These are not just anecdotes, these are bad things. What can be done about them?

WARREN: So, look, the first thing we try to do is to get some accountability, and that’s why Senator Whitehouse and I put this report together, is to try to say here’s what’s happening. It’s one more example, just as others have done, of trying to wave the flag, of trying to make it clear what’s going on, because that is the first step at accountability.

The second step is too to try to get the word out, I posted this on my website, I know that Senator Whitehouse will be doing the same, to send it around to everybody that we can because it is only when the voices of the people are heard that we’re going to be able to fight back against this.

I believe in accountability for government. But right now what that’s going to take is it’s going to take people all across the country, it’s going take grassroots saying, “Wait a minute, I see what you’re doing, Donald Trump, and it’s not okay with me.” That’s our first step.

RUHLE: Most people would not be surprised that you gave the President an “F.” What do you say to those who say, “Great, Elizabeth Warren, this is just a partisan argument, we’ve heard it, you’re anti-Trump”? What do you say to them?

(...)

RUHLE: The American people also want solutions. You have been anti-Trump, you’ve been opposed to the Republicans’ health care efforts. But President Trump says, for example, in health care, single payer, which is something that you have pushed for, will bankrupt America. Do you believe it’s a resolution that could help America?

(...)

RUHLE: I’ve gotta ask you about President Trump’s comments about his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, yesterday. Telling The New York Times, “Sessions never should have recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.” What do you make of this? And for you, is it almost a gift that President Trump continues to muddy the waters and never get to an agenda?

(...)

RUHLE: Then before we go, if you opposed Jeff Sessions before, he then recused himself, and now it sure sounds like Donald Trump wants him out. Do you want Jeff Sessions to quit?

WARREN: Oh, I’d be very glad for Jeff Sessions to quit and to get someone else in as Attorney General of the United States. I believe very firmly that Jeff Sessions should not be the number-one lawmaker in America. He is right now the one who is responsible for enforcing our laws, and his views on many of those laws, I think, head us in the wrong direction. On civil rights, on drugs, on private prisons. There are many reasons for Jeff Sessions not to be attorney general.

RUHLE: But do you think President Trump’s next pick would be better than Jeff Sessions?

WARREN: Well, we can have that fight. But Jeff Sessions, in major areas, is trying to pull us in the wrong direction.

RUHLE: Alright, Senator Warren, doing the thing none of us ever want, sending President Trump back to summer school after this report card. Nobody wants an “F” in July. And after six months in office, that’s what you’ve given him. Thank you so much for joining me.

WARREN: Take care.

RUHLE: Take care.

Nets Hype ‘Another Russia Controversy’ Over Trump’s ‘Startling’ Chat With Putin

“Too cozy,” “controversy,” “striking,” “crisis,” “starling,” those were just of the hyperbolic terms thrown around on Wednesday’s network morning shows as hosts and correspondents panicked over news that President Trump had a casual after-dinner conversation with Vladimir Putin surrounded by dozens of other world leaders at the G20 Summit earlier this month.

The Today show led the way in promoting the media hysteria, devoting over seven minutes of air time to the topic. Co-host Savannah Guthrie opened the show by proclaiming: “Breaking overnight, too cozy for comfort? News that the President had a second encounter with Russian president Vladimir Putin....So what was discussed and why did the White House seem to keep it under wraps?”

Moments later, she introduced a full report on the manufactured scandal by declaring: “Let us start with yet another Russia controversy for President Trump.” Using nearly identical phrasing, correspondent Kristen Welker followed: “...it’s creating yet another Russia-related flap for this administration....a striking new revelation.”

An on-screen graphic misled viewers by claiming that it was “private conversation.” In reality, it took place at G20 banquet table filled with other world leaders.

Despite the screaming headlines, during a discussion after Welker’s report, Guthrie skeptically wondered:

And let me just be devil’s advocate because this is one of those occasions where there’s a lot of heat around this second encounter that the President had with Vladimir Putin and a lot of people watching might be thinking, what’s the big deal? It’s a social dinner, there’s all these world leaders around. You know, why all the fuss? Why all of the storm and fury?

Grasping at straws, Barack Obama’s former Russia Ambassador Michael McFaul argued that Trump/Putin chat was bad manners:

What’s strange about this particular meeting, to the best of our knowledge, is the reporting that we’ve seen, is that he just focused on one leader for an hour. You know, that’s not a good form at a dinner party, right? You need to work the room. You shouldn’t just focus on one. How about a little time with the host, for instance, Angela Merkel, our closest ally.

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Turning back to her hand-wringing over the sit-down, Guthrie sarcastically asked: “Would Putin have likely confined the chat to like vacation homes and kids?...Or do you think he would have had a policy agenda?” McFaul replied: “No....He is not a big chit-chat guy. He’s not just there for small talk, he’s going to take advantage of the situation to push his agenda, which in this case is concessions from the United States, things like lifting sanctions.”

Despite the refusal to accept an innocent explanation of the Trump/Putin conversation, the Today show actually ignored a highly suspicious meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch during the 2016 campaign. A meeting which both parties excused as just being about grandkids and vacation plans.

Fill-in co-host Willie Geist turned to MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace and remarked: “Let’s say for argument’s sake this was an innocuous meeting....But when it comes to Russia, you would think at this point they would learn that he should just put everything out there.”

Wallace ranted:

Yeah, they find themselves sort of trapped either between willful obliviousness or defiance to accept their reality. And their political reality is that there is a cloud of suspicion over this White House about suspected, alleged, some would argue now known attempts to collude with the Russian government to tip the election in this president’s favor, based on the e-mail chain between Don Jr. that surfaced about a week ago.

She later added: “I mean, social gatherings are usually – there’s usually not a lot of risk for any sort of public relations fiasco. So this is another example of a self-inflicted PR crisis on behalf of this team.”

CBS This Morning devoted over four minutes to the story, with co-host Charlie Rose opening the show by breathlessly announcing: “The White House confirms President Trump had a second undisclosed meeting with Russian President Putin at this month’s G20 Summit. They reportedly spoke for nearly an hour with no other U.S. officials involved.”

In a report minutes later, correspondent Major Garrett sounded the alarm:

Everything about this meeting is different and in some startling ways. No White House aide or national security adviser was present. Translation, typically the work of both countries, was provided solely by the Russians. It appears there's no recording or no notes were take oven this conversation and quite obviously the White House felt no need to disclose it to the White House reporters traveling with the President at the G-20.

However, similar to Guthrie, Rose seemed to doubt the importance of the news during a later interview with foreign policy expert Richard Haass: “How do we assess the fact that the President gets up, walks over, and sits next to Vladimir Putin and has a conversation in a room that they’ve been having dinner?”

Haass replied: “The fact that this meeting, he went into without talking points, without his own interpreter, without a note-taker, after not having a NSC official also in the other meeting.” Rose pushed back: “But you’re saying ‘meeting.’ I mean, he just went over to talk to him. They talked for an hour, but in full view of everybody.”

Haass fretted: “I mean, an hour’s a long time. You can get a lot done in an hour....we’re uncomfortable because we don’t know what his agenda is here.”

Unlike their CBS and NBC colleagues, ABC’s Good Morning America only spent a little over a minute on the Trump-Putin conversation. Co-host George Stephanopoulos asked correspondent Cecilia Vega: “...the President is facing new questions now about that second meeting he had with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. One report said it lasted up to an hour at that dinner. And the White House had not disclosed this previously.” Vega explained: “Yeah, we just learned about this meeting yesterday...”

News of the meeting was actually reported by BuzzFeed on July 8, the day after it happened. None the networks noticed it at the time.

Vega noted Trump’s reaction to the media frenzy: “The President is tweeting about this, this morning, calling this story ‘sick,’ saying, ‘Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!’” In response, she worried: “But George, here’s the deal, we may never know what really happened inside this dinner. It was the President, there were no other aides inside this dinner at the G20.”

Here are excerpts of the coverage on the July 19 NBC, CBS, and ABC morning shows:

Today
7:02 AM ET

GUTHRIE: Let us start with yet another Russia controversy for President Trump. His face-to-face with Vladimir Putin at this month’s G20 was highly scrutinized, everybody knew about that. But now we have learned that that was not their only encounter that day. We’ve got complete coverage. Let’s start with NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Hi, Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Hi, Savannah, good morning to you. That’s right, we are learning that President Trump and President Putin had a second encounter at the G20 Summit earlier this month. Now, the White House is pushing back strongly this morning against criticism it should have disclosed that second encounter, by some accounts the meeting lasted an hour. Officials here say it was shorter and merely part of a social gathering. Still, it’s creating yet another Russia-related flap for this administration.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump and Putin’s Private “Conversation”; President Defends Previously Undisclosed G20 Sit-Down]

This morning, a striking new revelation, a White House official telling NBC News President Trump had a previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this dinner held for world leaders at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. According to The Washington Post, citing a senior administration official, Mr. Trump left his seat and sat next to Mr. Putin.

Critics say the undisclosed meeting is unusual, with no American aides to witness it and no official U.S. government summary of that encounter ever released. The only Russian/English interpreter available provided by Putin, as each couple at the dinner was allowed just one translator. The American translator accompanying the President spoke Japanese because Mr. Trump was seated next to the Prime Minister of Japan’s wife. Still, critics pounced.

SEN. CHRIS COONS [D-DE]: A basic failure in terms of national security protocol. There’s only one person who really knows exactly what was said in the course of that conversation now, and it’s the Russian translator.

WELKER: The White House pushing back, noting the President circulated freely and spoke to many leaders, adding, “The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd.” The President himself tweeting late Tuesday, “story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick,’” insisting the “press knew.” The evening exchange happening on the same day the two leaders had their first official meeting, which lasted more than two hours.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:03 AM ET

CHARLIE ROSE: The White House confirms reports that President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke twice during the recent G-20 summit. Only the first meeting was known about at the time.

NORAH O’DONNELL: The second discussion was not revealed until this week. In fact, it first broke on Charlie Rose’s show on PBS. White House says the President spoke to Putin informally at the end of a dinner.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: President Trump had an angry response to the news, tweeting “Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister.” Major Garrett is at the White House following this unfolding story. Major, good morning.

MAJOR GARRETT: Good morning. Everything about this meeting is different and in some startling ways. No White House aide or national security adviser was present. Translation, typically the work of both countries, was provided solely by the Russians. It appears there's no recording or no notes were take oven this conversation and quite obviously the White House felt no need to disclose it to the White House reporters traveling with the President at the G-20.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s an honor to be with you.

GARRETT: The highly anticipated meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month wasn't the only face time between the two world leaders. It turns out there was another conversation hours later at a dinner attended by the G-20 leaders. Video shows Mr. Trump taking his seat across the table from first lady Melania Trump.

Later on, Mr. Trump reportedly left his seat to go speak with Mr. Putin for nearly an hour using Mr. Putin's translator. The White House yesterday was forced to knowledge the previously undisclosed conversation calling it brief and informal, describing claiming that he was trying hide the meeting as “false, malicious and absurd.” Late last night, the President took to Twitter to defend himself, saying, “Fake news story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick.’ All G-20 leaders and spouses were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew.”

(...)


Good Morning America
7:07 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And Cecilia, as we said, this is coming as the President is facing new questions now about that second meeting he had with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. One report said it lasted up to an hour at that dinner. And the White House had not disclosed this previously.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Blasts New Putin Meeting Reports; Undisclosed One-on-One at G20 Summit Raises Questions]

CECILIA VEGA: Yeah, we just learned about this meeting yesterday, George, but the White House is really trying to downplay this one. I’m being told here that this was a very social setting with all the G20 leaders. That at one point during this dinner, the President decided to walk over to see the First Lady to talk to her. She was seated next to Vladimir Putin. The President did this, I’m told, with many other leaders, this wasn’t just specific to Vladimir Putin. That he communicated, however, using Russia’s translator.

The President is tweeting about this, this morning, calling this story “sick,” saying, “Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!” But George, here’s the deal, we may never know what really happened inside this dinner. It was the President, there were no other aides inside this dinner at the G20.

(...)

NBC Gloats: GOP Health Bill Failure a ‘Devastating Blow’ to Trump

On Tuesday, the hosts and correspondents of NBC’s Today could not contain their excitement as they gloated over the failure of the Republican Senate health care bill. “For seven years Republican lawmakers have vowed to overturn ObamaCare, but this morning their latest plan has come to a screeching halt,” proclaimed fill-in co-host Willie Geist.

In the report that followed, correspondent Kristen Welker further hyped the news: “This is a devastating blow to one of the President’s top agenda items and biggest campaign promises – to repeal and replace ObamaCare.” “Now, the White House was caught by surprise after a frenzied push to lock in the votes for the GOP Senate bill,” she added.

The headline on screen throughout the segment blared: “GOP ‘Repeal and Replace’ Bill Collapses; Party Division Leads to Stinging Defeat for President.

Noting the President calling for a straight repeal of ObamaCare, Welker warned: “For now the bill is dead on arrival and the new plan is controversial. Repeal now and replace later, much later.” She concluded: “Republicans privately acknowledge even securing the votes for their fallback plan will be difficult.”

In a discussion following the report, fellow correspondent Kasie Hunt scolded Republicans:

This is really the difference between being a party that’s opposing a president, Barack Obama, in Congress, and having to be the party that governs....And frankly, the repeal-only push came out of a party that was trying to oppose instead of one that was trying to write laws. So I think this is still a very tricky political calculation, trying to only repeal it.

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Geist breathlessly asked: “How shaken is the White House by this development last night?” Welker replied: “Oh, they are shaken and they know this is a risky strategy.”

Arguing that Democrats were supposedly politically immune from the failures of ObamaCare, she declared:

Look, the Republican plan now is to force Democrats back to the table to negotiate over a new health care plan by repealing it. The thinking is that Democrats will feel political pressure to try to make sure people don’t lose their health care all together. But the reality is there’s no indication Democrats will play ball with them.

The reporter then dutifully quoted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to bolster her liberal talking points: “In a statement he said overnight, ‘Rather than repeating the same failed partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets, and improves our health care system.’”

“Now, of course, this all underscores the political risk for Republicans. If they can’t get Democrats on board with their new plan, the GOP could really pay for this in the midterm elections by losing seats,” she predicted.

Hunt touted how Democrats would be happy to do nothing:

I think if there is a very visible failure, if Republicans fail to push forward a plan, then you may see a situation where Democrats work with them to try to make basically a smaller fix to those individual ObamaCare markets....But I think we are still a ways away from that if you still see President Trump looking for a victory. I do not think there’s any way Democrats will try to help him out with that.

The biased coverage was brought to viewers by Toyota, Ford, and Walmart.

Here is a full transcript of the July 18 panel discussion:

7:04 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: I want to keep this conversation going but bring in NBC’s Kasie Hunt, who covers Capitol Hill for us. And Kasie, to you, let’s pick up right where Kristen [Welker] left off, are there the votes for this “repeal now, replace later” idea? And is there any reason to think this gets easier with time?

KASIE HUNT: I'm not sure that there’s a reason to think it does get easier with time. The reality here is they set out down this repeal and replace plan originally because leadership knew that they didn’t have support to just do a straight repeal. This is really the difference between being a party that’s opposing a president, Barack Obama, in Congress, and having to be the party that governs. And you’ve actually had some senators out at home at town hall meetings acknowledge that up front, say, “Hey, it’s a lot harder to govern than we thought.” And frankly, the repeal-only push came out of a party that was trying to oppose instead of one that was trying to write laws. So I think this is still a very tricky political calculation, trying to only repeal it.

WILLIE GEIST: Kristen, repeal and replace obviously was a core promise of the Trump campaign. Over the course of about two years now, we’ve been hearing it also from Republicans in the House and the Senate. Now yesterday, as you point out in your tweet, the President changing to, “Well, let’s at least repeal this thing and then we’ll work with Democrats to replace it later.” How shaken is the White House by this development last night?

KRISTEN WELKER: Oh, they are shaken and they know this is a risky strategy. Look, the Republican plan now is to force Democrats back to the table to negotiate over a new health care plan by repealing it. The thinking is that Democrats will feel political pressure to try to make sure people don’t lose their health care all together. But the reality is there’s no indication Democrats will play ball with them.

In fact, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pushing Republicans to start negotiating now to improve ObamaCare. In a statement he said overnight, “Rather than repeating the same failed partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets, and improves our health care system.”

Now, of course, this all underscores the political risk for Republicans. If they can’t get Democrats on board with their new plan, the GOP could really pay for this in the midterm elections by losing seats, Willie.

GUTHRIE: And let me take that hot potato and kick it back to Kasie on that. I mean, what do you hear on the Hill, would Democrats be willing to get together with Republicans and try to do something if it’s in the name of replacing ObamaCare?

HUNT: I think that if the frame on this is, “We have repealed President Obama’s health care law, we’re trying to replace it with something better,” I don’t know that Democrats are going to go for that. And look, the politics of health care have gotten so calcified, both sides are way down in their trenches, you right now have it set up as TrumpCare on the one hand versus ObamaCare on the other.

I think if there is a very visible failure, if Republicans fail to push forward a plan, then you may see a situation where Democrats work with them to try to make basically a smaller fix to those individual ObamaCare markets that we’ve talked so much about, the ones where many states only have one plan, for example. But I think we are still a ways away from that if you still see President Trump looking for a victory. I do not think there’s any way Democrats will try to help him out with that.

GUTHRIE: Alright, our team on Capitol Hill and at the White House on this breaking development. Ladies, thank you very much.

GEIST: Thanks guys.

Geist Gushes Over Gore: Skips ‘Inconvenient’ Fact Check of Climate Claims

In a fawning two-part interview with former Vice President Al Gore on Monday’s NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist sympathized with the Democrat’s alarmist environmental crusade and promoted his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. However, absent from the conversation was any mention of the numerous errors, inaccuracies, and false predictions made in Gore’s first documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

When Geist first sat down with Gore for the live exclusive in the 7 a.m. half hour, the Sunday Today anchor and Morning Joe regular teed up the partisan politician to blast the Trump administration: “...you were open-minded the day after Donald Trump was elected president. In fact, you went to Trump Tower and met with him in December to talk about climate change. You had hope that maybe he could be helpful on that issue....How’s he doing?”

Gore predictably ranted: “Well, our country’s going through a challenging time for sure. We’ve never had a president who’s deliberately made decisions the effect of which is to tear down America’s standing in the world, starting with his withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

Geist wondered: “When you sat in that room with him in December at Trump Tower, did you feel in any way like you may have persuaded him on the issue of climate change?” Gore lamented: “I hoped that he would come to his senses on the Paris Agreement, but I was wrong.”

Back during the 2016 campaign, correspondent Anne Thompson fretted to Gore about the “threat” that a President Trump would pose to the “progress” supposedly made by Barack Obama: “Do you see a Trump presidency undoing all the progress that the U.S. has made in the last ten years in the fight against climate change?”

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In part two of his softball exchange with Gore later on the Monday morning show, Geist sympathetically asked:

You know, as I was watching the film yesterday, I noticed two or three times you made a point of saying over the last decade you’ve been frustrated. At one point you said you viewed it almost as a personal failure that more hadn’t been done about climate change. What did you mean by that?

Gore bitterly lashed out: “Well, the large carbon polluters have used the playbook from the tobacco companies years ago by putting out false information, trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.” Geist worried: “Why is this issue historically been so difficult to sink in with people? You had over the years it be – you know, it’s behind health care and terrorism and jobs and all the things people worry about.”

Gore pushed conspiracy theories: “...the continuing climate denial, such as it is, is intentionally created by the large carbon polluters trying to squeeze more profits out of their business plan no matter the consequences.”  

In reality, Gore was one who tried to “pull the wool over people’s eyes” with several inaccuracies and outlandish predictions in An Inconvenient Truth.

Rather thanpoint to any those specific falsities the first documentary, Geist only vaguely referred to complaints from anonymous “critics”:

You open the movie with the voices of your critics, I thought that was an interesting way to open the movie, and you just touched on it be a minute ago, there are people who watch An Inconvenient Truth and hear you say, “In the next decade we’ll reach the point of no return. We'll be at the tipping point, the environment will be lost to us.” Your critics now say here we are 10, 11 years after that and the environment is not lost, it is getting warmer, but we’re doing okay. What do you say to your critics?  

Gore dismissed such voices:

Well, regrettably some damage has been done. Major sections of Antarctica have now passed a point beyond which some huge additional sea level rise is inevitable. And we’re now seeing these incredible downpours. This city was inundated during SuperStorm Sandy, as the movie a decade ago predicted, and it happened years beforehand. But the other big change that I mentioned is giving us a lot of hope. We just need to push these changes through. They’ll create a better way of life for people across the U.S. and around the world.

The liberal climate activist was forced to actually rewrite his claim from the 2006 film which predicted that ordinary sea level rise alone would cause flooding in parts of Manhattan. He never said anything about an dramatic storm surge from a rare massive storm.

Amid all the climate discussion, Geist also took a moment to ask if Gore had “commiserated” with Hillary Clinton after her election loss:

I’m curious to know, Mr. Vice President, because you were one of only two living people on this planet who can appreciate what it’s like to win the popular vote but to lose the presidential election. Have you spoken to Secretary Clinton since the election, commiserated at all about that?

NBC wasn’t the only friendly forum for Gore, CBS Sunday Morning also offered a glowing profile of the “movie star” and even compared his upcoming big-screen screed to the superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman.

The biased segments were brought to viewers by Hyundai, IHOP, and McDonald’s.

Here are excerpts of the two-part July 17 Today show interview:

7:08 AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: Former Vice President Al Gore is with us now. He’s out with a new documentary and book, An Inconvenient Sequel, a follow-up to his Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. We’ll talk about that a bit later. But first, his take on the headlines out of Washington this morning. Mr. Vice President, good to have you with us.

AL GORE: Good morning, Willie.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fmr. VP Al Gore Speaks Out; Talks Trump, Health Care, Gridlock & Climate Change]

GEIST: I couldn’t help but notice as I was reading through your comments over the last several months that you were open-minded the day after Donald Trump was elected president. In fact, you went to Trump Tower and met with him in December to talk about climate change. You had hope that maybe he could be helpful on that issue. This week marks six months since the Trump administration was sworn into office. How’s he doing?

GORE: Well, our country’s going through a challenging time for sure. We’ve never had a president who’s deliberately made decisions the effect of which is to tear down America’s standing in the world, starting with his withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The climate crisis is, by far, the most serious challenge we face. But he’s also undermined our alliances, such as NATO, and hurt our standing in the world in many ways. So it's going to be – the months ahead will be a test for the American people. We’ve got to get through this.

GEIST: When you sat in that room with him in December at Trump Tower, did you feel in any way like you may have persuaded him on the issue of climate change?

GORE: Well, I’ve respected the privacy of the conversations I’ve had with the President. I will say that he was certainly attentive, they were pleasant exchanges, and I hoped that he would come to his senses on the Paris Agreement, but I was wrong.

GEIST: Have you spoken to him since the withdrawal on June 1st?

GORE: No, I have not.

(...)

8:33 AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, showing the growing impact of climate change, won a pair of Oscars, including one for Best Documentary Feature. His work on the issue also earned him a Noble Peace Prize. More than a decade later, Vice President Gore is at it again with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Take a look.  

AL GORE [AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL]: It is right to save the future for humanity! It is wrong to pollute this Earth and destroy the climate balance! It is right to give hope to the future generation! It will not be easy.

GEIST: Vice President Gore, welcome back. Good to see you again.

GORE: Thank you.

GEIST: It’s been ten years since An Inconvenient Truth.

GORE: Yeah.

GEIST: What has changed, both with the environment and the perception of the issue of climate change in that time?

GORE: Well, there have been two big changes, Willie. First of all, the climate-related extreme weather events have become more destructive and a lot more common. Here in the U.S., we’ve had 11 once-in-a-thousand-year downpours just in the last seven years. Secondly, we’ve got the solutions now, and there’s so much hopefulness in this movie. And people can be a part of solving the climate crisis by getting involved. You know, use your voice on this issue. Use your vote on this issue. Use your choices in life. The truth about the climate crisis is still inconvenient for the large carbon polluters, but we all need to be inconvenient for them and actually push the right kind of policies. And it creates more jobs in the process.

GEIST: You know, as I was watching the film yesterday, I noticed two or three times you made a point of saying over the last decade you’ve been frustrated. At one point you said you viewed it almost as a personal failure that more hadn’t been done about climate change. What did you mean by that?

GORE: Well, the large carbon polluters have used the playbook from the tobacco companies years ago by putting out false information, trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. But people are seeing through it now because mother nature has joined the debate. It’s long been virtually unanimous in the scientific community, but now mother nature is pretty persuasive, not only with the downpours and floods and mudslides, but the droughts and the sea level rise. I went to Miami on a sunny day, no rain, and I saw fish from the ocean swimming in the streets in Miami Beach just because it was a high tide.

GEIST: Why is this issue historically been so difficult to sink in with people? You had over the years it be – you know, it’s behind health care and terrorism and jobs and all the things people worry about. Those numbers have gone up, 45% of people in a new Gallup Poll say they do believe climate change is a big issue. Why is it such a tough road to hoe, why do you think?

GORE: Well, in Tennessee there’s an old saying, if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be pretty sure it didn't get there by itself. And the continuing climate denial, such as it is, is intentionally created by the large carbon polluters trying to squeeze more profits out of their business plan no matter the consequences. But there’s also the fact that it’s a global issue, it’s bigger than anything we’ve had to confront in the past. We’ve quadrupled population in less than a century and we still rely on carbon-based fuels for 80% of the world’s energy.

But the good news is solar electricity and wind electricity have come down so quickly in price. In many areas it’s much cheaper than electricity from burning fossil fuels. Now the batteries are coming down in price as well. And efficiency improvements. Solar jobs are now growing in the U.S. 17 times faster than other jobs. We are really seeing a surge in employment in the renewable sector and the things we need to do to solve the climate crisis are things that will boost our sustainable economy as well. But people need to learn about this, I hope they’ll go see this movie. There’s a new book coming out the same day next week, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

GEIST: You open the movie with the voices of your critics, I thought that was an interesting way to open the movie, and you just touched on it be a minute ago, there are people who watch An Inconvenient Truth and hear you say, “In the next decade we’ll reach the point of no return. We'll be at the tipping point, the environment will be lost to us.” Your critics now say here we are 10, 11 years after that and the environment is not lost, it is getting warmer, but we’re doing okay. What do you say to your critics?  

GORE: Well, regrettably some damage has been done. Major sections of Antarctica have now passed a point beyond which some huge additional sea level rise is inevitable. And we’re now seeing these incredible downpours. This city was inundated during SuperStorm Sandy, as the movie a decade ago predicted, and it happened years beforehand. But the other big change that I mentioned is giving us a lot of hope. We just need to push these changes through. They’ll create a better way of life for people across the U.S. and around the world.

GEIST: Alright, Vice President Al Gore, thank you very much. The film is An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, it opens in select theaters on July the 28th, and nationwide on August 4th. Mr. Vice President, it’s been a pleasure.

GORE: Thank you, Willie.

GEIST: Thanks for being here.

NBC Sees ‘Win-Win’ for Putin; Warns Trump May Lie About Meeting

Hours before President Trump sat down for a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Germany on Friday, NBC’s Today had already decided that the sit-down would be a complete failure for the American commander-in-chief and an inevitable victory for the Russian dictator.

At the top of the show, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “It’s on. Two of the most powerful and controversial men in the world, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting one-on-one for the very first time just hours from now.” Minutes later, Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel fretted: “President Trump will have to work hard to avoid falling into any traps....And Russians who’ve tried to stand up to Putin say Trump is being played.”

Champion Russian chess player Garry Gkasparov told the reporter: “He’s definitely playing into Putin’s hands....Trump psychologically, with his massive ego, would be the ideal counterpart.”

Assuming that Trump would be fooled by the autocrat, Engel feared: “Putin has gone out of his way to flatter Trump.... [Putin] has never appeared to like an American president as much as President Trump, which is why so many wonder what he’s up to.”

Wrapping up the report, the worried journalist predicted a win for Putin no matter what:

Analysts say this meeting could end up being a win-win for Vladimir Putin. If nothing comes out of it, Putin can say that Trump is weak, that he’s hamstrung by domestic politics. And if Trump wants to make a deal on almost anything, Putin can say the U.S. had to come to the Kremlin for help.

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In the discussion that followed, Lauer and fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie turned to two former Obama administration officials to further dump on Trump. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul could already imagine what would be said in the meeting:

And my suspicion is his game plan’s going to be pretty simple. “Donald” – maybe he won’t say Donald – but he’ll say, “President Trump, you and I, we can do great things together if you and I work together because we think the same thing. Now, the fake news people, the Deep State” – he’s going to use those phrases, I’ve heard him use those phrases – they’re our enemy. You and I can unite to do big things together.”

Talking to Obama national security official Jeremy Bash, Lauer suggested that any account of the meeting from the President could not be trusted:

...these two guys have something in common, they have a few things in common. One of the things they have in common is, on occasion, they both play fast and loose with the truth. What happens if after this meeting, President Trump comes out and says, “I confronted him on the election meddling,” and Putin goes home and talks to his own people and his own press and says, “Never happened”? Who are we gonna believe?

Bash agreed: “There’s really no way to know exactly what will happen. Unless somebody takes detailed notes, we may never know.”

In a report at the top of broadcast, correspondent Peter Alexander touted: “With President Trump still refusing to fully admit Russia’s role.... A growing number of Democrats are pressing the President to confront Putin about Moscow’s meddling [in the 2016 election], sending this letter arguing not doing so would be a ‘dereliction of duty.’”

Having been given the Democratic Party’s talking points of the day, Lauer and Guthrie made sure to focus the conversation on demands that Trump broach the subject with Putin. “Is it essential – if President Trump wants to say this meeting was a success – is it essential that point blank he confront Vladimir Putin on meddling in the U.S. election?,” Lauer asked Bash. “Absolutely,” Bash replied.

With McFaul, the morning show anchor wondered: “...yesterday, where he said, ‘Yes, I think it was Russia, but nobody really knows for sure,’ hasn’t President Trump boxed himself in? Hasn’t he given Vladimir Putin the perfect response to any accusation?”

Moments later, Lauer followed up: “You said Vladimir Putin will respect President Trump more if President Trump goes right at him and says ‘I know you meddled.’ If he doesn’t bring that up in a direct term, Vladimir Putin will sense weakness.” McFaul declared: “For Trump to not bring it up, that’s a sign of weakness.”

It’s easy for the liberal media to spin a narrative when they don’t actually have to wait until after events happen and can just make up their own biased headlines ahead of time.

The slanted coverage was brought to viewers by LaZboy, Subaru, and Lowe’s.

Here is a full transcript of Engel’s July 7 report:

7:05 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The President has made no secret of his hopes to improve relations with Moscow. But for past presidents, that has not been so easy. Former President Obama’s attempt at a Russian reset largely collapsed. So what is it about the Russian leader that makes him so difficult to deal with? NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel is also in Germany with a look at that part of the story. Richard, good morning.

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Savannah. President Trump will have to work hard to avoid falling into any traps. President Putin is expected to come into this meeting very well prepared and to try to stage manage it so that he looks like the stronger leader.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Putin and the President; Inside Former Spymaster’s Strategy & Stagecraft]

In style and demeanor, Presidents Trump and Putin couldn’t be more different. While Trump wears his emotions on his Twitter feed, Putin, a former KGB colonel, has the ultimate poker face. And Russians who’ve tried to stand up to Putin say Trump is being played.

GARRY GKASPAROV: He’s definitely playing into Putin’s hands.

ENGEL: Garry Gkasparov, a Putin critic and iconic Russian chess grandmaster, says Putin is no strategist, but understands power.

GKASPAROV: Putin’s a dictator. And dictators, by definition, in my view, don’t play chess. So that’s why I believe I have to defend the integrity of my game. I would rather say he’s playing a poker game.

ENGEL: He’s a poker player?

GKASPAROV: He’s a poker player, he’s a card player, he’s a gambler.

ENGEL: A gambler who keys in on his opponents’ weaknesses. Putin has gone out of his way to flatter Trump.

GKASPAROV: Trump psychologically, with his massive ego, would be the ideal counterpart.

ENGEL: Critics say Putin’s Russia is mostly a mafia state and that President Trump should treat it as one. Anti-Putin opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murzsa was poisoned twice. He blames the Kremlin. Do you think a closer relationship between President Trump and Putin puts activists like you in greater danger?

VLADIMIR KARA-MURZSA: The only thing we ask of our colleagues and of political leaders is that they don’t help Mr. Putin. First of all, by treating him as a legitimate partner and as a respected partner on the world stage.

ENGEL: And Putin, the lifetime intelligence agent, has never appeared to like an American president as much as President Trump, which is why so many wonder what he’s up to.

Analysts say this meeting could end up being a win-win for Vladimir Putin. If nothing comes out of it, Putin can say that Trump is weak, that he’s hamstrung by domestic politics. And if Trump wants to make a deal on almost anything, Putin can say the U.S. had to come to the Kremlin for help. Matt, Savannah? Back to you.

GUTHRIE: Richard Engel in Hamburg, Germany, thank you. By the way, tonight Richard’s going to have a lot more on this Trump/Putin meeting and the state of Russia today on MSNBC’s On Assignment. That airs at 9:00 Eastern Time.

Andrea Mitchell Sees Trump Calling Out NBC’s Bias as ‘Badge of Honor’

After sarcastically remarking that it was “refreshing” to hear to President Trump defend freedom of speech in his address to the people of Poland on Thursday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell lamented that “only a few hours earlier at a joint press conference, his first on the world stage, with Poland’s president, Mr. Trump returned to form, slamming the media.”

A clip played of Trump calling out the liberal media during the press event: “They have been fake news for a long time. They’ve been covering me in a very, very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President? What CNN and others – I mean, I know, NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice.”

In response, Mitchell declared that she took the critical comment as a “badge of honor.”

Turning to The Washington Post’s Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus, Mitchell breathlessly fretted: “I mean, here he is standing next to the Polish president, who is trying to crack down on free press, and criticizing the press.” Marcus mocked the conversation between the world leaders: “‘Do you have that problem, too? Yes, I have that problem. Let’s all commiserate about it, the horrors of a free press.’” Mitchell chimed in: “‘Let’s lock ‘em up!’”

While Mitchell feared that Poland’s leader was “trying to crack down on free press,” Politico admitted that “there is something of a tradition of new governments putting their loyalists into top jobs” in the country’s state-run media.

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Marcus praised Trump’s formal remarks in which “he reaffirmed” a “free press,” but warned that “it’s the off-the-cuff remarks that tell us what he means.”

Mitchell was aghast as she turned to left-wing Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart: “I haven’t seen you since the body slam tweet that came out on Sunday. This is just extraordinary. This is the President of the United States and this is seen around the world.” Capehart mourned: “You used the right word – extraordinary. We’re seeing things, reading things, hearing things from a president of the United States we never thought we would hear, we probably thought we should never hear from a president of the United States.”

He worried: “...in that press conference with...the Polish leader, right there you got the real Donald Trump, the off-the-cuff Donald Trump. And the off-the-cuff Donald Trump doesn’t like the free press very much.”

Mitchell made a point of hurling an accusation of sexism as well: “And especially women in the free press, interesting to note – and women leaders, Angela Merkel.”

The biased segment was brought to viewers by Ancestry, AARP, and Panera Bread.

Here is a transcript of the July 6 panel discussion:

12:50 PM ET

DONALD TRUMP: We reward brilliance, we strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, that was refreshing. President Trump in Warsaw praising free speech in his speech today. But only a few hours earlier at a joint press conference, his first on the world stage, with Poland’s president, Mr. Trump returned to form, slamming the media.

TRUMP: They have been fake news for a long time. They’ve been covering me in a very, very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President? What CNN and others – I mean, I know, NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice.

MITCHELL: Badge of honor. Let’s get the inside scoop from Ruth Marcus, Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor and columnist. And Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post opinion writer and MSNBC contributor. I mean, here he is standing next to the Polish president, who is trying to crack down on free press, and criticizing the press.

RUTH MARCUS: “Do you have that problem, too? Yes, I have that problem. Let’s all...

MITCHELL: “Let’s lock ‘em up!”

MARCUS: ...commiserate about it, the horrors of a free press.” There’s a really big difference between what you read in a speech – and it’s good to read things in a speech. So it was good that he reaffirmed, for example, NATO’s role in the speech, in addition to the free press. But there’s a difference between what you read and what you mean. And it’s the off-the-cuff remarks that tell us what he means.

MITCHELL: And, Jonathan, the tweets. I mean, I haven’t seen you since the body slam tweet that came out on Sunday. This is just extraordinary. This is the President of the United States and this is seen around the world.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Right. You used the right word – extraordinary. We’re seeing things, reading things, hearing things from a president of the United States we never thought we would hear, we probably thought we should never hear from a president of the United States. The idea that – yeah, I have to agree with Ruth, it’s one thing for the President to say the words of support of freedom of the press, but in that press conference with the Polish prime minister – the Polish leader, right there you got the real Donald Trump, the off-the-cuff Donald Trump. And the off-the-cuff Donald Trump doesn’t like the free press very much.

MITCHELL: And especially women in the free press, interesting to note – and women leaders, Angela Merkel.

(...)

Wallace: ‘Cloud’ of Russia Will ‘Hang Over’ Trump ‘No Matter Where He Stands’

On Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over how President Trump would handle himself in his upcoming meeting with Russian president and “master manipulator” Vladimir Putin, who “certainly will know how to press the President’s buttons.” MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace had little faith in Trump’s abilities as she ranted: “I think that the White House has successfully lowered the bar so low that if it were any lower it would be underground.”

Wallace derided how the administration was framing the sit-down: “‘Oh, he’s winging it, there’s no agenda.’ I don’t buy that. Obviously they have a plan to exceed expectations, which are less than nothing.” She then proclaimed: “But the fact that he’s going into a meeting as a representative of this country and hasn’t sort of affirmed that he will....poke a finger in Vladimir Putin’s chest and say, ‘Hey, when it comes to our democracy, I've got this, Vlad,’ is disturbing.”

Referencing NBC correspondent Hallie Jackson grilling Trump during a press conference in Poland on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Wallace worried:

I think that the answer to Hallie Jackson’s question was obviously meant to manage expectations, to say that he will take it to Russia a little bit. But the fact that he insists on throwing other people into the mix [on hacking during the election] when we know that simply wasn’t the case continues to be a disturbing sign that this cloud about collusion with Russia will hang over him no matter where he stands.

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Guthrie replied: “And there are so many clouds hanging over the world stage right now: North Korea, Russia, to say nothing of ISIS and terrorism.”

The biased discussion was brought to viewers by Mazda, Walmart, and Nature Valley.

Here are excerpts of the July 6 coverage:

7:04 AM ET

(...)

PETER ALEXANDER: But the trip’s main event will be President Trump’s first ever face-to-face with Vladimir Putin.

DONALD TRUMP: We’re working with Poland in response to Russia’s actions and destabilizing behavior.

ALEXANDER: NBC’s Hallie Jackson asking repeatedly about Moscow’s meddling during the election.

HALLIE JACKSON: Will you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?  

TRUMP: Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people in other countries. Mistakes have been made. I agree, I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows.

JACKSON: And before I get to President Duda, you talk about being angry with President Obama, Mr. President. You talk about –

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [POLISH OFFICIAL]: Dear lady, just two questions! Dear lady, dear lady, two questions! Thank you very much.

ALEXANDER: And that’s how the news conference ended. White House officials have not said yet whether President Trump will raise the issue of Russia’s role in the 2016 election during his conversation with Vladimir Putin tomorrow.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let’s talk about Russia. Obviously Friday is the big meeting with Vladimir Putin, who is known as a master manipulator. I mean, this guy studies up, he knows his subject. He certainly will know how to press the President’s buttons. How should the President prepare for this?

NICOLLE WALLACE: Well, listen, if Donald Trump’s brand is author of Art of the Deal, Vladimir Putin’s brand is former KGB spy master. So I think this is really where the rubber meets the road with everything that Donald Trump thinks he can do to an adversary. Vladimir Putin has already done it and then some.

So I think that the White House has successfully lowered the bar so low that if it were any lower it would be underground. “Oh, he’s winging it, there’s no agenda.” I don’t buy that. Obviously they have a plan to exceed expectations, which are less than nothing. But the fact that he’s going into a meeting as a representative of this country and hasn’t sort of affirmed that he will do what Jeremy Bash describes as poke a finger in Vladimir Putin’s chest and say, “Hey, when it comes to our democracy, I've got this, Vlad,” is disturbing.

And I think that the answer to Hallie Jackson’s question was obviously meant to manage expectations, to say that he will take it to Russia a little bit. But the fact that he insists on throwing other people into the mix when we know that simply wasn’t the case continues to be a disturbing sign that this cloud about collusion with Russia will hang over him no matter where he stands.

GUTHRIE: And there are so many clouds hanging over the world stage right now: North Korea, Russia, to say nothing of ISIS and terrorism.

WALLACE: Right.

(...)

NBC Predicts ‘Tough Trip’ for Trump, ‘Diplomatic Confrontation’

Reporting live from the site of the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons promised that “President Trump faces a tough trip here with some uncomfortable conversations.” The reporter hyped how Trump “does not see eye-to-eye with the German chancellor” and that “all eyes will be on that meeting with President Putin.”

Touting that Putin and Trump “talk about each other often,” Simmons proclaimed: “President Putin hailing Mr. Trump ‘outstanding’ before the election. While Mr. Trump declaring Putin ‘a far better leader than President Obama.’” He then snidely remarked: “The allegations of Russian intervention in the election have rocked the leaders’ early romance.”

Simmons also highlighted left-wing protests planned outside the international meeting: “Adding to the tension, Hamburg is preparing for thousands of demonstrators. Already overnight, protests were met with riot police and water cannon.” Moments later, he piled on: “President Trump will be hoping for cheering crowds when he touches down in Poland late tonight. But the Poles and many European leaders will be pushing him to be tough on Russia.”

Wrapping up the critical segment, Simmons feared: “The question, will President Trump get through the next few days without a diplomatic confrontation?”

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On ABC’s Good Morning America, political analyst Matthew Dowd was so worried about the President’s overseas trip that he actually compared Trump to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, appearing on CBS This Morning, Bianna Goldryga of Yahoo News mocked:

Look, the bar is not very high in the sense that if the President doesn’t give away classified information to the Russians, that’s going to be seen as an achievement. If he doesn’t have these photo-ops where he looks like he’s very cordial and comfortable with Vladimir Putin, that will be an achievement as well.

The biased coverage on NBC’s Today was brought to viewers by McDonald’s, LaZBoy, and Toyota.

Here is a full transcript of the July 5 report from Simmons:

7:08 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Along with North Korea, President Trump’s highly-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will also dominate headlines this week, as the two get set to shake hands for the first time this Friday. NBC’s Keir Simmons is in Hamburg, Germany, where the G20 summit will take place. Keir, good morning to you.

KEIR SIMMONS: Hey, Matt, good morning. President Trump faces a tough trip here with some uncomfortable conversations. As Jeremy [Bash] and Kristen [Welker] mentioned, North Korea will inevitably come up when he meets with the Chinese leader here. He does not see eye-to-eye with the German chancellor, who is hosting the G20. But all eyes will be on that meeting with President Putin. A Kremlin official telling me the details of that meeting on Friday are up in the air.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump’s High-Stakes Trip; President Heads to Europe for G20 & Putin Meetings]

The most anticipated meeting of two world leaders in years. On the agenda, the Russians say, terrorism, Ukraine, and one Kremlin leader emphasizing, breaking the impasse in U.S.-Russia relations. President Trump and President Putin have spoken by phone, but the men talk about each other often. President Putin hailing Mr. Trump “outstanding” before the election. While Mr. Trump declaring Putin “a far better leader than President Obama.”

DONALD TRUMP [JANUARY 11]: If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.  

SIMMONS: The allegations of Russian intervention in the election have rocked the leaders’ early romance. Trump tweeting criticism, accusing President Obama of doing nothing about Russian meddling and expressing the hope that things will work out between the U.S.A. and Russia. Last month, the Russian president spoke with Megyn Kelly and had this to say about his relationship with President Trump.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: We didn’t have any relationship at all. There was a time when he used to come to Moscow. But you know, I never met with him.

SIMMONS: Adding to the tension, Hamburg is preparing for thousands of demonstrators. Already overnight, protests were met with riot police and water cannon. Fears of a clash between the U.S.A. and Russia, perhaps in Syria, will have many hoping for a constructive meeting. President Putin will be prepared. President trump, the self-styled arch negotiator.

TRUMP [FEBRUARY 16]: I love to negotiate things, I do it really well, and all that stuff. But it’s possible I won’t be able to get along with Putin.

SIMMONS: The power dynamics as they shake hands for the first time will be analyzed around the world.

President Trump will be hoping for cheering crowds when he touches down in Poland late tonight. But the Poles and many European leaders will be pushing him to be tough on Russia.

Other items on the G20 agenda: free trade, climate change and migration. The question, will President Trump get through the next few days without a diplomatic confrontation? Matt?  

LAUER: Alright, Keir, thank you very much.

NBC Reporter Accuses Trump of Using Baby Charlie Gard as ‘Political Prop’

The liberal media have refused cover the story of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard in Britain and his parents’ fight in European courts to bring him to the United States for medical treatment. However, after President Trump tweeted out his support for the family on Monday, MSNBC finally found time to cover the topic – if only so their reporter could cynically accuse Trump of “exploiting” the situation.

Minutes after the President posted his statement to social media in the 10 a.m. ET hour, anchor Hallie Jackson informed viewers: “...you may have seen a couple minutes ago President Trump is back on Twitter....he’s talking about a little boy named Charlie Gard, writing, ‘If we can help little Charlie Gard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.’” Acknowledging the lack of press coverage, she asked: “Do you know who Charlie Gard is? Do you this story? NBC’s Matt Bradley does, he’s live in London to break this down.”

After Jackson remarked on how Trump was “wading into this situation,” Bradley explained the child’s difficult medical fight in detail. Following that, he went out of his way to attack the President for daring to speak out on the controversy:

Now depending on how you see this, Hallie, you could either – and depending really on your impressions of Mr. Trump before hand, you could either decide that this is the President selflessly stepping in to help grieving parents who are experiencing a terrible wrenching pain and a baby who has a very rare and very difficult-to-treat illness, or you could decide that this was the President trying to use the grief of two parents and a small baby for political gain and weighing into a situation that is really very much a national and European issue and not one that would expect anything from a United States politician. But again, this just depends on how you look at it.

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Bradley was not done. An hour later, he again appeared on the left-wing cable channel to suggest that Trump was just trying to score political points:

So you can either – depending on your view of President Trump – you can either see this as the President weighing in to help a very sick child and his parents, or a president who’s using a very sick child and his parents as political props to appear as though he’s actually helping, when in reality it would take extraordinary intervention on behalf of the President to go in the face of multiple high courts here in Britain and the European Court of Human Rights.

An hour after that, Bradley was featured once again:

Now you can see President Trump’s tweet as either coming to the defense selflessly of a very, very sick little baby and his parents, or you can see it as the President exploiting a very, very sad situation and two parents who are just simply hard wired to keep their baby alive and will go to any lengths to see that happen.

This nasty smear of the President’s intentions was brought to viewers by Johnson’s, Trivago, and PC Matic.

Here are excerpts of the July 3 coverage:

10:53 AM ET

HALLIE JACKSON: So if you are watching this show and also happen to be on your phone, online, you may have seen a couple minutes ago President Trump is back on Twitter. But he’s not talking about what you might expect, whether it’s the health care situation, whether it’s the media. Instead he’s talking about a little boy named Charlie Gard, writing, “If we can help little Charlie Gard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.” Do you know who Charlie Gard is? Do you this story? NBC’s Matt Bradley does, he’s live in London to break this down. Because, Matt, the President is sort of wading into this situation now that has made a lot of headlines over in the U.K.

MATT BRADLEY: That’s right. This isn’t an issue that you probably would have heard about in the United States, but it was a big one here. There’s been protests and a lot of talk constantly about little baby Charlie Gard. He’s a 10-month-old baby boy who’s been afflicted by a very rare genetic condition...

(...)

BRADLEY: But Charlie’s parents have not been giving up and they’ve been fighting a legal battle against the National Health Service and the government and the doctors who are caring for baby Charlie for the past several months. And now they had an offer to go to the United States where a doctor was going to give them experimental treatment. But Charlie’s parents managed to raise 1.3 million British pounds to care for the child and to bring him to the United States. And just today – just recently, just in the past couple of days, the European High Court of Human Rights decided that they were going to side with the doctors and with the British government and forbid Charlie’s two parents, who are in their mid-30s, from taking their child to the United States to receive experimental treatment. They decided that this would only be extending the agony of baby Charlie.

And so, the two parents have now been hearing from world leaders. Now the Pope just today weighed in and said that Charlie Gard’s parents should be allowed to, quote, “accompany and treat their child until the end.” And then just moments ago we heard from Donald Trump, he weighed in. And he offered to help these children.

Now depending on how you see this, Hallie, you could either – and depending really on your impressions of Mr. Trump before hand, you could either decide that this is the President selflessly stepping in to help grieving parents who are experiencing a terrible wrenching paper and a baby who has a very rare and very difficult to treat illness, or you could decide that this was the President trying to use the grief of two parents and a small baby for political gain and weighing into a situation that is really very much a national and European issue and not one that would expect anything from a United States politician. But again, this just depends on how you look at it.

(...)

11:35 AM ET

BRADLEY: So you can either – depending on your view of President Trump – you can either see this as the President weighing in to help a very sick child and his parents, or a president who’s using a very sick child and his parents as political props to appear as though he’s actually helping, when in reality it would take extraordinary intervention on behalf of the President to go in the face of multiple high courts here in Britain and the European Court of Human Rights.

(...)

12:26 PM ET

BRADLEY: Now you can see President Trump’s tweet as either coming to the defense selflessly of a very, very sick little baby and his parents, or you can see it as the President exploiting a very, very sad situation and two parents who are just simply hard wired to keep their baby alive and will go to any lengths to see that happen.

(...)

Nets Freak Out Over Trump Tweet, Only CBS Notes CNN Fake News Scandal

Just like clockwork Monday morning, all three network morning shows had a collective freak out over President Trump tweeting out over the weekend a doctored clip of him wrestling “CNN” to ground created out of an old WWE appearance he did years ago. Anchors and correspondents were indignant as they breathlessly hyped the social media controversy. Only CBC bothered to mention the context of the President’s criticism of the cable channel.

At the top of NBC’s Today, fill-in co-host Craig Melvin proclaimed: “Twitter Smackdown. President Trump under fire for another tweet going after the media. Sharing this video, slamming CNN.” In a report minutes later, correspondent Hallie Jackson declared: “This morning, a fake fight with what the President calls a fake news network generating real controversy for the commander-in-chief.”

 

 

Jackson then touted: “A spokesperson for the cable network saying, ‘It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters’...”

In a discussion that followed the report, Melvin and fellow substitute co-host Sheinelle Jones turned to political analyst Elise Jordan for reaction. Jordan scolded:

This is really his favorite Twitter activity, media criticism. And it’s a great punching bag for him, the media’s approval rating is hovering below his, so this is a battle that – this is a fight he wants to pick....he’s not that engaged on policy, he would rather be engaging in media spats on Twitter.

It should be noted that Jordan recently compared the President to a “suicide bomber,” so perhaps she’s not the best person for NBC to turn to when fretting over heated rhetoric.

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Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Amy Robach feared: “President Trump doubles down on his attack on the media, tweeting this WWE clip. Outrage from members of his own party, saying he’s demeaning the office of the presidency. Others saying it could incite violence.”

One those supposed “Republicans” who was cited by correspondent David Kerley in the later report was political strategist Ana Navarro decrying: “The President of the United States is inciting violence against the free press.” The reporter forgot to mention that Navarro endorsed and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

He went on to announce: “Elected Republicans quickly denouncing the President’s attack on journalists and the First Amendment.”

Like his NBC colleague, Kerley also cited how “CNN, the subject of the altered video, said in a statement the President is involved in, quote, ‘juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office.’”

Joining NBC and ABC, CBS This Morning began with fill-in co-host Reena Ninan sensationalizing: “President Trump tweets a video of him literally bashing the media...” “Mr. Trump spent much of the weekend lashing out at the media, including a tweeted video that outraged many of his critics,” she added while introducing a report on the topic minutes later.

Correspondent Chip Reid highlighted: “In response, CNN called it ‘a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters. He is involved in juvenile behavior, far below the dignity of his office.’”

However, to his credit, Reid did something that his fellow journalists did not do, he actually noted CNN’s recent retraction of a story that turned out to be fake news: “The President ramped up his feud against CNN after a couple of major mistakes by the network last week, including a story about Mr. Trump that was later retracted, causing three reporters to resign.”

The biased reporting across the broadcast networks was brought to viewers by State Farm, Febreeze, and JC Penny.  

Here are excerpts of the hyperbolic coverage on all three morning shows:

Today
7:02 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: President Trump setting off some fireworks of his own this Fourth of July weekend. On Sunday, the President posted this video to his Twitter account that shows him wrestling a figure with the CNN logo on it. He’s been ramping up his attacks against the media in recent days. And that’s not all, still insisting his November victory was tarnished by voter fraud, the President also took aim at some states that are refusing to hand over their voter roles. We’ve got it all covered this morning, beginning with NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson. Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Hey, there, Craig, good morning to you. And while it’s pretty quiet here at the White House today, not so much on Twitter, where Donald Trump is decrying coverage of his presidency. His advisers insisting they’d all rather be talking policy one day after that clip of the President slamming a cable network, literally.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Tweet Slams Media; Controversy After Wrestling Video Targets CNN]

This morning, a fake fight with what the President calls a fake news network generating real controversy for the commander-in-chief.

THOMAS BOSSERT [WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER]: I think that no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t. But I do think that he’s been beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.

JACKSON: The throwdown shown here, a throw back to Donald Trump’s WWE cameo, modified now to show a CNN graphic instead. A spokesperson for the cable network saying, “It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” citing this comment from the President’s deputy press secretary just last week.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: The President in no way, form, or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.

JACKSON: The wrestling video appeared to originate on the online forum Reddit, where the President’s supporters cheered the clip’s new notoriety.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:02 AM ET

AMY ROBACH: And we begin this morning with the President pouncing on the media. President Trump tweeting out this video over the weekend showing him in an old WWE clip, but in this version, you can see he is body slamming CNN. ABC’s David Kerley at the White House with much more on that. Good morning, David.

DAVID KERLEY: Good morning, Amy. This morning the President is being roundly criticized in a bipartisan manner for that tweet and the video amping up his battle with the media. And all this going on as his Republican colleagues are trying to change health care and sell it back home.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump “Slams” the Media; Outrage Over President’s Wrestling Tweet]  

KERLEY: The official presidential tweet is an old wrestling video takedown with businessman Trump. Doctored with the CNN logo covering the face of his victim. One face of the media pummeled in the world of fake wrestling. Outrage even from Republicans immediately.

ANA NAVARRO: The President of the United States is inciting violence against the free press.

KERLEY: But the President defended by his Homeland Security adviser who saw this for the first time on This Week.

MARTHA RADDATZ: You’re in charge of Homeland Security there. That seems like a threat.

THOMAS BOSSERT: Yeah, certainly not, though. I think that no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t.

KERLEY: Elected Republicans quickly denouncing the President’s attack on journalists and the First Amendment.

SEN. BEN SASSE [R-NE]: This is the Fourth of July weekend. The Declaration of Independence is pretty dang clear about this.  

GOV. JOHN KASICH: It’s ridiculous, right? Everybody is kind of flabbergasted. You know, he ought to stop doing it.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:07 AM ET

REENA NINAN: Mr. Trump spent much of the weekend lashing out at the media, including a tweeted video that outraged many of his critics. Chip Reid is at the White House, where the President’s advisers are defending his message. Chip, good morning.

CHIP REID: Well, good morning. The President’s latest controversial tweet comes a day after he proclaimed on Twitter that, “My use of social media is not presidential. It’s modern day presidential.” So welcome to the modern age.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Tweet Firestorm; President Takes on Journalists With Hostile Tweets]

DONALD TRUMP [SATURDAY]: The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them.

REID: President Trump kept the focus on his favorite target over the weekend, the media.

TRUMP: The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not.

[CHEERS & APPLAUSE]

REID: Sunday morning the President posted a video on Twitter showing him bashing the CNN logo. Originally from 2007, the video shows then-citizen Trump attacking a wrestling executive. It’s unclear who made the new version, it was first posted on Reddit five days ago by a user who’s past postings have threatened violence against Muslims. In response, CNN called it “a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters. He is involved in juvenile behavior, far below the dignity of his office.”

(...)

REID: The President ramped up his feud against CNN after a couple of major mistakes by the network last week, including a story about Mr. Trump that was later retracted, causing three reporters to resign.

(...)

Network Morning Shows Devote 52X More Coverage to Trump Tweet Than Kate’s Law

After Thursday’s network evening newscasts devoted 28 times more coverage to Donald Trump’s offensive tweets than to important immigration reform legislation, on Friday, the morning shows on ABC, NBC, and CBS offered even more lopsided reporting. Combined, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, and CBS This Morning devoted a staggering 52 times the amount of coverage to the President’s social media attack than to Kate’s Law passing the House.  

As NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro calculated, the network evening news on Thursday provided 12 minutes 14 seconds of airtime on Trump’s tweets targeting MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski, but only NBC Nightly News featured a 26-second news brief on the House passage of two immigration bills – Kate’s Law and another cracking down on sanctuary cities.

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Friday morning’s broadcasts amped up the outrage over the Presidents tweets, with a stunning 24 minutes 17 seconds on the topic. All three led with the story. Only CBS This Morning mentioned the pair of immigration polices in a 28-second news brief during the 7:30 a.m. ET hour from fill-in co-host David Westin:

The Washington Post reports the House passed two bills that crack down on illegal immigration. Kate’s Law steps up prison sentences for convicted criminals who reenter the United States illegally after having been deported. And the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act bars sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with I.C.E., that’s the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, from receiving many federal grants. It also leaves them vulnerable to liability in lawsuits from victims of illegal immigrants’ crimes. Both bills require passage now in the Senate.  

In contrast, the CBS show included 4 minutes 54 seconds on Trump’s tweets.

While neither ABC’s GMA nor NBC’s Today bothered to inform viewers of the legislative push on immigration, both shows found plenty of air time for the Twitter fight. GMA featured a whopping 12 minutes 14 seconds on the controversy and Today offered 7 minutes 9 seconds.

In other words, the short shrift given to a Republican legislative accomplishment remained the same from the night before while denunciation of the President grew louder.

The obsessive tweet coverage was brought to viewers by Honda, Colgate, and Toyota.

NBC &amp; CBS See Travel Ban as More Controversial Than Deadly Effects of Pot Legalization

On Friday, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning portrayed the partial implementation of President Trump’s temporary travel ban from six Middle Eastern nations as being more controversial that the state of Nevada legalizing recreational marijuana just days after a study showed similar policies in other states caused a spike in deadly traffic accidents.

Introducing a report on the travel ban, Today co-host Matt Lauer worried: “Today marks the start of the busy holiday weekend. It’s also the first full day that a scaled-back version of President Trump’s travel ban is in effect. And already, how it’s being carried out is leading to protests and some confusion.” Justice Correspondent Pete Williams followed: “Well, Matt, it’s been in effect only a matter of hours and the lawyers are back in court. They say the Trump administration has improperly limited who gets to apply for a visa to come here.”

 

 

The reporter touted how “Lawyers stood by at the L.A. airport overnight, ready to respond to last-minute hitches in case of a recurrence of the kind of chaos that was sparked by the first executive order before it was shutdown by the courts.” “Advocates for immigrants are now back in court saying those distinctions don’t make sense,” Williams later added.

Compare that hyperventilating to how correspondent Gadi Schwartz talked about Nevada legalizing marijuana in a report just minutes later:

Well, marijuana producers and distributors are in overdrive before tonight for midnight....Beyond the flashing lights of the strip are the new grow lights of what could become Nevada’s latest cash crop....Nevada could quickly become the country’s pot capital. More that 45 million tourists already flock to Las Vegas every year. The state’s 10% marijuana tax is expected to raise an estimated $60 million annually, most of it going towards education.

It’s not really surprising that the liberal media would continue its longtime pattern of promoting pot legalization. However, just one week earlier, the NBC morning show was warning viewers about a new comprehensive study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that legalization of the narcotic in certain states was causing an increase in deadly car accidents in those states.

Schwartz avoided mentioning that finding during his report Friday, only vaguely noting that “Opponents are concerned about a potential increase in drugged driving...”

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Starting off coverage of the travel ban on CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King announced: “The Trump administration’s revised travel ban is in effect this morning, but faces a new legal challenge. Some protesters gathered last night at Los Angeles International Airport and other major U.S. airports as a partial ban took effect.” Correspondent Kris Van Cleave added: “... now there’s a legal battle brewing over what constitutes bona fides family.”

Reiterating that the policy was “already prompting a legal battle,” Van Cleave teed up a soundbite from one immigrant activist declaring: “It does affect people. It does tear families apart.” Moments later, he explained: “Last night Hawaii asked a district judge to stop enforcing the ban and to more clearly explain what makes a bona fides relationship. Civil liberties groups say they are anticipating further legal challenges.”

In sharp contrast, like Today, CBS This Morning saw no controversy in Nevada legalizing marijuana. Later in the show, King offered this matter-of-fact news brief:

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports on preparations for the start of legal pot sales tomorrow in Nevada. Recreational marijuana will be available at 37 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area. An eighth of an ounce will cost you about $80. An ounce will sell for up to $400. Lawmakers hope to wipe out the black market for the pot.

While no mention was made of any criticism of the move, the CBS morning show, again like NBC, had reported just one week earlier on the same study about deadly drugged driving incidents being on the rise.

Here are transcripts of the June 30 reports on NBC and CBS about the travel ban:

Today
7:07 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Something else we’re focusing on this morning is travel. Today marks the start of the busy holiday weekend. It’s also the first full day that a scaled-back version of President Trump’s travel ban is in effect. And already, how it’s being carried out is leading to protests and some confusion. NBC justice correspondent Pete Williams has more on that. Pete, what can you tell us?

PETE WILLIAMS: Well, Matt, it’s been in effect only a matter of hours and the lawyers are back in court. They say the Trump administration has improperly limited who gets to apply for a visa to come here. And the government has already made one change, fiances now count.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Travel Ban Takes Effect; Legal Action Taken Overnight Amid New Questions]

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [ATTORNEY]: We are concerned.

WILLIAMS: Lawyers stood by at the L.A. airport overnight, ready to respond to last-minute hitches in case of a recurrence of the kind of chaos that was sparked by the first executive order before it was shutdown by the courts.

This time around, anyone from one of the six Muslim countries covered by the executive order who already has a visa is being allowed to board a flight to the U.S. and to enter the country upon arrival. But for the next 90 days, anyone from one of those countries who wants to get a visa must have a close family connection to someone already here.

And the Trump administration is defining that family connection narrowly. A parent or child, including in-laws, a sibling, spouse or fiancé. But that does not include grandparent, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, cousin, or brother or sister-in-law.

Advocates for immigrants are now back in court saying those distinctions don’t make sense. Industry groups say the new rules will also dampen business travelers, and not just from the six affected countries.

CRAIG FICHTELBERG [CORPORATE TRAVEL EXECUTIVE]: We don’t know what other countries might get added to the ban. They’re gonna really question whether or not they want to do business in the U.S.

WILLIAMS: The new rules also mean a 120-day ban on admitting new refugees unless they have a connection to family here. That rule would have blocked Mustafa Al Hasoon, who came to U.S. two years ago as a refugee from Syria’s violent civil war. With no family in the U.S., he
says he would have had no place to go.

MUSTAFA AL HASOON: Syrian people who want to come to the United States, who need – those people need, like, a new life, new opportunity. They cannot stay in Syria anymore.  

WILLIAMS: The challengers who got the executive order blocked earlier this year are now asking a judge to rule that the government is being far too restrictive about the kind of family relationships that count for getting a visa. A ruling could come next week. Matt, Sheinelle?  

LAUER: Alright, Pete Williams in Washington. Pete, thank you.


CBS This Morning
7:10 AM ET

GAYLE KING: The Trump administration’s revised travel ban is in effect this morning, but faces a new legal challenge. Some protesters gathered last night at Los Angeles International Airport and other major U.S. airports as a partial ban took effect. Now it limits entry for people from six mostly-Muslim countries. Travelers from those nations must have a close family member in the U.S. or be coming here for school or a job. Kris Van Cleave is at Dulles International Airport, that’s just outside Washington, with how the definition of “close family member” is facing some criticism now. Kris, good morning.

KRIS VAN CLEAVE: Good morning. Think back to January and the chaos and confusion that was happening here at Dulles and at airports across the country. We’re not seeing that this morning. Now instead, people with a visa are still able to come to the U.S. But now there’s a legal battle brewing over what constitutes bona fides family.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Travel Ban Begins; Visa Restrictions Now In Effect for Six Countries]  

SHEIMA SUMER [IRAQI-AMERICAN]: Most Muslims feel that this isn’t the best way to promote peace.

VAN CLEAVE: The Trump administration’s new visa rules or so-called travel ban did not prompt the protest at the nation’s airports we saw in January, but the executive order’s narrow definition of a family is already prompting a legal battle.

WIDAD HASSAN [YEMENI-AMERICAN]: It does affect people. It does tear families apart.

VAN CLEAVE: Earlier this week, the Supreme Court partially revived the ban but allowed visas to be granted to travelers from the six countries if they have a “close familial relationship” with someone in the U.S. The State Department defined that close relationship as a parent, in-laws, a spouse, a child, or a sibling. And late last night, the government added fiancee. But brothers and sisters-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles are not considered by the government to be close.

The State Department is defending that decision.

HEATHER NAUERT [STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON]: We received the family definition from federal law. And we received the family definition and for whatever reason it doesn’t include grandparents, but we were just going along with what federal law states.

RAMA ISSA [NEW YORK ARAB AMERICAN ASSOCIATION]: I was raised by my grandparents, so the idea of grandparents not being part of a family is very foreign to me.

VAN CLEAVE: Last night Hawaii asked a district judge to stop enforcing the ban and to more clearly explain what makes a bona fides relationship. Civil liberties groups say they are anticipating further legal challenges.

MIRRIAM SEDDIQ [DULLES JUSTICE COALITION ATTORNEY]: We feel like we’re going to keep winning, to be honest. And we’re not going to get sick of winning.

VAN CLEAVE: There are other exceptions to the executive order, that includes people with direct business ties to the U.S., journalists, adopted children, and people seeking urgent medical attention here in the U.S. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on this new executive order in the fall. David?

DAVID WESTIN: Thank you, David.

NBC Uses NYC Subway Derailment to Decry Trump’s ‘Budget Cuts’ to Infrastructure

After Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News falsely tried to frame a New York City subway derailment as a sign of “America’s aging infrastructure,” Wednesday’s Today acknowledged that the accident was actually due to “human error.” However, that correction did not stop correspondent Thomas Roberts from using the incident to attack President Trump’s proposed budget that would reduce Transportation Department spending.  

Roberts began the morning show segment by admitting: “...we did get new information overnight with the MTA confirming that this is an issue of human error. It’s not what was originally reported, to be something wrong with the infrastructure.” Despite that fact, he warned moments later: “But still, it’s the latest in a string of embarrassments to New York’s subway....And it’s a national problem. Earlier this month, President Trump gave a speech about infrastructure.”

Following a soundbite of the President calling for “a safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure,” Roberts scolded: “But President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget cuts funding to the Department of Transportation by nearly 13%, to $16.2 billion.” He conveniently left out the fact that Trump also called for a $1 trillion infrastructure package in his budget plan.

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Roberts noted: “The American Society of Civil Engineers has slapped the U.S. transit system with a D-minus grade, noting there’s a $90 billion rehabilitation backlog.”

Amazingly, the failure of former President Obama’s nearly trillion-dollar 2009 stimulus package, allegedly designed to improve the nation’s infrastructure, was not mentioned.  

Here is a full transcript of the June 28 report:

7:14 AM ET

MATT LAUER: In other news, we are learning more this morning about what caused a frightening subway train derailment right here in New York. Dozens of passengers were injured, service was disrupted for hours. The accident, the latest in a series of problems facing transit officials and frustrating riders. NBC’s Thomas Roberts has the latest on this. Thomas, good morning to you.

THOMAS ROBERTS: Matt, good morning to you. And the a.m. rush hour just getting started here. But we did get new information overnight with the MTA confirming that this is an issue of human error. It’s not what was originally reported, to be something wrong with the infrastructure. They use spare rail – for efficiency, stored down on the tracks so that they can repair them. But in this case, the spare rail wasn’t bolted down. It’s a nationwide practice. But that is not enough for millions of people who have to commute today who recognize that this is not a track defect.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Subway Derailment Blamed on “Human Error”; Crash Comes Amid Infrastructure Issues Across U.S.]

Chaos, deep underground. A subway train derailing, violently tossing people to the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [NYC SUBWAY DISPATCH]: We have an emergency, stand by.

ROBERTS: Smoke, darkness, and fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: We were going up and down, all up the sides. People were flying all over the cars.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: It was just very traumatizing.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN C [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: I’m, like, really shooken up [sic] right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: We gotta go this way!  

ROBERTS: The passenger who took this video said he thought he was going to die. These photos show the derailment’s damage. Twisted metal and debris, passengers taking pictures of a door ripped off their train car. Passengers shuffling out, car by car or dangerously walking along the tracks.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN C [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: The thing right there is the third rail.

ROBERTS: Until they made it safely to the platform.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN D [SUBWAY PASSENGER]: We survived.

ROBERTS: Overnight, the MTA said, “the cause was an improperly secured piece of replacement rail that was stored on the tracks; the cause appears to be human error, not a track defect.”

But still, it’s the latest in a string of embarrassments to New York’s subway. Earlier this month, passengers desperately tried to claw their way out of this dark and steamy F train after it was stuck underground for an hour after it lost power. “For F’s Sake,” the New York Post wrote, “Fix the Subways!” New Yorkers are already bracing for a so-called summer of hell for commuters. Amtrak racing to overhaul Penn Station after two derailments earlier this year.

And it’s a national problem. Earlier this month, President Trump gave a speech about infrastructure.

DONALD TRUMP [JUNE 7]: The promise of a safe, reliable, and modern infrastructure hasn’t been kept. But we’re going to keep it.

ROBERTS: But President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget cuts funding to the Department of Transportation by nearly 13%, to $16.2 billion. The American Society of Civil Engineers has slapped the U.S. transit system with a D-minus grade, noting there’s a $90 billion rehabilitation backlog.

So, work crews have been here overnight, trying to get everything back up and running for those that are commuting this morning. Three dozen people were injured in this accident, they are all expected to be okay.

Now one commuter I spoke to this morning, roughly around 6:30, she said she didn’t have any trouble getting here, Matt and Hoda, she was “in one, two, three,” she said. I also tried to speak to some of the MTA workers who were on a break. They were courteous, but said that they couldn’t give me a statement, they were going to be getting back to work.

But I think you can tell by the great weather – and Al and Dylan can confirm this – if you’re going to be a little late for work today, and it’s because of an issue with the subway, today’s a beautiful day to walk. So take that into account.

HODA KOTB: Alright.

LAUER: Alright, Thomas, thank you very much.

CBS Only Offers Seconds on Johnny Depp Talking About Assassinating Trump

On Friday, while both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America provided full reports on left-wing actor Johnny Depp joking about assassinating President Trump, CBS This Morning could only manage 45 seconds of air time out of its two-hour broadcast to mention the latest outrageous celebrity outburst.  

Co-host Gayle King noted: “Johnny Depp is causing controversy this morning for comments he made about assassinating President Trump.” A clip played of Depp remarking: “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?...it’s been a while, and maybe it’s time.” Fellow co-host Norah O’Donnell labeled the incident “inappropriate” and explained that the Secret Service was “aware of the comment.”

King added: “I think it’s just never funny to joke about assassinating a president. I don’t care who you are or what you do. Not funny.” That was the extent of the coverage.

The hosts devoted nearly the same amount of time (41 seconds) to Trump driving his golf cart on the green at his golf course in New Jersey as on Depp’s offensive rant.

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In sharp contrast, the Today show featured a 2 min 44 second report on Depp, while Good Morning America included a 2 minute 15 second segment on the topic. By providing more coverage, the NBC and ABC morning shows were able to remind viewers of the attempted assassination of Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise just one week ago and refer back to other hateful celebrity displays, such as Katyh Griffin’s mock beheading of the President.

Speaking of Griffin, when that story broke at the end of May, CBS This Morning could only afford 36 seconds of coverage. Again, that was in comparison to full reports on Today and GMA.

Here is a full transcript of the June 23 news brief on CBS:

7:31 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Johnny Depp is causing controversy this morning for comments he made about assassinating President Trump.

JOHNNY DEPP: When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?

[CHEERS]  

I want to clarify, I’m not an actor, I lie for a living. However, it’s been a while, and maybe it’s time.

NORAH O’DONNELL: That’s inappropriate. Depp may have been joking yesterday at an arts festival in England, but the Secret Service did take note and they tell us they are aware of the comment.

KING: Talking about the golf cart sin, I think it’s just never funny to joke about assassinating a president. I don’t care who you are or what you do.

O’DONNELL: Yeah.

KING: Not funny.

TBS: North Korean Terrorists Taking Over White House Would be Better Than Trump

In a commercial promoting an upcoming showing of the movie Olympus Has Fallen, centered around the plot of North Korean terrorists violently seizing control of the White House and holding the President of the United States hostage, cable channel TBS edited clips of the film to make it seem like fictitious national security officials were relieved and thrilled by that prospect. A not-so-subtle reference to the current occupant of the Oval Office, Donald Trump.  

The promo began with one of the terrorists telling the Speaker of the House, played by Morgan Freeman, and a room of various other actors playing the roles of military commanders and intelligence officials: “I have your commander-in-chief.” A general asks: “Who are you?” The terrorist replies: “I am the man in control of your White House.”

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The words appear on screen: “What if the president was no longer in control.” After a long pause, the room of worried leaders erupts into sighs of relief, applause, and cheering. One actress could be heard declaring: “Finally some good news.”

Cutting back to the terrorists talking in Korean, a phony subtitle appeared: “Why are they so happy?”

Such a gratuitous slam of Trump shouldn’t surprise viewers, given that this is the same channel that puts left-wing bomb thrower Samantha Bee on the air.

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