CBS Touts Dems Attacking Michigan’s GOP Governor Over Flint Water Crisis

On Monday, CBS This Morning devoted a nearly three-minute-long report to Democratic presidential candidates and left-wing activists denouncing Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder over the Flint water crisis.

Correspondent Adrianna Diaz began the one-sided segment by declaring: “Frustration over Flint's tainted water supply is spilling over.” A soundbite followed of Jesse Jackson telling a group of protesters: “Flint is now a crime scene.”

Diaz noted that “Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency over the city's water two weeks ago,” but quickly promoted how “During Sunday's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders blasted the Republican governor.”

Clips ran of both Democratic contenders. Clinton ranted: “The population, which is poor in many ways, and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. And the Governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care.” Sanders demanded: “A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power.”

Diaz then turned to leftist film maker Michael Moore: “Protesters gathered outside Flint city hall Saturday...to see liberal activist Michael Moore. He grew up in the city of nearly 100,000 and said President Obama's emergency declaration isn’t enough.” Moore shouted: “It's not just the water crisis, it's a racial crisis! It's a poverty crisis!”

Diaz briefly explained the situation:

To save money, in 2014, Flint stopped paying for water from Detroit and tapped into its own river instead, but the river water stripped lead from pipes. Since the move, the number of children with high lead levels doubled and ten people have died from Legionnaire's Disease. The city has since reversed the switch, but the water is still unsafe.

It wasn’t until the very end of the report that Diaz provided Snyder’s response to attacks from his political opponents: “Many will be protesting tomorrow at the Governor's state of the state address. After last night's debate, Governor Snyder tweeted, ‘Political statements and finger pointing from candidates only distract from the Flint water crisis.’”

Here is a full transcript of the January 18 report:

7:32 AM ET

GAYLE KING: And The Detroit News reports on the Flint water crisis coming up in the Democratic debate. The candidates blasted Michigan's governor for his response to the lead contamination. Teams this weekend visited nearly 5,000 homes. President Obama signed an emergency declaration. Flint will get millions of dollars in federal aid, along with water bottles and filters. Adriana Diaz is in Flint, with demands for more help. Adrianna, good morning.

ADRIANNA DIAZ: Good morning. We’re in the home of a Flint resident who, like thousands of others, says what they really need is clean pipes. This tap water used to be brown. It now looks and smells fine. But the corroded pipes still make it unsafe to drink.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Boiling Outrage; Big Names Join Backlash Over Flint Water Emergency]

Frustration over Flint's tainted water supply is spilling over.
    
REV. JESSE JACKSON: Flint is now a crime scene.

DIAZ: Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency over the city's water two weeks ago. But state officials may have known about the problem months earlier because city data showed a spike in lead. During Sunday's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders blasted the Republican governor.

HILLARY CLINTON: The population, which is poor in many ways, and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. And the Governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS [I-VT]: A man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power.

PROTESTERS: Water is a human right!
    
DIAZ: Protesters gathered outside Flint city hall Saturday...

MICHAEL MOORE: We need federal help.

DIAZ: ...to see liberal activist Michael Moore. He grew up in the city of nearly 100,000 and said President Obama's emergency declaration isn’t enough.

MOORE: It's not just the water crisis, it's a racial crisis! It's a poverty crisis!

DIAZ: To save money, in 2014, Flint stopped paying for water from Detroit and tapped into its own river instead, but the river water stripped lead from pipes. Since the move, the number of children with high lead levels doubled and ten people have died from Legionnaire's Disease. The city has since reversed the switch, but the water is still unsafe.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [FLINT RESIDENT]: It’s hard to even cook with now, I'm pouring bottles of water over my meat.

DIAZ: Since January 9th, Flints has received more than 26,000 cases of water. Over the weekend, Cher, partnered with Icelandic Water, sent 181,000 additional bottles. We spoke to Flint's mayor moments after the President's declaration.

KAREN WEAVER: We didn't deserve what happened, but we do deserve this type of response.

DIAZ: This is the water residents can actually drink. Many will be protesting tomorrow at the Governor's state of the state address. After last night's debate, Governor Snyder tweeted, “Political statements and finger pointing from candidates only distract from the Flint water crisis.”

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC