On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, liberal comedian Bill Maher demonized newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch as a "right-wing asshole," a "Scalia clone," and someone who "has never shown any empathy toward a human being" before suggesting that "back alley abortions" might return. He also accused Republicans of "cheating" to get him onto the Court, and of being motivated by racism in refusing to support former President Barack Obama's call for military action in Syria in 2013.
On Friday's regular "Shields and Brooks" segment on PBS Newshour, New York Times columnist David Brooks -- the supposedly more right-leaning half of the pairing -- oddly seemed to wish for some sort of "apocalypse" to beset the Donald Trump administration as he theorized and predicted that some scandal or "grievous blow" to the White House might inspire more bipartisanship in the aftermath. After host Judy Woodruff was surprised by his prediction of an "apocalypse," he only walked back his bizarre choice of words slightly: "Well, I -- that word came out -- I should have stuck with 'acidity.' That would have been a better word."
In an act similar to that of a whining child, Senate Democrats attempted to block the President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch Thursday. Republicans, in turn, followed through on their promise to execute the so-called “nuclear option” to bring debate to a close and move the nomination forward. In response, ABC and NBC were up in arms that evening. “The Republican leader today emerged from the partisan battlefield with a thumbs up. The top Democrat, his head hung low in defeat,” bemoaned ABC’s Mary Bruce on World News Tonight.
In multiple appearances on CNN on Monday, CNN political commentator and Spectrum News political anchor Errol Louis fretted over the Republican effort to bar the filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Louis called such a move "radical action" as he appeared on CNN's New Day, and, appearing later on CNN Newsroom, he worried that such an action would begin a precedent that would result in the Supreme Court "greatly denuded from what the Founders wanted," and becoming "just a branch of the Senate, in effect." Over the weekend on New Day Saturday, Louis was notably also still agitated over retired General Michael Flynn leading "lock her up" chants against Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign as the CNN commentator declared that it was "one of the ugliest moments in politics I've ever seen in 30 years."
With the Senate’s Supreme Court confirmation vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch just days away and the possibly of Republicans nuking the filibuster looming, NBC’s Chuck Todd seemed as though he was in a near panic on Sunday’s Meet The Press. Besides his declarations of the GOP continuing the Senate’s decent down the “slippery slope” of removing the filibuster, Todd pestered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Senate to hold a vote for former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.
As father and son comedy writers and liberal activists Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner appeared as guests on Friday's Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, the two lamented that former President Barack Obama -- whom Carl called "the smartest President we've had since way back" -- was replaced by President Donald Trump -- whom Rob derided as "clearly mentally unstable." A bit later, Rob Reiner blamed "racism" that was "unleashed" after Obama's election for the Republican-controlled Senate blocking him from appointing Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, as he seemed to tie in birtherism and declared that "all of that is about delegitimizing an African-American person and everything that's followed from that."
On CNN's New Day, Thursday, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley blasted Republicans for filling the vacant Supreme Court seat with Neil Gorsuch and for not allowing Obama nominee Merrick Garland a hearing last year. Instead of challenging the Democrat, such as citing polls which show Democrats oppose blocking Gorsuch, co-host Alisyn Camerota let Merkley rant about what he called a "terrible precedent."
Thursday was the final day for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear outside arguments for or against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Despite his stellar qualifications, Senate Democrats vowed to throw a hissy-fit and filibuster the confirmation vote. The act is completely unprecedented and is clearly being done out of revenge. And even with that fact, the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) seemed to find little interest in the development and gave the story the bare minimum of a news brief.
As former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte appeared as a guest on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss the Neil Gorsuch nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, host Mitchell brought up "bitterness" from Democrats about the Senate's refusal to take up President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland last year. She ended up claiming that former Vice President Joe Biden was "taken out of context, with all due respect," after Republican Ayotte started to recall that, in 1992, then-Senator Biden advocated blocking action on any potential Supreme Court vacancies until after the election.
On Tuesday's Tavis Smiley show on PBS, as New York magazine's Andrew Sullivan appeared as a guest to discuss current political events, host Smiley at one point fretted that -- because Republicans denied President Barack Obama the chance to appoint Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court -- they were "trampling" on the Constitution, and oddly asked if they might ignore other parts of the Constitution like the abolition of slavery or the right for women to vote. Suggesting that Republicans violated the Constitution in blocking Judge Garland, Smiley whined: "It was, to be sure, a violation of democratic norms, but it was more than that. To me, it was a trampling on the Constitution by the Republican party who did not give Mr. Garland a hearing. ... He was obligated to put forth that nomination, and they were obligated to take it up, I believe, and vote up or down. So it wasn't just a violation or an abrogation of norms, it was a trampling on one of our most precious documents."
Loony MSNBC host Chris Matthews concluded Tuesday night’s Hardball with a loud berating of Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not confirming Obama Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, engaging in “low-level politics” harming the country.
Capitol Hill was a hive of activity on Monday. The House Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee conducted the first in a series of hearings in the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Both were major events on the hill but the Comey hearing drew the overwhelming majority of the network news attention, leaving one anchor to say it was “overshadowing” Gorsuch.