CNN Frets Trump's 'Partisan Attack'; Went Soft on Kimmel After Las Vegas

On Wednesday's New Day, CNN host Alisyn Camerota repeatedly fretted over President Donald Trump attacking Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer for supporting in 1990 the immigration law that helped Uzbekistan-born terrorist Sayfullo Saipov to get into the United States. 

This negative reaction to Trump getting political so soon after the New York attack contrasts with her sympathetic treatment of ABC host Jimmy Kimmel when he attacked the NRA, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans barely 24 hours after the Las Vegas massacre as he went on to suggest that opponents of gun control were to blame for the attack.

 

 

Shortly before 8:00 a.m. ET, in a segment with Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, Camerota read Trump's tweet blaming Schumer and asked, "How is this Chuck Schumer's fault?" The CNN host followed up by describing the 1990 immigration legislation as "bipartisan" some Republicans voted for it, and then recalled that President George H.W. Bush signed it into law.

After Rep. Jordan responded, Camerota made another followup as she bemoaned Trump making a "partisan attack." Camerota:

Yeah, look, it's a fair conversation for us to have obviously this morning. It's 15 million people apply for it from around the globe every year, as I understand. Only 50,000 make it in. And it is supposed to obviously continue America's reputation and history as a melting pot so it's open to countries where not a lot of immigrants come from, and that was the motivation behind it. But I think my question to you was: By focusing on Chuck Schumer, why make a partisan attack this morning?

At about 8:39 a.m. ET, with California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier as guest, Camerota began by asking if Schumer was to blame for the attack. She then followed up by seeming to fret that the President is getting "policy ideas" from Fox News and conservative talk radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Here's Camerota:

Look, here's what he tweeted before those tweets I just read. "The terrorists came to our country through what is called the diversity visa lottery program, a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based." He's referring to this policy -- legislation that was proposed -- I think Chuck Schumer sponsored it in 1990.

It was bipartisan -- it was bipartisan legislation, and it was signed by George H.W. Bush. But last night on Fox, Sean Hannity blamed it on Chuck Schumer or Mark Levin who is a right-wing radio host on Hannity's program, blamed it on Chuck Schumer. And so is this where the President gets his policy ideas?

As the CNN host followed up, instead of further pressing her Democratic guest from the right on the issue, Camerota brought up a tweet from Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake to bolster Schumer's position:

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Senator Jeff Flake just tweeted about all of this. I'm reading it for the first time, and you're hearing it for the first time: "Actually, the Gang of 8, including Senator Schumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there." I mean, listen, Jeff Flake -- as you know -- has begun speaking out pretty vociferously.

What are you hearing in the halls of Congress as opposed to whether or not more people -- not just Democrats and not just Jeff Flake and John McCain -- will speak out when they hear something that bothers them about something the President has said.

By contrast, after Kimmel attacked Republicans and opponents of gun control on Monday, October 2, the day after the Las Vegas massacre, he tore into Republicans, charging that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan refused to support more gun laws after the Orlando attack because "the NRA has their balls in a money clip," and he asserted that, "They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country."

He twice went so far as to demonize the mostly Republican Senators who did not support new gun laws by showing their images on screen like a rogues gallery.

 

 

The next morning, Camerota on New Day brought up Kimmel's commentary but ignored his incendiary attacks on Republicans and the NRA as she only showed clips of him expressing his sadness over the Las Vegas attack.

After Kimmel responded to his conservative critics, calling them "nuts," on the night of Tuesday, October 3, on the next morning, Camerota devoted a segment to Kimmel's commentary and again went soft on him as CNN analysts Bill Carter and Brian Stelter gushed over him.

No one bothered to point out that none of the gun laws that he was complaining about not getting passed would have prevented the Las Vegas attack.

Relevant transcripts from CNN's New Day from November 1, October 4, and October 3 follow:

#From Wednesday, November 1:

7:55 a.m. ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: So let me start with this attack in New York. The President just tweeted. He said, "The terrorists came into our country through what is called the diversity visa lottery program, a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based." How is this Chuck Schumer's fault?

[REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH)]

So Chuck Schumer, I believe, sponsored it, but it was a bipartisan piece of legislation, and it was signed into law in 1990 by George H.W. Bush.

[JORDAN]

Yeah, look, it's a fair conversation for us to have obviously this morning. It's 15 million people apply for it from around the globe every year, as I understand. Only 50,000 make it in. And it is supposed to obviously continue America's reputation and history as a melting pot so it's open to countries where not a lot of immigrants come from, and that was the motivation behind it. But I think my question to you was: By focusing on Chuck Schumer, why make a partisan attack this morning?

8:39 a.m. ET

CAMEROTA: President Trump is blaming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer for how the suspect was able to get into the U.S. in the first place. He's tweeted this morning: "'Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europe's problems,' said Colonel Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness!"

That was about a segment, we believe, on Fox News this morning. Here is Chuck Schumer's response: "I guess it's not too soon to politicize a tragedy." Well, there you have it.

Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California. She's a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congresswoman, nice to see you. Sorry we had to talk about the terror attack. Is this Chuck Schumer's fault?

[REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA)]

CAMEROTA: Look, here's what he tweeted before those tweets I just read. "The terrorists came to our country through what is called the diversity visa lottery program, a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based." He's referring to this policy -- legislation that was proposed -- I think Chuck Schumer sponsored it in 1990. It was bipartisan -- it was bipartisan legislation, and it was signed by George H.W. Bush. But last night on Fox, Sean Hannity blamed it on Chuck Schumer or Mark Levin who is a right-wing radio host on Hannity's program, blamed it on Chuck Schumer. And so is this where the President gets his policy ideas?

[SPEIER]

CAMEROTA: Senator Jeff Flake just tweeted about all of this. I'm reading it for the first time, and you're hearing it for the first time: "Actually, the Gang of 8, including Senator Schumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there."

I mean, listen, Jeff Flake -- as you know -- has begun speaking out pretty vociferously. What are you hearing in the halls of Congress as opposed to whether or not more people -- not just Democrats and not just Jeff Flake and John McCain -- will speak out when they hear something that bothers them about something the President has said.

[SPEIER]

(...)

#From Wednesday, October 4:

7:46 a.m. ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, a late-night comic getting serious. Why Jimmy Kimmel's personal connection to these two crises -- health care an issue as well as what's happened in Las Vegas -- are somehow making him the voice of a nation. Some are calling him the "conscience of a nation." How did this happen to him? We'll talk about that next.

(...)

7:50 a.m. ET

CAMEROTA: Las Vegas native Jimmy Kimmel now taking on this other hot-button political topic. The late-night comic got choked up when talking about the Las Vegas massacre.

JIMMY KIMMEL CLIP #1: I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to, you know, laugh about things every night, but that -- it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult lately. It seems like someone has opened a window into hell. And what I'm talking about tonight isn't about gun control. It's about common sense. Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert.

CAMEROTA: Well, since then, Kimmel of course has been criticized for making a political argument. He responded last night.

KIMMEL CLIP #2: I do want to say something to these nuts who spent most of the day today on television and online attacking those of us who think we need to do something about the fact that 59 innocent people were killed. You know, they say it's inappropriate to be talking about it because it's too soon. Well, maybe it's too soon for you --

KIMMEL CLIP #3: -- but it's not too soon for us because we're Americans, and, last time I checked, the First Amendment is at least as important as the Second Amendment, so we will talk about it.

CAMEROTA: Joining us now, senior CNN media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter, and CNN media analyst Bill Carter. He's the author of The War for Late Night. Great to see both of you here. How did this happen to Jimmy Kimmel? How did he become the voice -- the consciousness of the nation, the voice of all these issues?

More transcript can be found here.

(...)

#From Tuesday, October 3:

7:40 a.m. ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Obviously there's this apocalypse that has happened there, and now all sorts of people who have connections to Las Vegas -- like Jimmy Kimmel who grew up there, he just made, you know, his own sort of emotional statement about it last night, so, and, of course, what the government and Congress can do. So listen to this.

JIMMY KIMMEL CLIP #2: Here we are again in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy, this time in Las Vegas, which happens to be my hometown.

KIMMEL CLIP #2: There's probably no way to know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings who are at a concert.

KIMMEL CLIP #3: It's the kind of thing that it makes you want to throw up or give up. It's too much to even process.

CAMEROTA: So, Maggie (Haberman), what do you think the President's tone will be?

MAGGIE HABERMAN: I think the President is going to be -- I think that everything that Jimmy Kimmel said is correct about this, that is convulsive and how terrible it is. I think what the President is going to try to do is stay away from the -- or at least he's been advised is to stay away from the discussion of gun control. ...


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CyberAlerts Crime Las Vegas Shooting Guns Immigration Fox News Channel Video Jeff Flake Chuck Schumer NRA Alisyn Camerota Sean Hannity Donald Trump Jimmy Kimmel Mark Levin