Networks Punt on Liberal Senator Harris Joking About Killing Trump, Pence, and Sessions

For this installment of "if the parties were reversed," the Thursday evening and Friday morning broadcast network newscasts refused to cover possible 2020 presidential candidate and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.) joking on The Ellen Show about killing President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Fox News Channel’s Hannity naturally covered it, but the other mention of this sick joke was MSNBC’s First Look, which airs in the 5:00 a.m. Eastern hour prior to Morning Joe.

 

 

During host Ellen Degeneres’s syndicated show, she asked Harris during a gooey interview touting her far-left credentials and presidential aspirations: “If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence, or Jeff Sessions, who would it be?”

To roaring laughter from the audience, Harris replied: “Does one of us have to come out alive?”

ABC, CBS, and NBC couldn’t both to cover this quip that would have draw endless coverage if a Republican Senator had said this while Barack Obama was in office, but the pre-dawn MSNBC program did with co-hosts Ayman Mohyeldin (yeah, that guy) and Yasmin Vossoughian.

“California Senator Kamela Harris was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday where she was asked to spill the beans about a potential presidential run in 2020,” Mohyeldin reported before the clip with the chyron “Sen. Kamala Harris Raises Eyebrows on ‘Ellen’ with Trump Death Joke.”

Right on cue when liberals do or say something regrettable, Mohyeldin painted a view where such a nasty joke about assassinating the Attorney General, President, and Vice President was only something that’d upset supporters:

Now, some conservatives were not amused by that joke and numerous articles later called it vicious, saying she might have gone too far. Now, Harris has yet to respond to the comments. In fact, she only had positive things to say about her talk show appearance, tweeting out, “[h]ad a great time with [Ellen] yesterday” with a photo drinking from an Ellen mug.

For the reminder of the one-minute-and-11-second bit, Vossoughian told Mohyeldin that she “thought for sure that Ellen was going to able to get the goods on that” because it’s been her feeling that talk show hosts are more likely to get elected officials to make news than a sit-down interview with a journalist would.

Instead of covering Harris’s joke, NBC’s Today spent 35 seconds on a controversy over Lorde posting an Instagram photo of a filled bathtub with Whitney Houston lyrics in the caption. Lorde’s post was seen as being in poor taste because Houston’s 2012 death took place in a hotel bathtub. 

Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America dedicated one minute and 44 seconds to Shaq celebrating National Poetry Month and CBS This Morning devoted one minute and 33 seconds to previewing co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King’s CBS Sunday Morning interview with Democratic Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (Mass.).

It should be noted that CBS aired this but not a second on the less-than-flattering Kennedy portrayal offered in the new film Chappaquiddick.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s First Look on April 6, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s First Look
April 6, 2018
5:16 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sen. Kamala Harris Raises Eyebrows on ‘Ellen’ with Trump Death Joke] 

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: California Senator Kamela Harris was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday where she was asked to spill the beans about a potential presidential run in 2020. Watch this. 

ELLEN DEGENERES: People have put it out there that you might be running for President or that they want you to run for President. You’re probably not going to answer me but I’m going to ask you anyway.

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (Calif.): You’re right. 

DEGENERES: But —

HARRIS: On both counts.

DEGENERES: You won’t answer?

HARRIS: I’m not going to answer.

DEGENERES: No.

[SCREEN WIPE]

DEGENERES: We’re going to vet you right now just in case. We need to know lots about you. 

HARRIS: Okay.

DEGENERES: Because people are going to want to know more about Kamala Harris

[SCREEN WIPE]

DEGENERES: If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence, or Jeff Sessions, who would it be?

HARRIS: Does one of us have to come out alive?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: SFGate.com; Sen. Kamala Harris ruffles feathers with ‘Trump death joke’ on ‘Ellen’ show]

MOHYELDIN: Now, some conservatives were not amused by that joke and numerous articles later called it vicious, saying she might have gone too far. Now, Harris has yet to respond to the comments. In fact, she only had positive things to say about her talk show appearance, tweeting out, “[h]ad a great time with [Ellen] yesterday” with a photo drinking from an Ellen mug.

YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN: I thought for sure that Ellen was going to able to get the goods on that. Oftentimes I feel like —

MOHYELDIN: Absolutely.

VOSSOUGHIAN: — they're able to get the goods — talk show hosts more —

MOHYELDIN: At least, yeah, exactly.

VOSSOUGHIAN: — so than journalists. 

MOHYELDIN: Yeah.

VOSSOUGHIAN: Like when Jimmy Kimmel first interviewed Stormy Daniels that was sort of, you know, made the headlines —

MOHYELDIN: A little, yeah.

VOSSOUGHIAN: — when he actually got that out of her.

MOHYELDIN: That’s true.

NB Daily Bias by Omission Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News CBS This Morning NBC NBC Nightly News Today MSNBC First Look Video Jeff Sessions Shaquielle O'Neil Ayman Mohyeldin Kamala Harris Ellen Degeneres Donald Trump Mike Pence Whitney Houston
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