Group Think: CNN’s Cuomo, MSNBC’s Matthews Run Identical Segments on GOP ‘Fear-Mongering’

How again are the liberal media not a part of the opposition party? On Wednesday’s Cuomo Prime Time on CNN and Hardball on MSNBC, it just so happened that they ran nearly identical segments smearing Republicans for “employ[ing] scare tactics” and “fear-mongering” people into supporting the GOP at the polls.

Thankfully, Brooke Baldwin wasn’t on-air during the 9:00 p.m. Eastern hour of CNN, as host and faux journalist Chris Cuomo mentioned the word “mob.”
 

 

 

We go first to Cuomo because, for him, attacking Republicans and mischaracterizing them isn’t just a practice but a way of life in his family. Here’s his tease for his five-minute-plus rant:

All right. It's a scary idea for Republicans to lose control of Congress. Of course it is, but what is their strategy to turnout their vote? That's scary as well. We're going lay it out for you on the magic wall. A fear campaign like none other, next. 

After the break, Cuomo asserted that Republicans are “push[ing] fear and loathing” ahead of November 6 that, turns out, is about securing the borders and ensuring there’s an orderly process to who comes into this country. But for the liberal media, that’s a xenophobic campaign to tell voters “the scary people from the South are coming for you.”

Cuomo reacted to a clip from FNC’s Laura Ingraham by suggesting that she herself (and, by extension, her viewers) are racist with amnesty and chain migration only acceptable for “good people like Melania Trump.”

Following more clips from Republicans, Cuomo was incensed that they used the word “mob” and lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “embracing something this deceptive and divisive” in a “true us versus them fashion.”

So, Chris, what about Republican candidates being physically assaulted? Cornered and heckled inside the U.S. Capitol? Physically trying to storm the Supreme Court? Republicans being sent threatening letters? Republicans being told they should go to the guillotine? Trump administration officials being sent ricin? Or GOPers being shot at on a baseball field?

But sure, Chris. It’s helpful to see you don’t give a damn about the threats to Republican candidates. What word would you use other than a “mob?”

While using the case of California Republican Duncan Hunter suggesting his Democratic opponent is a national security threat, Cuomo concluded by bludgeoning viewers into opposing the GOP (click “expand”):

It's not just about parties, it's about people. It's about the rabid left, okay? Like who? Well, like these women. Like the vicious women who came out to share their stories of sexual harassment and trauma during the Brett Kavanaugh proceedings. These women, the same ones that confronted Jeff Flake on that elevator and made a difference, if you remember. Now, according to the GOP, these women are part of the liberal mob. Now, they're not as endearing as, let's say, the Proud Boys, or the Confederacy kin that Republicans like to cotton to, but a mob.....Fear and loathing and arguably lying. Quite a strategy. But in a period of turbo-charged toxicity, is it the way to get GOP faithful to the polls? We will see and we're already getting data back. Why? Early voting already underway. 

As for Hardball, host Chris Matthews’s teases were eerily similar, promising viewers that the GOP’s using “scare tactics” and “sowing fear” “trying to scare voters to the polls.”

“At the risk of losing their majority in the U.S. House, Republicans have waged a fear-mongering campaign now to scare voters away from the Democrats,” Matthews added before also referring to Hunter’s case and introducing panelists Michelle Goldberg from The New York Times and former Republican David Jolly.

Matthews and Goldberg lashed out at the Trump tax cuts as having done little to nothing for those who aren’t rich with Goldberg asserting: “Their traditional conservative economic policies are very unpopular, and that the way they motivate their base is through xenophobic terror.”

Jolly gave Matthews exactly what he wanted, claiming that Republicans created multiple “trillion-dollar deficits” with the tax cuts (even though he admitted entitlements are a huge problem) and smearing his former party as being “a xenophobic lane.”

Huh. So since Jolly lost to political flip-flopper Charlie Crist, it’s safe to say Jolly followed the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy.

Using the same Ingraham clip, Goldberg responded by lamenting that it’s “one of the side effects of the nightmare of the Trump presidency is that Fox News has given itself increasingly to white nationalist propaganda” with “language...straight out of the marchers in Charlottesville” becoming “mainstream.”

Matthews and Jolly then concluded with more banter (click “expand”);

MATTHEWS: Do you think they have tested this, and that’s why they’re doing it, the anti-immigrant line? Do you think that’s why they’re doing it, Dave?

JOLLY: Oh, without question. Again, they know fear sells. And they are peddling this very disgusting fear when it comes to culture wars. Listen, to the point that was made by the -- by the TV host, you know what, if we have greater voices of diversity in our country, whether they were born here, naturalized or immigrated here, good for us. That makes us a stronger nation and a better nation and a smarter nation and it makes us more equipped to address the problems that we face as a multicultural community and a multicultural country. It is why the demographics, both voting and culturally, are getting away from Republicans. And instead of trying to expand their coalition of voters, they’re simply trying to energize those that are left within the tent. It’s shameful....We are seeing these attacks that are, without question, dividing us culturally as a nation. And, at some point, we get to question the fitness of Republican decision-makers that make those decisions.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on October 17, click “expand.”

CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time
October 17, 2018
9:09 p.m. [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: GOP’s Midterm Message: Be Very Afraid]

CHRIS CUOMO: All right. It's a scary idea for Republicans to lose control of Congress. Of course it is, but what is their strategy to turnout their vote? That's scary as well. We're going lay it out for you on the magic wall. A fear campaign like none other, next. 

(....)

9:13 p.m. Eastern

CUOMO: All right. Look, midterms are about a lot of things, but at the end of the day, midterms are about turnout. So, what is the GOP strategy? We see it at this point as to push fear and loathing. Will it work? Well, we're going to see. But here's what we know right now. We know how it works. Here's step one. If you don't vote, the scary people from the South are coming for you. That's what people like Fox folk host Laura Ingraham says. Listen to this. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: #LetsGetAfterIt; Republicans Employ Scare Tactics Ahead of Midterms]

LAURA INGRAHAM [on FNC’s The Ingraham Angle, 10/16/18]: Your views on immigration will have zero impact and zero influence on a House dominated by Democrats who want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever increasing number of chain migrants. 

CUOMO: You see that picture? That's what they want you to think all immigrants look like, people laying on the floor, splayed out, not as civilized as you, different from you. Amnesty and chain migration, which is also called family reunification when it's used by good people like Melania Trump and that's how she got her parents here, right? So, it's okay for her, but not okay for anybody else. That's how you will be taken out if you don't vote. Example, two. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ (TX): There is an anger, there is a rage on the far left that is really frightening. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY (IA): They have encouraged mob rule. 

MISSOURI GOP SENATE CANDIDATE JOSH HAWLEY [on NBC’s Meet the Press, 10/14/18]: Mob behavior that we're seeing all over the country. 

TRUMP [on 10/09/18]: You don't hand matches to an arsonist, and you don't give power to an angry left wing mob and that's what the Democrats have become. 

CUOMO: All right. You get what the main word there was? Mob, right?  Now, you could think this is silly. No one’s going to go for the idea that there is a mob of Democrats. Listen to Senator McConnell, the GOP Senate leader. 

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL: Our base is fired up. We finally discovered the one thing that would fire up the Republican base. [SCREEN WIPE] It’s a virtual mob that's assaulted all of us in the course of this process, has turned our base on fire. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Cuomo @ The Magic Wall; Republicans Employ Scare Tactics Ahead of Midterms] 

[MAGIC WALL HEADLINE: GOP SCARE TACTICS; Attack Protesters, Chain Migration, Hate Speech, Liberal Mob]

CUOMO: Wow, he's really embracing something this deceptive and divisive. It goes further than simply Democrats. In true us versus them fashion, it's not just about parties, it's about people. It's about the rabid left, okay? Like who? Well, like these women. Like the vicious women who came out to share their stories of sexual harassment and trauma during the Brett Kavanaugh proceedings. These women, the same ones that confronted Jeff Flake on that elevator and made a difference, if you remember. Now, according to the GOP, these women are part of the liberal mob. Now, they're not as endearing as, let's say, the Proud Boys, or the Confederacy kin that Republicans like to cotton to, but a mob? And if you're in let's say a really tight race, okay, it seems like the tactic is just go straight terrorist, like indicted Congressman Duncan Hunter — indicted, yet somehow believing he has high ground because according to him, the man opposing him is a national security risk. How does it make sense? Well, here's how it makes sense, all right. Hunter has a letter signed by three retired Marine Corps generals, and that letter says that his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, is a security risk. Now, this is part of Duncan's apparent effort to paint Campa-Najjar as a terrorist by referencing a relative of his opponent that was a terrorist, but that doesn't mean Najjar is. He's not even Muslim if you're one of those people who are thinking: “Ah, sounds like a Muslim name. Maybe he is.” He's not a Muslim and you shouldn't seen think that way. But no matter, as most of the terror threats in this country are, they're not from Muslims either. So it's just not a way to think. But what should you think? Campa-Najjar is a 29-year-old Christian. He was born and raised here and he held a security clearance while working in the Obama administration. He responded to this by calling the letter “pathological.” Fear and loathing and arguably lying. Quite a strategy. But in a period of turbo-charged toxicity, is it the way to get GOP faithful to the polls? We will see and we're already getting data back. Why? Early voting already underway. 

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 17, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 17, 2018
7:15 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Plus the message coming from some Republicans in the midterm races. Be afraid. Ain’t that cool? Scare tactics. They are out there again, pushing that this time. They can’t sell the record or the tax cut, so they’re sowing fear.

(....)

7:28 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

MATTHEWS: Up next: Conservatives are trying to scare voters to the polls this November, the same old arguments on immigrants and Islamism and — immigration and crime, the usual.

(....)

7:32 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: At the risk of losing their majority in the U.S. House, Republicans have waged a fear-mongering campaign now to scare voters away from the Democrats. Since at least August — since August, some Republicans or their allies have gone so far as to portray Democrats as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. And that’s because, according to The New York Times: "Republicans have been only marginally successful in leveraging -- leveraging the usual tools available during an economic boom, like bragging about low unemployment, [about] tax cuts, [about] a new trade deal." Instead, they’re resorted to negative ads like this:

NARRATOR: Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress. He has used three different names to hide his family’s ties to terrorism. His grandfather masterminded the Munich Olympic massacre.

NARRATOR: Pureval’s lobbying firm made millions helping Libya reduce payments owed to families of Americans killed by Libyan terrorism. Selling out Americans? Aftab Pureval can’t be trusted.

NARRATOR: So out of touch, Malinowski lobbied for terrorist rights, backed billions for Iran. Tom Malinowski has done enough damage in Washington.

MATTHEWS: Whoa. In each of those ads, the Republican claims are overstated or outright false. According to The New York Times, California Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar "has repeatedly denounced his grandfather’s actions" at the Munich Olympics. And he’s a Christian, not a Muslim. According to The Washington Post, Ohio candidate Aftab Pureval was "not involved in his law firm’s work settling terrorism-related lawsuits that had been filed against Libya" and while New Jersey candidate Tom Malinowski lobbied for enemy combatants to have access to the courts, he was vindicated by the Supreme Court here, which ruled that detainees had a right to a hearing to challenge the basis for their detention. Joining me right now is Michelle Goldberg, New York Times columnist, and David Jolly. He’s a former Republican congressman, no longer affiliated, by his own choice, with that party. Let me go to Michelle Goldberg about this. I know from Republicans that months ago, not a million years ago, they thought that the tax cut, a billion -- a trillion-and-a-half tax cut, which benefited everybody a little bit, some people an awful lot, rich people, would benefit them, that the deregulation would help them, that the overall economic climate, which has reduced the unemployment rate to down in the 3's, would help them. It doesn’t seem to, so they have resorted for sort of the negative usual scarecrows they put up.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG: Right. Well, I think that it’s obvious that most people understand who the tax cut really benefited, right? Polls show that most people understand that the tax cut is — the tax cut benefited corporations tremendously, and ordinary people so marginally that its benefits were erased by things like rising inflation and rising gas prices. Inasmuch as they’re able to run on the economy, a lot of people -- it is true that -- now that there are a lot of people employed. But things are still very, very, very rough. People are still living paycheck to paycheck. And they’re still very worried about what I think they understand Republicans want to do to the social safety net. So, Republicans are running the sort of campaign that has worked for them in the past. I mean, they have realized in the age of Trump that their economic policies are -- their traditional conservative economic policies are very unpopular, and that the way they motivate their base is through xenophobic terror.

MATTHEWS: Well, David, your erstwhile political party, the Republicans, according to Mitch McConnell now, are targeting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as the cause of our debts, of our deficit. In other words, the three things that Trump was smart not to touch, they’re going after. Your thoughts? That could help the Democrats.

DAVID JOLLY: Of course. Look, we know entitlement spending has to be reformed. It is one of the largest cost drivers to the federal budget. But you can’t have that conversation and ignore what has happened in terms of the trillion-dollar deficits that are being created by a tax bill that has largely been rigged to favor the rich and corporations, and has abandoned Main Street families. So, Chris, they can’t sell that, so what they’re doing is, they are selling fear. And that is an act of desperation three weeks before an election. Understand, having ads about national security are new. We saw that famously in ‘64 with the daisy ad. We saw it, frankly, in the Hillary Clinton-Obama race of ‘08, with Hillary and the 3:00 a.m. phone call, saying, I’m prepared to lead. What is different in this environment is that they’re not selling messages of national security qualifications. They are selling pure fear. And in many cases, they’re doing so in a xenophobic lane that brings out these cultural wars that Republicans have figured out how to manipulate to win elections.

MATTHEWS: Well, it’s not just fear of terrorism that Republicans are out selling right now. It’s fear of immigration itself. Last night on Fox, Laura Ingraham warned that, if Democrats take control the House, these -- they will replace American voters with immigrants. Here she goes.

LAURA INGRAHAM [on FNC’s The Ingraham Angle, 10/16/18]: Your views on immigration will have zero impact and zero influence on a House dominated by Democrats, who want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever increasing number of chain migrants.

MATTHEWS: Wow. What do you make of that, Michelle? That is pretty direct, pretty raw.

GOLDBERG: Well, I mean, the -- one of the side effects of the nightmare of the Trump presidency is that Fox News has given itself increasingly to white nationalist propaganda. That language of being replaced come straight out of the marchers in Charlottesville last year. Last year, Steve King, who’s probably the most openly white nationalist member of Congress, said, you can’t —

MATTHEWS: From Iowa, yes.

GOLDBERG: — from Iowa. You can’t renew this — you can’t renew our culture with other people’s babies and, at that time, it was widely denounced. Everybody realized that that was too racist even for the modern Republican Party. A year later, that kind of language is just mainstream in what the Republican Party has become.

MATTHEWS: Do you think they have tested this, and that’s why they’re doing it, the anti-immigrant line? Do you think that’s why they’re doing it, Dave?

JOLLY: Oh, without question. Again, they know fear sells. And they are peddling this very disgusting fear when it comes to culture wars. Listen, to the point that was made by the -- by the TV host, you know what, if we have greater voices of diversity in our country, whether they were born here, naturalized or immigrated here, good for us. That makes us a stronger nation and a better nation and a smarter nation.And it makes us more equipped to address the problems that we face as a multicultural community and a multicultural country. It is why the demographics, both voting and culturally, are getting away from Republicans. And instead of trying to expand their coalition of voters, they’re simply trying to energize those that are left within the tent. It’s shameful. Go back to this national security conversation that we’re seeing replete in these TV ads. They are not attacking national security credentials. They are attacking patriotism, like we saw the attacks on Max Cleland in ‘02, a Vietnam warrior. We are seeing these attacks that are, without question, dividing us culturally as a nation. And, at some point, we get to question the fitness of Republican decision-makers that make those decisions.

MATTHEWS: Well, I can see why you’re not a Republican anymore. You don’t talk like one. Thank you, Michelle Goldberg. And thank you, David Jolly.

JOLLY: Thank you.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Conservatives & Republicans CNN Cuomo PrimeTime MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press David Jolly Chris Matthews Michelle Goldberg Chris Cuomo Laura Ingraham Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Duncan Hunter
Curtis Houck's picture