Watch How Even Lyin’ Brian Williams, Guests Thought the Democratic Response Was Cringeworthy!

On Tuesday’s 11th Hour, host Brian Williams tag-teamed with guests James Carville and Michael Steele to trash President Trump’s primetime address, but even this — um — special trio couldn’t escape two segments talking about the night’s events without absolutely lampooning the much-maligned and parodied Democratic response by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Williams pivoted after some Trump bashing (check the transcript to read about that) to the Democrats, telling Carville he should inform him “why responses are so bad tonight” as “this Chuck and Nancy visual tonight launched 1,000 memes while they were still talking.”

 

 

Clearly amused like the rest of the country, Lyin’ Brian continued:

There was an American gothic meme. There was “your mother and I are very upset you stayed out so late” meme. And someone has to account for Bobby Jindal, his guest appearance in Gone with the Wind and for Rubio drinking water. But this visual from tonight goes down in the pantheon. What is the problem with responses, James? 

Carville acknowledged that State of the Union responses are tough sledding, but Tuesday came down to the reality that neither one of them wanted to be there.

The longtime Democratic official predicted that some staffer will get blamed in a meeting on Wednesday, but “the only good thing about it” was that it “didn't matter”: “They could have given the Gettysburg Address and it wouldn't have mattered. It was — he didn't want to be there. I've been more excited about colonoscopies than he was giving the speech tonight. He didn't want to be there.”

Yeesh.

With all three laughing hysterically, Williams was only able to belabor the point for a brief while until Steele wanted to get serious as affected federal workers won’t receive their paychecks on time (click “expand”):

WILLIAMS: Well, we've now completed our journey through the human body. Hey, Michael, the first thing people said on social media tonight was, it looked like the Democrats only had the one podium. These two people, both of great station and accomplishment, are sharing this little tiny, modest, wooden podium. 

STEELE: Yeah. I — I — again, I looked at that, I tweeted, I thought it was mean. Dems, don't do that again. You know, you don't — I don't know what they were trying to accomplish here. Certainly, the message was lost in the visual, but Jim is right. I mean, didn't really matter in the end because nobody wanted to be doing what they were doing tonight and that's the bottom line. I think tomorrow, federal workers should be even more concerned about their situation and whether or not this government is prepared to really do anything about it in the short term and that, you know, all the — all the memes and the visuals aside, that's the seriousness of this. 800,000 individuals and their families are being impacted because of nothing but politics and a lack of conviction and courage to do the right thing.

Williams complimented Steele for pointing out how “[p]eople are already choosing between gasoline, medicine, food, childcare, and that’s the part of this that ain't right,” but went back to the lunacy of this pairing in teasing the next segment, joking that “I fear a cable show may be on the way with that very same name.”

After the break, Carville laid into not only Democrats, but also Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh for going “crazy” (click “expand”):

CARVILLE: I think the Democrats — look, Speaker Pelosi, or Leader Schumer, they don't — it doesn't — they can't agree to anything. The Democrats are not going to vote for this. Trump stands up there in December and says that if there's a government shutdown, blame me and they're not — they’re going to go along with this. They never did. He couldn't get a Republican congress for two years to go along with this. On the 19th, he said he would sign the — the — the bill, they were going to pass in the Congress to keep the government open. Then Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh went crazy and he had to change his mind as if they're going to change on this thing. Of course they're not going to change. I'm sorry, sarg, Trump was a con man and fraud before he came up with this — goofy idea or whatever it is that he did after December 19th.

WILLIAMS: Boy, I'm glad you settled on the word, goofy. Knowing the alternatives. 

CARVILLE: Hey, I was trying. I know, I was struggling, man, I could have — I could have got myself in trouble if I said what I really thought.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on January 8, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
January 8, 2019
11:35 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: I see just in the last few minutes we've had a thank you note from the President of the United States who is saying on Twitter, “Thank you for soooo” and there's multiple o’s, the way some people do, “sooo many nice comments regarding my Oval Office speech. A very interesting experience!” What tells me we'll hear more about that interesting experience? James, where do you put the politics of all of this right now in the wake of the President's speech tonight? 

JAMES CARVILLE: I don't think anything happened tonight. I mean, we had a remarkable night. We had a President that gave a speech that didn't want to give the speech. We had networks that covered the speech that didn’t want to cover the speech. We had Democrats that responded to the speech that didn't want to respond to the speech and the value of your news judgment was justified within the first ten minutes of your program, you talked about Mueller and not this speech. It — this — the political effect of this is less than zero. He doesn't have support for it. The Democrats are not going to be for it. It changed nothing and he knew that. He was complaining about having to give the speech when he was having lunch with the — with the news people today. He was complaining about going to the border. I don't think anybody — any network executive was happy about the choice they had to make or happy that they covered this, and I actually don't think that the Speaker Pelosi or Leader Schumer were very excited about responding to it, either. It just — it completely unremarkable event. I hate to — for me to invite you on your show about a news thing and say I just don't see anything there. I think the person that came on before made a good point, he seemed not to be talking about terrorism, he wanted to protect African-Americans and Hispanics and women and children and that usually is not where he comes from, so maybe that's something significant, but I really didn't see anything tonight that tells me there's any kind of change politically. I defer to Chairman Steele and see what he says. 

WILLIAMS: Alright. Chairman Steele. I've never heard a more natural toss to another guest and by the way, James, we do the inviting. You come on at any time. You can say whatever the hell flies into your mind. That’s the fun of —

CARVILLE: I appreciate it, Brian. I think the news judgment was right on. Not much of an event. 

WILLIAMS: I'm busting to talk about the Clemson victory last night. Anyway, Michael, Mr. Chairman — 

MICHAEL STEELE: Well, you know —

WILLIAMS: — it’s been said — it's been said that the reason this isn't coming up in the Senate, that McConnell is covering this with his body because he may not have the votes to protect this President's flank. What's the level of discomfort among members of your party? 

STEELE: It's high. It's very high. I think he's absolute — I think that's perfect analysis. He doesn't have the votes to protect this President's flank. In fact, you've got Republicans now up to three and while folks say, well, that’s not a lot, it's a big shift to have three of those senators, the latest being Lisa Murkowski, coming and moving away from the President on this issue. I, you know, one of these rare moments, I'm in agreement with my buddy, James Carville. This was a nothing — this was the quintessential definition of a nothingburger speech tonight. It was — in one sense interesting in that it lowered expectations. I mean, it just kind of — it kind of took the air out of the argument because the President, you know, maybe it's the teleprompter thing. I don't know, but he just kind of gave this almost monotone approach to it. There wasn’t the vim and vigor. There wasn't the urgency of the moment. If there's such a crisis, you would think particularly whenever you sit behind the resolute desk, Brian, to give a national speech that's covered by all the networks and the cable stations, you've got urgency, you got a reason to be there. I don't think anyone got a sense of what that urgency was or why he was actually doing it. 

WILLIAMS: James, you shouldn’t have to answer for all advance people, all political types and both parties, but tell me why responses are so bad tonight, this Chuck and Nancy visual tonight launched 1,000 memes while they were still talking. There was an American gothic meme. There was “your mother and I are very upset you stayed out so late” meme. And someone has to account for Bobby Jindal, his guest appearance in Gone with the Wind and for Rubio drinking water. But this visual from tonight goes down in the pantheon. What is the problem with responses, James? 

CARVILLE: You know, I don’t — they seldom, if ever, work at the State of the Union, they usually get some young person to respond. They tried that with Jindal. That didn't work very well. I don't think they wanted to do it. I don't think they should have done it and I guarantee you at the staff meeting tomorrow morning, somebody is going to get, you know, chewed out pretty good. I just don't think — the only good thing about it, didn't matter. They could have given the Gettysburg Address and it wouldn't have mattered. It was — he didn't want to be there. I've been more excited about colonoscopies than he was giving the speech tonight. He didn't want to be there. 

WILLIAMS: Well, we've now completed our journey through the human body. Hey, Michael, the first thing people said on social media tonight was, it looked like the Democrats only had the one podium. These two people, both of great station and accomplishment, are sharing this little tiny, modest, wooden podium. 

STEELE: Yeah. I — I — again, I looked at that, I tweeted, I thought it was mean. Dems, don't do that again. You know, you don't — I don't know what they were trying to accomplish here. Certainly, the message was lost in the visual, but Jim is right. I mean, didn't really matter in the end because nobody wanted to be doing what they were doing tonight and that's the bottom line. I think tomorrow, federal workers should be even more concerned about their situation and whether or not this government is prepared to really do anything about it in the short term and that, you know, all the — all the memes and the visuals aside, that's the seriousness of this. 800,000 individuals and their families are being impacted because of nothing but politics and a lack of conviction and courage to do the right thing.

WILLIAMS: Michael, you're right. People are already choosing between gasoline, medicine, food, childcare, and that’s the part of this that ain't right. Both gentlemen have agreed to stick around. We’re going to pause our conversation. Just long enough to have a break. We'll come back and continue with Carville and Steele. I fear a cable show may be on the way with that very same name.

(....)

11:47 p.m. Eastern

CARVILLE: I think the Democrats — look, Speaker Pelosi, or Leader Schumer, they don't — it doesn't — they can't agree to anything. The Democrats are not going to vote for this. Trump stands up there in December and says that if there's a government shutdown, blame me and they're not — they’re going to go along with this. They never did. He couldn't get a Republican congress for two years to go along with this. On the 19th, he said he would sign the — the — the bill, they were going to pass in the Congress to keep the government open. Then Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh went crazy and he had to change his mind as if they're going to change on this thing. Of course they're not going to change. I'm sorry, sarg, Trump was a con man and fraud before he came up with this — goofy idea or whatever it is that he did after December 19th.

WILLIAMS: Boy, I'm glad you settled on the word, goofy. Knowing the alternatives. 

CARVILLE: Hey, I was trying. I know, I was struggling, man, I could have — I could have got myself in trouble if I said what I really thought. 

(....)

11:48 p.m. Eastern

STEELE: Well because the question you have to ask yourself is who's he, quote, selling it to? He's not selling it to the broader audience of Americans who are genuinely concerned about their neighbors and family members who are directly impacted by this. He’s — he has to — he has to continue to make sure that that very small corner of the room that is the remainder of this base, stays sufficiently behind him, as — as was already referenced when you have got two very strong conservative voices on radio and television and on social media taking him to task. That's the kind of hurt he doesn't want to feel. That's the noise he doesn't want to hear and so all of this is about making sure that, you know, they stay somewhat placated, but here's the rub. At some point, you got to pull the trigger on something. If Nancy Pelosi is saying there is nothing coming out of the House that's going to have a wall in it, all right, and if — if — if the Senate leadership, Chuck Schumer notwithstanding, says you don't have the votes, what's he going to do? Where does he go? And at some point, does that base say, wait a minute, I get the bravado and I get, you know, the idea of the threat of the emergency, but what are you going to do? Are you going to pull the trigger? And I think that, if nothing else, will force him to actually take those steps to making an emergency call on this and then at that point, Brian, all hell breaks loose. 

NB Daily Congress Government shutdown Liberals & Democrats MSNBC The 11th Hour with Brian Williams Video Government & Press Brian Williams Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi James Carville Michael Steele Chuck Schumer
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