NYT’s Gay Incensed Trump Would ‘Graphically’ Talk About Abortion in ‘Dark’ Speech

MSNBC’s midnight edition of Hardball was a trainwreck following Tuesday’s State of the Union address by President Trump, so it was only natural for the fun (or whatever you want to call it) to continue into the final hour of coverage. 

For that, MSNBC turned things over to The Beat host Ari Melber, who oversaw plenty of nonsense on abortion, the President, and Stacey Abrams from guests Mara Gay of The New York Times editorial board and The Root’s Jason Johnson.

Gay made it clear that this hour would be one long-running Notable Quotable, asserting two minutes in that Stacey Abrams spoke “quite eloquently” about the President not having a grip on reality, joking that she wished someone would have been like Republican Congressman Joe Wilson (SC) would have yelled “you lie” at Trump.

 

 

She then expanded on that by attacking Trump’s “dark vision” and how “eerily offensive” it was for him to have guests like the Angel Family, Holocaust survivors, and World War II veterans (click “expand”):

But, no, in all seriousness it was a dark vision of a country. It was very Trumpian in that sense. I was particularly struck by obviously that portion that you just played for your viewers in which the President essentially threatened an end to the economic growth of the country if he was not protected at all costs, no matter what he does or has done and I was also struck by his use of every day Americans and people who have been through some pretty extraordinary difficult experiences, Holocaust survivors, people who have lost family members to violence, using them as pawns for his own political purposes and — and talking about them in terms of patriotism when, you know, I would say, in my opinion, the President and his administration have done nothing but debase our democratic values and the values that we hold dear as Americans, so I found that picture eerily offensive.

On Abrams, Gay made clear how the Abrams’s speech made her miss Barack Obama:

You need to be able to build coalitions, and it's about persuasion and I think that the Democrats got a great start with Stacey Abrams tonight. I still think — I actually found myself missing Barack Obama tonight, particularly tonight because I think the Democrats are still missing a fuller vision of what their future — what is the vision for the country that the Democrats see.

Concerning economic growth, CNBC’s John Harwood lambasted the President has having done not much of anything to improve the economy, instead giving credit to the Obama administration since that fits into Harwood’s job of being a hack.

But the worst part was Gay’s morbid defense of late-term abortions and being indignant that the President would speak out so “graphically” against infanticide. So, therefore, she must not be too keen on anyone who blows the whistle on what the left really thinks about infants (click “expand”):

GAY: [L]isten, I want to bring up something else that happened that I think is — is really important is that the President lied about what abortion laws that are — one is on the books in New York that — that the state legislature just passed, another one in Virginia. What those would do for abortion, I mean, the abortion bill in New York actually just brings the State of New York up to a standard that is set out in Roe v. Wade, which it creates an exemption that allows abortions after 24 weeks when the health of the mother is at stake. That makes up — abortions later in pregnancy make up 1.3 percent of all abortions.

MELBER: But you're talking about the President jumping on that to hit a pro-life message. 

GAY: That’s right. The President not just jumping on it to hit a pro-life message but actually talking, you know, I would say really graphically about, you know, a procedure that is a medical procedure between a woman and her doctor that is done to prevent suffering in the case of fetal abnormalities or to protect the life and health of a woman and he’s not giving medically accurate information. He's using scare tactics and he's not giving — he’s not being honest about what's in — what’s in those pieces of legislation. 

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru had a piece Wednesday morning that refuted these arguments, noting that such claims are “misleading —  since those prohibitions have either explicit or implicit exceptions for a broadly defined ‘health’ of the mother, they aren’t really prohibitions — and irrelevant to anything Trump said.”

“So long as the abortionist is willing to say that an abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s health — including emotional health — the abortion can take place at any time before or after 24 weeks,” he added.

The rest of the hour’s nonsense (minus an appearance by Sinbad) concerned gushing over Abrams. Lefty lawyer Kristen Clarke proclaimed that Abrams “was voice of clarity” doing “tremendous work to make visible those who are left out of President Trump's State of the Union speech tonight” and “shin[ing] a bright light on real issues that infect our democracy.”

On so-called voter suppression, Melber replied that its an issue thanks to “a white grievance backlash built around MAGA and Trump.”

Having spoken to Abrams in the days leading up to the speech, Johnson boasted that she “did a fantastic job” seeing as how “she’s actually a writer” and has “been talking to people on a regular basis.” 

Not even two minutes later, Johnson informed viewers that he doesn’t think Republican Brian Kemp actually won the election and instead stole it from Abrams: “I'm going to go out on a limb and say this, the state of Georgia has been — it was ground zero for voter suppression. I don't think she lost. I think Brian Kemp cheated. I've always felt that. There were so many problems in that election.”

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s post-State of the Union coverage on February 6, click “expand.”

MSNBC Post-Address Special
February 6, 2019
1:02 a.m. Eastern

ARI MELBER: Mara, this was a speech at times, had a fantasy football element. It was the way Trump would want it to be not always the way it is. 

MARA GAY:  Oh, I think that's right. Stacey Abrams said that quite eloquently after — in her address, which is we don't actually need, you know, to have that much from a president. We just need him to tell the truth. That did not happen tonight. I kept waiting for Joe Wilson to pop up, former representative from South Carolina and yell “you lie.” It's like, you know, where is he when you need him? But, no, in all seriousness it was a dark vision of a country. It was very Trumpian in that sense. I was particularly struck by obviously that portion that you just played for your viewers in which the President essentially threatened an end to the economic growth of the country if he was not protected at all costs, no matter what he does or has done and I was also struck by his use of every day Americans and people who have been through some pretty extraordinary difficult experiences, Holocaust survivors, people who have lost family members to violence, using them as pawns for his own political purposes and — and talking about them in terms of patriotism when, you know, I would say, in my opinion, the President and his administration have done nothing but debase our democratic values and the values that we hold dear as Americans, so I found that picture eerily offensive.

(....)

1:10 a.m. Eastern

GAY: Well, it's a smart pick by the Democratic leadership because Stacey Abrams is someone from a state in Georgia where you actually have to win over people who may not automatically agree with you in order to win elections, which she didn't succeed at but almost succeeded at and I think she does show that skill. It’s something Barack Obama was also able to do. You need to be able to build coalitions, and it's about persuasion and I think that the Democrats got a great start with Stacey Abrams tonight. I still think — I actually found myself missing Barack Obama tonight, particularly tonight because I think the Democrats are still missing a fuller vision of what their future — what is the vision for the country that the Democrats see.

(....)

1:12 a.m. Eastern

MELBER: what do you say to our viewers who heard the President tout a bunch of economic statistics, some of which are positive for America and true, but some of which he inherited. Was this a triple or did — did he just land on third? 

JOHN HARWOOD: He landed on third. The President had claimed he launched an unprecedented economic boom. That's not close to being true. Two recent presidents, for example, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, their presidencies featured much stronger economic booms than the President, this President has seen. He said that we've gained five million over the last two years, which almost no one thought was possible. Well, that's plainly not true because the job creation during — throughout the second term of president Obama was exactly the same pace, two and a half million jobs a year. So, if it’s just happened for four years running no one is going to think it's impossible to keep happening for two more years. The same thing is true with things like the employment rate, the rate of black unemployment, all of those things have been on a straight line down since the worst of the financial crisis and Great Recession, and they've been handed down since then. So president Trump inherited some very positive economic data, has continued however, the important thing to note, Ari, is that the economy is slowing down already. We project under three percent growth, most economists do for 2019, under two percent for 2020. He's got economic problems looming ahead of him. 

(....)

1:21 a.m. Eastern

GAY: Oh, I think the President was mistaken. The women that he referenced, you know, were not clapping for him. They were actually congratulating themselves on being elected by Americans who I would say the — a majority of whom want a check on Donald Trump. 

MELBER: Yeah and to build on the point, if you look at the footage we're looking at, it would be great if we saw that demonstration right there tonight, one of those powerful images tonight across the whole hall, right?

GAY: That’s right.

MELBER: But only one woman was elected in the Republican caucus this year. A lot of this is not just women power, it is explicitly women against Trump. 

GAY: No, it absolutely is and, you know, listen, I want to bring up something else that happened that I think is — is really important is that the President lied about what abortion laws that are — one is on the books in New York that — that the state legislature just passed, another one in Virginia. What those would do for abortion, I mean, the abortion bill in New York actually just brings the State of New York up to a standard that is set out in Roe v. Wade, which it creates an exemption that allows abortions after 24 weeks when the health of the mother is at stake. That makes up — abortions later in pregnancy make up 1.3 percent of all abortions.

MELBER: But you're talking about the President jumping on that to hit a pro-life message. 

GAY: That’s right. The President not just jumping on it to hit a pro-life message but actually talking, you know, I would say really graphically about, you know, a procedure that is a medical procedure between a woman and her doctor that is done to prevent suffering in the case of fetal abnormalities or to protect the life and health of a woman and he’s not giving medically accurate information. He's using scare tactics and he's not giving — he’s not being honest about what's in — what’s in those pieces of legislation. 

(....)

1:31 a.m. Eastern

KRISTEN CLARKE: It is a big deal, and I'm glad that they picked her to be the one to present that rebuttal tonight. I thought she was a voice of clarity. I thought that she did tremendous work to make visible those who are left out of President Trump's State of the Union speech tonight. I thought she shined a bright light on real issues that infect our democracy that the President didn't touch. She talked about voter suppression. Voter suppression is real, and that is most certainly the truth. She's Exhibit A in voter suppression that was rampant last year across Georgia and was rampant —

MELBER: Let me play some of that for you for further response because what you're talking about what your group works on, what she was working on is these problems in these crack downs on voting often targeting minorities as well as the poor and elderly and this is something where we're living in a white grievance backlash built around MAGA and Trump, and yet these are bunch of other issues involving people being victimized by governments.

(....)

1:34 a.m. Eastern

JASON JOHNSON: Stacey did a fantastic job. I talked to her campaign — I talked to her yesterday in preparation for this and one of the things is people forget she's actually a writer, and she's been at the state level, so she's been talking to people on a regular basis. I think there are so many elements to this people got at different levels. I mean, basically she said why are you always lying for the President, you know, and she said stump 101 for what he was doing with the shutdown, like everything in this was a way to communicate with people on multiple levels and there were actually many other musical references she wanted the time to actually match. She want to go too far in her rebuttal. 

MELBER: Is that what she was telling you yesterday?

JOHNSON: Yeah, that’s actually what she told me yesterday and there were some that were not in it tonight. I was almost like, why was this not there? Why wasn’t it there? cannot share because she may use it for a future speech. 

(....)

1:36 a.m. Eastern

JOHNSON: I have to add, though, and a key thing is that's what voters in Georgia saw because she's got a ton of anecdote like that and I think, look, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this, the state of Georgia has been — it was ground zero for voter suppression. I don't think she lost. I think Brian Kemp cheated. I've always felt that. There were so many problems in that election and I think the end result — it's a very rare instance where you have a candidate who did not win an election because I’m going to say I don’t think she lost, did not win an election, and who was fought for and her popularity has gone up in the state. No one there calls her a sore loser. There is a bipartisan caucus, Republican and Democrats in Georgia right now for voting rights. Eight Republican show up, so — so clearly that message is something that resonates across party lines and I was really impressed. 

GAY: Well, it goes to the heart of who is a citizen, who gets to be part of this experiment? 

NBDaily Congress State of the Union Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Abortion MSNBC The Beat with Ari Melber National Review Video Ari Melber Jason Johnson Ramesh Ponnuru Donald Trump Stacey Abrams
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