CNN, MSNBC Cheer Pelosi’s ‘Machiavellian Genius’ in the House, Clap ‘That Had Everyone Talking’

On Wednesday night, CNN and MSNBC still had plenty of energy left to not only blast the President’s State of the Union address from the night before, but also go gaga for every movement and every word espoused by liberals. 

In the latter case, CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and MSNBC’s Hardball cheered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “Machiavellian genius” controlling the House and offering a snarky clap for the President that was “the clap...seen around the world.”

 

 

In the case of the MSNBC talkfest, host Chris Matthews turned to former DNC chair Donna Brazile ten minutes into the program with syrupy praise for Pelosi: “But I want to congratulate your party tonight because Nancy Pelosi last night showed the power. This is almost Machiavellian genius. The slight movement of the hand like an orchestra just — no, no embarrassment here.”

Brazile responded by touting how Pelosi “understands her caucus” and the importance of “eye contact” like a sports coach does with athletes.

Shifting to CNN, there was a similar infatuation with Pelosi. Host Erin Burnett hyped in a tease for the segment by OutFront staple and correspondent Jeanne Moos: “And next, Nancy Pelosi and the clap, the clap — look at that — seen around the world.”

“Tonight, put your hands together for Jeanne and the Nancy Pelosi moment that had everyone talking,” Burnett stated after the break in her intro to Moos’s piece.

Moos then took note of pro-Pelosi reactions from Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, Patton Oswald, GIFs set to the Cha-Cha-Slide and We Will Rock You, and memes such as one that had Pelosi holding out golden handcuffs to arrest Trump.

Moos then somehow made it seem like there was a question of what was Pelosi reading during the address....except that those familiar with the annual event’s proceedings know that the President hand-delivers copies of the address to the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

The comedic correspondent concluded soon after (click “expand”):

Of course, Nancy wasn't the only head-shaking eye roller in the House. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris looked exasperated, as did Kirsten Gillibrand who even used her eyeroll as a fundraising appeal and took it down after critics said it violated House rules. Speaker Pelosi's daughter, Christine tweeted: “oh yes that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know.” All we know is that all of that clapping was the Speaker's seal of disapproval.

Eye roll.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on February 6, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
February 6, 2019
7:10 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But I want to congratulate your party tonight because Nancy Pelosi last night showed the power. This is almost Machiavellian genius. The slight movement of the hand like an orchestra just — no, no embarrassment here.

DONNA BRAZILE: First of whether I'm on Team Pelosi. She's not only smart but she understands her caucus and the eye contact. You know, I'm an old athlete. You know when the coach looks at you when you know there’s a layup and you know? 

MATTHEWS: Well, she’s like Robert Di Niro with the eye thing. 

BRAZILE: You know, with the eye contact.

MATTHEWS: She was eye balling everybody. 

BRAZILE: And there when she would look at her notes and you're like, oh God. I loved it.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront on February 6, click “expand.”

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront
February 6, 2019
7:53 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

ERIN BURNETT: And next, Nancy Pelosi and the clap, the clap — look at that — seen around the world. 

(....)

7:58 p.m. Eastern

BURNETT: Tonight, put your hands together for Jeanne and the Nancy Pelosi moment that had everyone talking. 

JEANNE MOOS: It was the show behind the show, nodding “no” when the President declared the State of the Union was —

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Strong. 

MOOS: — muttering commentary to herself, smiling at colleagues, urging new female members of Congress to rise. Rolling her eyes. 

TRUMP: Ridiculous partisan investigations. 

MOOS: But Nancy Pelosi became the “queen of condescending” applause after President Trump proposed rejecting the politics of revenge and embracing the common good. [APPLAUSE] She clapped madly, their eyes met.

JIMMY FALLON [on NBC’s The Tonight Show, 02/05/19]: Pelosi was like, you're never getting your wall! 

MOOS: Comedian Patton Oswald congratulated “Speaker Pelosi for inventing the “[BLEEP] you clap.”

[CHA-CHA-SLIDE]

MOOS: It launched a million GIFs. 

[WE WILL ROCK YOU]

MOOS: The internet was rocked with memes as photoshoppers added things like golden handcuffs. The clap back reminded one guy of “[w]hen I tell my wife I changed a diaper.” And then there was the mystery, what was Nancy reading? 

TRUMP: Not right. 

MOOS: Some called it rude and petty for Pelosi to bury her nose in papers. Was it the Mueller report? Or Trump's tax returns? Or a menu?

TREVOR NOAH [on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, 02/05/19]: I kept expecting a waitress to come over with an order of buffalo wings. 

MOOS: Nah, she was just reading along with the President's speech. Of course, Nancy wasn't the only head-shaking eye roller in the House. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris looked exasperated, as did Kirsten Gillibrand who even used her eyeroll as a fundraising appeal and took it down after critics said it violated House rules. Speaker Pelosi's daughter, Christine tweeted: “oh yes that clap took me back to the teen years. She knows. And she knows that you know.” All we know is that all of that clapping was the Speaker's seal of disapproval. [SEAL NOISE] Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York. 

NBDaily State of the Union Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Erin Burnett OutFront MSNBC Hardball Video Erin Burnett Chris Matthews Jeanne Moos Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Donna Brazile
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