NBC Excuses Omar’s Anti-Semitism as a Republican Gripe, ABC Demands Trump Apology

Oh, the lengths that the liberal media will go to defend their far-left flanks. On Thursday, NBC Nightly News led with the “send her back” chant from a Wednesday night Trump rally that many across the spectrum have condemned, but instead of leaving it there, the controversy was used to defend the rampant anti-Semitism from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as merely something that upsets Republicans.

And over on ABC’s World News Tonight, they presented chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl’s sparring with President Trump as a conquering hero while complaining that the President hasn’t done enough to sufficiently change his rhetoric to their liking.

 

 

On NBC, anchor Lester Holt set the tone in the show’s first tease and lead-in to chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson’s report (click “expand”):

Tonight growing backlash. The President tries to disavow an angry chant now saying he disagrees with the crowd that roared “send her back” about a Somali-born U.S. Congresswoman even though the President paused last night as the crowd yelled its insults.

(....)

President Trump's attempt to distance himself from the “go back” controversy is ringing hollow. The fallout from his racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen coming last night when a crowd at a Trump rally began shouting “send her back” after the President took another swipe at Somali-born U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The President today saying he tried to stop the chant, except the video shows he didn't.

Jackson played numerous soundbites decrying the chant, but when she got to a bite from Omar (that went unchallenged), she gushed that Omar tweeted about the matter by quoting Maya Angelou and “defend[ed] her right to make the, at times, controversial comments on foreign policy that have angered Republicans.”

If by “Republicans” Jackson meant the congressional Democrats that spoke to Jake Tapper, or those who spoke out on the record during past Omar controversies or Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, then sure. Otherwise, Jackson should get her facts straight. 

Deploying a liberal media trick of downplaying a real problem as merely something the GOP is upset about doesn’t illustrate journalism. Instead, it showcases partisan hackery when things like attacking Jewish people or speaking favorable of al-Qaeda should be denounced by all sides.

Over on ABC, David Muir was quick to tout Karl in a tease and lead-in like CNN does whenever Jim Acosta fights with the President (click “expand”):

Tonight, the “send her back” chant and the growing outrage. After those charged words at his rally, tonight, President Trump and our Jon Karl asking him, did his own words, his own tweets lead to their chants. The President responding saying he wasn't happy with those chants. Jon then asking why he didn't ask the crowd to stop. 

(....)

But first, growing outrage after the President's tweets and, overnight, those chants at the President’s rally. The crowd chanting, “send her back.” Those chants after the president took aim at Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The crowd in North Carolina then offering those words, “sends her back.” But tonight, Jon Karl asking the President if his own tweets led to all of this. The President takes no responsibility, but saying, quote, he “was not happy about it.” So Jon asked, why didn’t the President ask the crowd to stop.

ABC then showed the back-and-forths with Karl and Trump (click “expand”):

KARL: Today, I asked the President why he let it happen. [TO TRUMP] Why didn't you stop them? Why didn't you ask them to stop saying that? 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, number one, I think I did. I started speaking very quickly. It — it really was a loud — I disagree with it, by the way, but it was quite a chant, and I felt a little bit badly about it. 

KARL [TO TRUMP]: So you'll tell your supporters never to say it again? 

TRUMP:  Well, I would say that I — I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn't say it. I didn't say that, they did. But I disagree.

KARL [TO TRUMP]: But they were echoing what you said in your first tweet, that they should go back. 

TRUMP: Well, I don't think, if you examine it, I don't think you'll find that, but I disagree with it. 

KARL [TO TRUMP]: But you'll stop them if they try to do it again? 

TRUMP: Well, I didn't like that they did it and I started speaking very quickly.

(....)

KARL: Later today, I asked him to speak directly to the people in that crowd. [TO TRUMP] What would your message be for your supporters who are making that chant, and would you stop them? 

TRUMP: Well, these are people that love our country. I want them to keep loving our country and I think the congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are. The congresswomen have a lot of problems. 

Karl later took issue with how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) denounced the chant but didn’t go further and bash the President.

“That said, David, I see no indication that the President has any regrets whatsoever over his own words or any plans to tone down his rhetoric,” Karl concluded.

And that, folks, is another liberal media trope: insisting a conservative or Republican bend to their rhetoric if and when they say something that goes against their wishes.

On the CBS Evening News, their coverage was far more tame. Anchor Norah O’Donnell reported that “President Trump took a lot of heat from his own family over those racist chants” while White House correspondent Weijia Jiang also noted that the President didn’t denounce it in the moment, but featured two soundbites from a rally attendee (click “expand”):

TRUMP: What I would suggest, you go there, go to North Carolina and you ask the people why did they say that. 

JIANG: So we did.

ARNOLD WRIGHT: That’s just part these rallies, you know? 

JIANG: Arnold Wright ended the rally last night. 

WRIGHT: I mean, he's not there to hurt anybody's feelings. 

However, Jiang joined with Karl and Jackson by not airing Omar’s soundbite calling Trump a fascist.

To see the relevant transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on July 18, click “expand.”

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
July 18, 2019
6:30 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News]

DAVID MUIR: Tonight, the “send her back” chant and the growing outrage. After those charged words at his rally, tonight, President Trump and our Jon Karl asking him, did his own words, his own tweets lead to their chants. The President responding saying he wasn't happy with those chants. Jon then asking why he didn't ask the crowd to stop. 

(....)

6:32 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump: “Not Happy” With Chant]

MUIR: But first, growing outrage after the President's tweets and, overnight, those chants at the President’s rally. The crowd chanting, “send her back.” Those chants after the president took aim at Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The crowd in North Carolina then offering those words, “sends her back.” But tonight, Jon Karl asking the President if his own tweets led to all of this. The President takes no responsibility, but saying, quote, he “was not happy about it.” So Jon asked, why didn’t the President ask the crowd to stop. Jonathan Karl leading us off.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Trump: “Not Happy” with Chant; Disavows Supporters’ Chant of “Send Her Back”]

JONATHAN KARL: Today, President Trump disavowed the words of his own supporters, who turned his tweet suggesting four Democratic congresswomen “go back” to the countries they came from into a chant.

TRUMP RALLY CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! 

KARL: The chant was loud and long. Today, I asked the President why he let it happen. [TO TRUMP] Why didn't you stop them? Why didn't you ask them to stop saying that? 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, number one, I think I did. I started speaking very quickly. It — it really was a loud — I disagree with it, by the way, but it was quite a chant, and I felt a little bit badly about it. 

KARL [TO TRUMP]: So you'll tell your supporters never to say it again? 

TRUMP:  Well, I would say that I — I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn't say it. I didn't say that, they did. But I disagree.

KARL [TO TRUMP]: But they were echoing what you said in your first tweet, that they should go back. 

TRUMP: Well, I don't think, if you examine it, I don't think you'll find that, but I disagree with it. 

KARL [TO TRUMP]: But you'll stop them if they try to do it again? 

TRUMP: Well, I didn't like that they did it and I started speaking very quickly. 

KARL: Listen for yourself as President criticizes Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the chant plays out for 13 seconds. The President doesn’t speak again until it dies down.

TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds. 

TRUMP RALLY CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! 

TRUMP: When she talked about the evil Israel.

KARL: Later today, I asked him to speak directly to the people in that crowd. [TO TRUMP] What would your message be for your supporters who are making that chant, and would you stop them? 

TRUMP: Well, these are people that love our country. I want them to keep loving our country and I think the congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are. The congresswomen have a lot of problems. 

KARL: The President disavowed the chant after a growing outcry from his fellow Republicans. A Republican congressman from North Carolina who was at the rally tweeted that he, “struggled” with the chant, and that words were “painful to our friends in the minority communities.” Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters, “those chants have no place in our country.” But then he defended the President. 

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): He never joined in on it, and you want to try to hold him accountable for something that happened in a big audience? Are you going to hold him accountable too for whatever a protestor or something else does? I think that's an unfair position.

KARL: Outside the Capitol building, Congressman Omar was swarmed by cameras. 

CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This is not about me. This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.

MUIR: So, let's get right to Jon Karl live at the White House tonight and, Jon, Republican members of Congress made a direct appeal this chant cannot happen again. 

KARL: The President has heard directly from several key Republicans, and this morning, the Vice President received an earful from the Republican leaders at a breakfast meeting in the House. They told him they were disturbed by the chant, worried about the political blowback and asked to relay that message directly to the President, which he said he would do. That said, David, I see no indication that the President has any regrets whatsoever over his own words or any plans to tone down his rhetoric. 

MUIR: Jon Karl, leading us off tonight. Jon, thank you. 

To see the relevant transcript from July 18's NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, click “expand.”

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
July 18, 2019
7:00 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: ‘Send Her Back’ Backlash]

LESTER HOLT: Tonight growing backlash. The President tries to disavow an angry chant now saying he disagrees with the crowd that roared “send her back” about a somali-born U.S. Congresswoman —

TRUMP RALLY CROWD: Send her back! Send her back!

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. 

HOLT: — even though the President paused last night as the crowd yelled its insults. 

(....)

7:01 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: “Send Her Back” Bashlash

HOLT: President Trump's attempt to distance himself from the “go back” controversy is ringing hollow. The fallout from his racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen coming last night when a crowd at a Trump rally began shouting “send her back” after the President took another swipe at Somali-born U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The President today saying he tried to stop the chant, except the video shows he didn't. Hallie Jackson has details. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Tries to Disavow Chant After Harsh Criticism]

HALLIE JACKSON: The chant easy to hear, but for some hard to listen to. 

TRUMP RALLY CROWD: Send her back! Send her back!

JACKSON: Democrats and a few Republicans appalled at the words “send her back” erupting from the crowd at the President's North Carolina rally referencing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who escaped war-torn Somalia as a child. 

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: I’m really worried for our country. I really am. 

CONGRESSWOMAN ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): It is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric. 

SENATOR MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): The chant was offensive. It's just wrong. 

JACKSON: Omar quoting Maya Angelou, “like air, I’ll rise,” defending her right to make the, at times, controversial comments on foreign policy that have angered Republicans. 

CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): We tell people that, here in the United States, dissent is patriotic. Here in the United States, disagreement is welcomed, debate is welcomed. 

JACKSON: The President today trying to distance himself from the chant, but he is the one who initially suggested Omar and three other Democrats, all U.S. citizens, go back to their home countries. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I was not happy when I heard that chant. [SCREEN WIPE] I didn't like that they did it and I started speaking very quickly. 

JACKSON: He did not start speaking quickly, instead waiting 13 seconds before continuing on. 

TRUMP: Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.

TRUMP RALLY CROWD: Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!

TRUMP: And she talked about the evil Israel. 

JACKSON: You can see the video there. While publicly, some top Republicans defended President Trump, privately, it was a different message. NBC News has learned from sources familiar with the conversations that GOP leaders explained today to the Vice President that they thought the chant was not helpful and should be discouraged. Lester?

HOLT: Hallie Jackson at the White House. Thank you. 

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