The “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC decided Friday afternoon that they had to up their game for the White House’s celebration of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court following their syrupy coverage of her Senate confirmation hearings and Thursday’s Senate vote.
All told, they waxed poetic about the “extraordinary” “party” for Jackson, who exudes “excellence” in the face of “persistent sexism,” “racism,” and “attacks” from Republicans and those who haven’t joined in “this moment of unity for our country...and history.” And, according to one network, Jackson’s nomination wasn’t actually about race.
ABC was bursting at the seams with so-called journalists building resumes to take Jen Psaki’s job.
World News Tonight anchor David Muir and longtime correspondent Deborah Roberts said before Jackson emerged with President Biden and Vice President Harris that he thought of how young girls and boys can be inspired by Jackson since they can now see that, after “some 200 years,” the Court looks more like America and “their classroom.”
After the event, Muir called it “[a]n extraordinary moment” with Jackson having been “extraordinarily humble” while Roberts added it’s an imperative that people realize how “breathtaking” and “remarkable” of a “speech” the judge gave.
Incredibly, Roberts insisted this process wasn’t about race and not what “a lot of people” thought of because, instead, it was recognizing someone who radiates “excellence and perseverance” to achieve “the American dream.”
Worst of all was senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce, who made the best case to take Psaki’s post inside Team Biden. Beforehand, Bruce called it “a party” filled with “several hundred” people who are “excited” and “very happy” to the point of “dancing” prior to Bide’s “victory lap.”
Bruce didn’t even try to hide her virulently liberal politics in sharing what she made of the ceremony. Teed up by Muir gushing that April 8 will be “remember[ed] with joy and...enormous fondness,” Bruce declared the day will be etched in our minds with Biden appearing alongside “two remarkable black women” and Jackson having overcome “attacks” from Republicans and far worse (click “expand”):
BRUCE: It absolutely will, David and just to see the President up there standing next to these two remarkable black women, both the first in their roles. It is an image that will be hard for many to forget, but you did hear the President say, yes, you know, this was a promise that he made, a promise fulfilled. Something he knew he wanted to do if he was going to be President but he also made the point that he is going to keep it up because just as much as he knows that this is a moment certainly for the entire country to celebrate, that this is just a moment, that there is a very long road ahead. The President noting, of course, the attacks that Judge Jackson took on throughout this confirmation process, even during her very own hearings on the Hill that this is just an example of how much this country still has to do, how much progress still has to be made, but David, I have to tell you, when I think back to this event, what will always stand out to me is just the look on Judge Jackson's face, especially as the President was speaking about her life story, about her experience. That beaming smile. Even as she was wiping away tears, it is a look that was repeated on the face of many women, many men, many of the young people here in the audience today and to think of all of the persistent sexism, the racism that Judge Jackson has had to navigate to get to this point to see her finally have a moment to just relish in this accomplishment is just pretty remarkable, David.
MUIR: It's remarkable for us too, Mary, to watch. The wipe from the right eye, the tear now as the President was speaking, the Vice President was speaking and Mary, just a quick follow-up to you, because of something else that struck me. Obviously, we expected her to thank her parents, her husband, her daughters. But the level of detail with her — with her thank you’s, the names that we've never heard, quite frankly before, the legislative liaisons with the — with the Senate, members of the White House staff who helped her along the way. I mean, she really did not forget anyone who helped her through this extraordinarily rigorous process and, in watching them, they almost seemed surprised to hear their name in such a historic moment included within her gratitude here today.
NBC did its best to pull its weight. Before the event, race-baiter Yamiche Alcindor gushed over the day as “a profound moment for” both Biden and “this nation” with someone joining the Supreme Court who’s hailed by “friends” as a “brilliant” “star” that America will be “celebrat[ing].”
Senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson called Judge Jackson’s speech “emotional” and “powerful” that “embrac[ed] this moment” before Welker opined it felt “historic” and relayed to viewers that American University students she’s spoken to now believe “they can do anything.”
Alcindor came back and touted Jackson as having “lean[ed] into the history” but got “personal and really making sure that she was talking to so many women who see her as an inspiration.”
On CBS, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett said Jackson displayed “genuine emotion” and “profound history,” while longtime legal correspondent Jan Crawford said Jackson “really put into context the magnitude of this moment” with “power in” her “words.”
Garrett and senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang gently addressed the rash of COVID-19 cases in the administration and other elites with a sort of shrug that wouldn’t have passed if Donald Trump was still in office (click “expand”):
GARRETT: I think it would be fair and accurate to describe this as sort of a COVID-casual protocol situation.
JIANG: Well, Major, we are outside, which is really notable but you're right. You can feel the emotion in the air because this is not just a celebration for one woman. It is a celebration of everything, her new role represents, which the President described as a moment of real change in American history, not only about those who lifted her up to be here today but as Judge Jackson herself said about all the young women and little girls that she hopes will follow. It's been a really dreary and a rainy week here in Washington but the President made note of the sunshine today that is pouring down on the white house, saying that the sun is shining for black women and women of color. And I got to say this is the biggest crowd that I've seen here at the white house since President Biden took office. But, Major. as you noted earlier, it is largely partisan. The three Republican senators who voted in favor of confirming Judge Jackson are not here. We know that one of them is Maine’s Susan Collins because she tested positive for COVID-19, one of many high-ranking officials here in D.C., including some cabinet members, who have tested positive, but the White House said that today was outside. It is safe protocols for the President because anyone who is going to be near him was tested and so it really is about the celebration of Judge Jackson even though the COVID element is certainly in the background. Major.
Before CBS signed off, congressional correspondent Nikole Killion lamented Republican opposition to Biden’s judicial nominees writ-large and that it would continue despite Jackson having served as a “moment of unity for our country and...history.”
Earth to CBS: Ask Democrats how falsely accusing someone of rape (Brett Kavanaugh) and haranguing another (the late Robert Bork) didn’t poison the well.
To see the relevant transcripts from April 8, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).