The “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC eagerly reported Friday morning how President Biden spent Thursday evening declaring former President Trump and his 74-million-plus voters not only dangerous but threats to national security (despite Biden’s attempts to walk it back).
Instead of offering pushback or noting how the speech was an official White House event in Philadelphia with Marines flanking him, the morning news shows trumpeted his “blistering,” “charged,” and “fiery...speech” leveling “harsh criticism” of the GOP.
CBS Mornings co-host and Democratic Party donor Gayle King hyped in the “Eye Opener” that “Biden argue[d] the soul of the nation is on the line in a fiery primetime speech,” adding later that it was “a very impassioned primetime speech...directly accus[ing] former President Trump and his supporters of attacking American democracy.”
After touting a CBS poll to support Biden’s ugly characterization that claimed nearly three-quarters of Americans “believe that democracy is, in fact, under threat,” she told senior White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe that Biden “came out swinging.”
O’Keefe agreed, noting that while Biden “spoke to a crowd of mostly other Democratic leaders and activists...White House aides are dismissing criticism that this was too political a speech” because “there's nothing political about sticking up for American democracy.”
“Speaking on the grounds of a national park flanked by U.S. Marines, the President took direct aim at his predecessor and members of the Republican Party,” O’Keefe added.
While O’Keefe did highlight a prebuttal from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), O’Keefe insinuated McCarthy’s focus on “pocketbook issues” wasn’t on target with voters since “concerns about threats to American democracy are now a top issue for voters.”
Co-host Tony Dokoupil was also in on the action by dispassionately passing along in the “Eye Opener at 8” that “President Biden says supporters of President Trump are attacking American democracy.”
ABC’s Good Morning America gave the most time to this demagoguery with five minutes and 44 seconds (versus three minutes and 36 seconds on CBS and three minutes and 26 seconds on NBC). Co-host Michael Strahan said in a tease that Biden was merely “setting the stage for the midterm elections” with “harsh criticism of his predecessor and the former President's supporters.”
“We’re going to begin with President Biden speaking last night in Philadelphia about what he called the battle for the soul of the nation, blasting former President Trump and MAGA Republicans, arguing democracy is under assault,” Strahan later said in tossing to senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce.
Bruce bragged that Biden gave “one of the harshest critiques we've heard yet...arguing the November elections are a moral choice, warning the preservation of our democracy is at stake” if voters don’t support him.
“The President eager to make the upcoming midterm elections a referendum on his predecessor, calling out Donald Trump by name and referencing MAGA Republicans more than a dozen times,” she added.
Throughout this first segment, a 7:30 a.m. Eastern news brief, and a condensed segment just past 8:00 a.m. Eastern, ABC went right along with Biden’s phrasing in calling the GOP “MAGA Republicans.”
NBC’s Today wasn’t any better. Co-host Craig Melvin said in a tease: “Divided we stand. President Biden calling out Donald Trump and his supporters during a high-profile primetime speech labeling them a threat to democracy...Biden's message to all voters with midterms fast approaching and how Republicans are reacting this morning.”
Tossing to chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander, Melvin said Biden gave a “politically charged speech.” For his part, Alexander dubbed it “blistering” (click “expand”):
MELVIN: Right now, though, let us welcome in Peter Alexander as we turn to that politically charged speech from President Biden last night.
ALEXANDER: Yeah, you're exactly right. This was a blistering speech from President Biden repeatedly calling out former President Trump as well as his allies. The President condemning political violence and warning that blind loyalty to a single leader, he says, is fatal to democracy. With Philadelphia's Independence Hall as a backdrop, President Biden last night warning American democracy is under assault by the forces of extremism led by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
ALEXANDER: The President said he was not talking about all Republicans, but while Biden regularly spoke about threats to democracy during the campaign, this speech marks a sharp new tone for him as President. He long avoided mentioning Mr. Trump by name, but has now escalated his fierce criticism against a military backdrop.
Later in the segment, Alexander said Biden’s “fiery speech reflect[ed] [his] growing concern about Trump allies' continued denial of the 2020 election results.”
In the second hour, Alexander reiterated that the speech was “blistering” and that he said “Trump and the MAGA followers” were “undermining democratic values.”
Friday’s network tacit support for President Biden deeming over 74 million people a national security threat was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Citi (on NBC), Colgate (on CBS), and Dell (on ABC). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcripts from September 2, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).