Is there any difference between John Dickerson and Joy Reid? It’s a worthwhile question as Dickerson and the CBS Mornings co-hosts eagerly used former President Trump’s idiotic dinner with a trio of white nationalists (with one of them also being a Holocaust denier) to tar and feather the party Wednesday as one that trumpets white nationalism and “normalizes” anti-Semites having a home in the GOP, with violent rioting being “legitimate political discourse.”
Co-host Tony Dokoupil teased it as “Republicans...reacting to former President Trump's dinner” with Dickerson there “to talk about the fallout,” adding at the segment’s onset that Trump was facing “a Republican backlash over his recent dinner with two known anti-Semites” with “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [having] publicly condemned the meeting.”
After clips of McCarthy saying Nick Fuentes “has no place in this Republican Party” and McConnell saying there’s “no room in the Republican Party for anti-Semitism or white supremacy” and “anyone meeting with” such people “are unlikely to ever be elected,” Dokoupil dismissed their rebukes because Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned.
At this point, goal posts should be charging journalists a fee for how much time they spend moving them.
Dickerson — who childishly insisted his rhetoric wasn’t dangerous or untoward when he wrote in 2013 that Barack Obama “must declare war on” and “go for the throat” of Republicans — played footsie with the GOP as the party of anti-Semites with Trump supporters no more than roadside trash:
[E]ven when you come up against anti-Semitism, there is this collective silence at first about taking him on, either because Republicans are afraid of taking on Donald Trump because he has littered the roadside with Republicans who have tried to take him on moral issues, and he's won.
Dickerson hilarious claimed only Republicans have a problem with refusing to call out their own side so as not to “giv[e] aid and comfort to Democrats or the media,” which flies in the face of their tone toward anti-Semitism and white-hot rhetoric.
“You might say, well, on anti-Semitism or racism it's everybody's job, but that's not the political world we're in right now in the Republican Party,” he added.
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King turned her guns on the American people, suggesting we’re a racist country: “But can we just look at the history for a second of Donald Trump? He won for president, he — he won the presidency by saying racist things. That didn't seem to stop anybody. What does it say about us?”
Later, she griped that she’s “worr[ied] about” Republicans “normaliz[ing]” this behavior to the point that support for anti-Semitisim, Holocaust denialism, and white nationalism won’t be seen as “that big [of] a deal.”
Following an aside pointing out Trump believes “he's the smartest person in the world” yet doesn’t know who people like Fuentes are, he falsely claimed Trump has “never condemned white supremacy” or “Nazis.” A simple search of the Trump White House website and his Twitter account (see here, here, here, here, and here) would disprove that.
For example, he said this on December 11, 2019: “With one voice, we vow to crush the monstrous evil of anti-Semitism whenever and wherever it appears.”
And at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on April 25, 2017, he said the following (click “expand”):
Denying the Holocaust is only one of many forms of dangerous anti-Semitism that continues all around the world. We’ve seen anti-Semitism on university campuses, in the public square, and in threats against Jewish citizens. Even worse, it’s been on display in the most sinister manner when terrorists attack Jewish communities, or when aggressors threaten Israel with total and complete destruction.
This is my pledge to you: We will confront anti-Semitism (Applause.) We will stamp out prejudice. We will condemn hatred. We will bear witness. And we will act. As President of the United States, I will always stand with the Jewish people — and I will always stand with our great friend and partner, the State of Israel.
Dickerson then closed by smearing Republicans as on par with the Oath Keepers, collectively thinking January 6 was harmless (not true, which even Politico noted), and believing anti-Semitism could become “normalized” (click “expand”):
DICKERSON: When you talk about normalizing things, Gayle, when — you know, when the Republican Party, we just saw the head of the Oath Keepers get convicted.
NATE BURLESON: Right.
DICKERSON: That's something that the Republican Party, January 6th they said was legitimate political discourse. When it comes to Donald Trump, there has been this thing where he crosses a line and his supporters basically lower the line or change the line. They've changed the standard which is what normalizing is. So, does this get normalized or do Republicans say because Donald Trump seemed to have been somewhat toxic in the last election, this is — it’s kind of a combination, it's a moral failing on Donald Trump's part but also because he's no longer a winner, then they can speak out and it's more powerful for them to do so? Or it's like every other instance in which there's a lot of chatter and then it goes away —
DICKERSON: — and he retains the — the supremacy in the middle of the Republican Party.
NBC’s Today also covered “the growing backlash,” but senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake largely kept the focus on Trump’s horrendously poor judgment other. Here were some highlights (click “expand”):
HODA KOTB: We’ve got a lot more to get to, including the growing backlash facing Donald Trump from fellow Republicans[.]
HAAKE: It's all part of the growing fallout from that dinner you mentioned, which now has the GOP in damage control mode and the former President fuming. Former President Trump now facing the harvest criticism from the top two Republicans in Congress, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell over Mr. Trump’s pre-thanksgiving dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club with prominent white supremacist Nick Fuentes.
MCCARTHY: I don’t think anybody should associate or be a part of Nick Fuentes.
HAAKE: McConnell saying there is no room in the party for anti-Semitism or white supremacy.
MCCONNELL: And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view in my judgment are highly unlikely to be elected president of the United States.
HAAKE: Even as the GOP leaders distance themselves from Mr. Trump, nearly a week after the dinner, neither condemned him by name. McCarthy, who Mr. Trump has supported in his effort to become House Speaker next year, falsely claiming Mr. Trump condemned Fuentes multiple times and McConnell dodging the question if he would support Mr. Trump should he win the GOP nomination in 2024.
MCCONNELL: That would apply to all of the leaders in the party who will be seeking offices.
HAAKE: The Republican backlash against Mr. Trump still growing, led by former Trump Vice President Mike Pence.
MIKE PENCE [on NewsNation’s On Balance With Leland Vittert, 11/29/22]: President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and Holocaust denier a seat at the table and I think he should apologize for it.
CBS’s purposeful smearing and playing footsie with the notion that half the country supports anti-Semitism and white nationalism was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Febreze and Hilton. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.