Pious CBS Lectures GOP on Rhetoric, Demand They Be a Better ‘Steward’ of Democracy

March 31st, 2023 4:29 PM

On Friday’s CBS Mornings, there were numerous rhetorical finger-wags at Republicans for the crime of denouncing far-left, Soros-backed Manhattan DA’s indictment of former President Trump concerning the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels with one implication being they’re poor caretakers of our democracy and “adding fuel” to potential violence.

Chief political analyst John Dickerson played the leading role usually reserved for some high-minded (liberal) historian on CNN and MSNBC and insisted opinions on the indictment cease “till we actually find out what’s in the indictment.”



Facetiously saying it was “a naïve thing to say in American politics,” he added this was “an explosive event in a highly volatile time in American politics.”

“When you have elections, you make laws or you enforce laws. There is a system that’s in place to keep it from getting violent. But when you’re in a volatile moment, it can get violent,” he added.

Therefore, Dickerson proclaimed, “everybody has a responsibility, who is in the political process to either add fuel or they’ve got a question, not a responsibility. Are you adding fuel? Or are you taking fuel away?”

Asked by co-host, Democratic donor, and Obama family friend Gayle King what he’d say to those who believe there are “so many things that are so much more important than this case,” Dickerson said that’s up to Bragg and dismissed the concern because “this conversation” has happened “in the absence of facts” with people getting over their skis.

Dickerson then directly compared merely expressing concern at Bragg’s indictment and the timeline of the Daniels tale was akin to fueling violence ahead of January 6 (click “expand”)

DICKERSON: And the President and his party are doing something smart, which is in the absence of facts, they are rushing in to define what this case is about. We don’t know. Donald Trump doesn’t know, it’s under seal. And the question is, after January 6, where we saw what Donald Trump did when there was an official proceeding that he didn’t like.

KING: Yes.

DICKERSON: When you’re in his party, are you adding to this volatility, or are you removing it? Kevin McCarthy before the -- after the election, he said that Donald Trump won, that was a lie. Then on January 6th, Kevin McCarthy, now Speaker was terribly frightened by what happened. He saw what happened when you spoke in apocalyptic terms how that could play out, so why now is the Speaker saying that this is an effort by the Manhattan DA to subvert an election, that’s speaking in apocalyptic terms about a thing you know nothing about. You know nothing about it because the indictment is sealed. Why after the history of January 6, would you as a public figure add more fuel to the fire? Isn’t your obligation when the system is as fragile as it is right now to hold back the fuel?

“Apocalyptic” to say this indictment is both politically motivated and wrong? Talk about “apocalyptic” if you’re so desperate to crush political dissent by framing opponents as stochastic terrorists.

Years ago, liberals mocked conservatives for constantly invoking Benghazi, but here we are years later with Democrats flaunting January 6 as a way of shutting down varying viewpoints.

King went back to Dickerson a few moments later, but not before gushing over him as “a friggin’ encyclopedia.”

This led into Dickerson second Jon Meacham-like lecture that implicitly accused Republicans writ large of being an irresponsible “steward” of democracy (click “expand”):

DICKERSON: [W]e are in this volatile moment and leaders have a responsibility to the moment and to the system. If you participate in a system of making laws or participating in elections, you are a steward of that system. You can’t befoul it, and then say, oh, wait, but have it applied to me in a clean and pristine way, when I’m participating in it.


DICKERSON: You are a steward of it, so what is the steward’s obligation in this case where we don’t really know the facts yet? If the facts come out, and it’s a weak case then everybody should say this is a weak case, and there you are hurting this same system that I’ve just been banging on about. If it’s a strong case, then people should say, you know, this is a strong case within a system where we deal with people and no one is above the law. We just don’t know which of those two things ia freaking t is. So, in the absence of that, if you’re a steward of the system, treat the system with respect by withholding judgment until we know what the facts are.

BURLESON: Well said.

Going to break, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman jumped in to tout Bragg as a “steward of the system” and ascribed only positive vibes to his motives since he “believes he has the facts and the law and he went forward accordingly.”

Earlier in the show, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett took issue with Republican reactions to the indictment and rushing to Trump’s defense.

“I was sort of surprised to see so many Republicans cast their lot with the former President not knowing what the charges are. They may come to regret that. We’ll have to see,” he explained.

So, Republicans are rushing to judgment by commenting despite the fact that, as is often the case with Trump controversies or inflammatory statements, a lack of comments period is spun by the media as cowardice. In other words, it’s damned if they, damned if they don’t.

CBS’s sanctimonious finger-wagging against dissent was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Dr. Scholl’s and Qunol. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcript from March 31, click here.