Democratic presidential candidates had it super easy when they showed up for interviews on cable and network shows this past month. Candidates like Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Pete Buttieg were greeted by hosts who bragged about owning their campaign t-shirts and asked them hard-hitting questions like “are you too nice?” and “what can we do better” to help your candidacy?
Those same news outlets trashed Donald Trump as “sociopath” whose rhetoric has ramped up a “body count” of dead children and painted pro-life Republicans as “far right” radicals who wanted to take America back to the “dark ages.”
The following are the most obnoxious moments of media bias over the last month:
Democratic Candidates Enter Hostile Territory
Host Nicolle Wallace: “You get very snarky national media coverage. Where’s the disconnect?....Play media critic. What can we do better as those of us trying to cover your candidacies from very far away, from where the first votes will be cast in Iowa and New Hampshire? Don’t hold back.”....
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke: “It just is what it is.”
Wallace: “It doesn’t have to be.”
— MSNBC’s Deadline White House, May 24.
Co-host John Dickerson: “Senator Booker joins us first on CBS This Morning to reveal the details of his plan. Good morning, senator. We should also mention that Gayle is good friends with the senator and has supported him in the past.”
Co-host Gayle King: “Why should we mention that? I left my Cory Booker t-shirt at home....If you become president will Rosario Dawson become First Lady?”
— CBS This Morning, May 6.
“You bring out hope in the better angels in all of us....That is the ultimate antithesis to Trump, who as a human...is the polar opposite of that....I describe the president as a bad man, as in some ways an evil man, as a callous man, as somebody with very little conscience, no compassion. Are you too nice?....I want those harder punches for you [against Trump]....why are you holding back?”
— Host Donny Deutsch’s questions to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on MSNBC’s Saturday Night Politics, May 4.
“Sociopath” Trump Will Never Leave Office
“If you look throughout history and you become a student of history and the worst of what humans have done throughout history, Trump is using that play book....I believe this man is capable of horrific, horrific deeds....If he gets voted out of office, he will say it was fake. He will say the polls were rigged. He will tell his people to take to the streets. People have to understand this is not a man who is playing with any boundaries on what a normal civilization and normal democracy has. I use the word sociopath.”
— MSNBC Saturday Night Politics host Donny Deutsch on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, May 17.
Trump’s “Contempt” for “Rule of Law” Has Triggered “Crisis”
“We are in the midst of a continued coverup by the president aided and abetted by the attorney general of the United States. Trump said he wanted his Roy Cohn, he’s got him now by the attorney general and where this is taking us is to an unprecedented place....This is a systemic crisis challenging whether our institutions are able to function in this country to deal with the President of the United States who is unique in our history who has nothing but contempt for democratic tradition and the rule of law.”
— CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein on CNN’s Reliable Sources, May 12.
Impeach “Stooge” Barr
“For the life of me I don’t know why Democrats would not start gathering evidence to impeach this man [William Barr]. He is actually as dangerous in the position of Attorney General as Donald Trump is as President of the United States....Barr is not an Attorney General of the United States, he is Donald Trump’s defense attorney. He’s his lackey. He’s his stooge.”
— Co-host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 2.
Trump Going To Turn US Into Haiti, Venezuela
“I’ve talked to people that are from Venezuela, from Haiti, they say, look at this very carefully. This is how authoritarian governments start. They start by the fact that, first, he was talking about jailing his opponents. Now, he’s talking about the idea that he doesn’t have to answer to Congress. So there are people, mostly Democrats, who are from authoritarian governments who are sounding the alarm saying, America really needs to watch out.”
— PBS NewsHour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 8.
Trump Has GOP Scared Like North Korean Officials
“Every time I watch one of those mass hall meetings at North Korean officialdom [sic] and just I figure those people taking notes, if your smile isn’t exactly like the smile on both sides of you....if you yawn, if you get caught asleep, you’re dead in the next 24 hours literally....The Republican Party is being disciplined like that. I’ve never seen a political party so in step.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 30.
Trump Is Killing Kids with His Words
“If you refer to immigrants as an infestation as the President has, if you promote bigoted stereotypes about their unique depravity and talk about them as a nefarious band of infiltrators you will promote the conditions for cruelty as surely as affect follows cause. There is a body count to the President’s rhetoric now, and unless something changes, it is going to grow.”
— Host Chris Hayes discussing the death of a migrant child, as aired on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, May 22.
GOP Taking America “Back to the Dark Ages”
“Trump and Mitch McConnell’s tag-team effort to stack the courts, including the Supreme Court, with right-wing judges has made the Christian far-right so confident, they’re pushing through laws in multiple states under Republican control that essentially send women back to the Dark Ages.”
— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s AM Joy, May 18.
NPR: Where Babies Aren’t Actually Babies
“Babies are not babies until they are born. They’re fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ‘baby’ or ‘the unborn’ is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion.”
— NPR’s Supervising Senior Editor for Standards and Practices Mark Memmott in May 15 memo titled “Guidance Reminder: On Abortion Procedures, Terminology & Rights.”
No Action on Guns Is Unpatriotic
“This story is not new. This story happens all too often, and the fact that we haven’t done anything really to come to grips with it is -- despicable is the only word that comes to mind. And it speaks to our lack of honor and patriotism in this sense. This is a national health epidemic. And can you imagine, Don, what it would be, instead of guns, we had an outbreak of an Ebola epidemic? We the public, we the people, and our political representatives would be behaving in a completely different manner.”
— Former CBS Evening News host Dan Rather on CNN Tonight, May 31.
If You Don’t Vote for Democrats “Everyone You Love Will Die”
“I don’t recall, at least hearing a report, at least in recent years, saying, ‘we must do something about climate change, or we will die.’ I hear the seas will rise, I hear we’ll lose species, I hear there’ll be more storms, you know, there will be parts of the land that will no longer be arable. I have yet to hear one international report....that says if we don’t do something about this, you and your children and your neighbors, and your country and everyone you love will die! Is that what it takes?”
— NPR talk show host Joshua Johnson on his Washington D.C. based WAMU 1A radio show, May 7.
Democrats Should Not Reward “Racists” at Fox News
“Fox can use these [Democratic candidate] debates as a vehicle to go to advertisers and say, ‘Look, we are not just the racists and bigots in primetime – we are a real news organization,’ and I’m not sure Democrats want to give them that cover. I think that – if you’re going to not go on, that’s the best argument.”
— CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on CNN New Day, May 20.
Donny Should Worry About His “Limp” Ratings
“Let’s get back to the wall. Impotent. I love saying that word with Trump. ‘Impotent Tweets.’ Research is proving Trump’s increasing tweet rages are having a decreasing effect. Is this one more sign Trump’s 2016 bag of tricks will go limp in 2020?”
— Host Donny Deutsch on MSNBC’s Saturday Night Politics, June 1.
Joy Behar: Jail All of Them!
“[Richard Nixon would say] ‘I was in the wrong period of history,’ because he would have gotten away with everything just like this corrupt president is getting away with. This is an unbelievable corrupt president, corrupt administration, and the Republican party is right behind him and they all should be thrown into jail as far as I’m concerned. Lock ‘em up!”
— Co-host Joy Behar on ABC’s The View, May 21.