It could get nasty tonight and tomorrow when NBC’s moderators bring up the topic of Donald Trump during the Democratic candidates debate. If recent history is a guide expect the moderators to ask questions that push the candidates to criticize Trump and his administration’s policies while treating some candidates – like Bernie Sanders – as heroes.
The selected team of moderators (Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz Balart) have exhibited open hostility to Trump and his supporters and their conservative positions since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015.
Back in May, Guthrie actually asked Joe Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden if she thought Trump was “a threat to the very essence of this country.” Holt wondered if the President was capable of human emotions when he once asked Donald Trump Jr. if his father was a “a man that can cry? Can he emote?” Of all the threats and crises facing America and the world Chuck Todd openly wondered if in fact “perhaps now we need to face this uncomfortable question: What if the president is the crisis?”
Maddow has openly cheered for Bernie Sanders, as she told the socialist senator during his 2015 primary run: “You’ve turned out these big crowds. You inspired 200,000 volunteers. You moved people....It is a remarkable thing, as a liberal, to see the success you’re having....good luck to you, sir.” As for Diaz-Balart, he described the first year of Trump in apocalyptic terms: “One year of Trump: fear, threats and anxiety.”
The following are just a few examples of NBC’s debate moderators most liberal moments since Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, as culled from the MRC’s archives:
The Real Threat to America
“I watched very carefully Vice President Biden’s campaign video and the announcement. And he said that he didn’t think, in essence, that the country could survive eight years of President Trump. He said Trump ‘will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.’ Do you see it that way? Do you think that President Trump is a threat to the very essence of this country?”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie’s question to Dr. Jill Biden on NBC’s Today, May 7.
What Matters Most: Trump Hurt Mueller’s Feelings
“Did Robert Mueller deserve better from the President than this kind of language and behavior?...Let’s talk about the President’s behavior....He trashed him [Mueller] for two years....Does he owe Robert Mueller an apology for that kind of rhetoric?””
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie’s questions to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as aired on NBC’s Today, March 25.
Trump Filling Cabinet With Wall Street Pirates
“[Trump’s] top cabinet picks come under fire for ties to bailouts and Wall Street. Critics saying this is not how you drain the swamp....”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today, December 1, 2016.
Terrified That Trump May Blow Up the World
“Hillary Clinton says that Trump is most dangerous candidate ever to run for president. On this very specific issue, do you personally find it frightening, the prospect of him having the nuclear codes?”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie to President Barack Obama on NBC’s Today, July 27, 2016.
Tax Cuts Spurring Economic Growth = “Fantasy”
“Let me quote Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, hardly an enemy of business. He said, ‘CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to ‘jump-start the economy,’ a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company – or to hand out raises. It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth.’ I’ll ask you plainly, are you living in a fantasy world?”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie question to House Speaker Paul Ryan on NBC’s Today, December 20, 2018.
Holt Hammers Trump Repeatedly, But Asked Hillary If Her “Feelings Get Hurt”
“You were sitting here watching the top of the broadcast with us. You saw images of Republicans burning their Republican registration cards. So angry at the idea of you representing the party. What did you think when you saw that?...
“You’re speaking to the whole country now. You said things that shocked people, outraged people, about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, to your characterizations of Mexican immigrants. Those things worked for you. They resonated. They worked. They got you to where you are today. But as you try to appeal to the entire country, do you stand by them? Do you stand, for example, behind the idea of a ban against foreign Muslims coming here?”...
“Your negatives are staggering. Disapproval 69% women, African-Americans, 88%, Latinos 79%, people under 34, 75% disapprove. How much of that is self-inflicted by some of the rhetoric from the primary campaign, and how do you heal that while still respecting those who got you here?”
— Questions to Donald Trump on NBC Nightly News, May 4, 2016.
“I want to ask you about a moment at the town hall the other day. A young man, a Bernie Sanders supporter, stood up and said young people don’t trust you....And when he said that I winced. And I was wondering, you’ve obviously been in tough battles, political battles, but do you get your feelings hurt sometimes?”...
“What frustrates you the most about perceptions about you?”
— Holt interviewing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, January 29, 2016.
Holt to Donald Trump, Jr.: Can Your Dad “Cry?”
“You and your siblings have been very effective this week trying to paint a picture of your dad – you know, the dad that you know. At the same time, when you think about a president, strength is obviously important; but we also sometimes look for our leaders to be compassionate – to console us during national tragedy. We saw President Obama in Dallas a week or so ago. We haven’t seen that Donald Trump. Is this a man that can cry? Can he emote?”
— Anchor Lester Holt to Donald Trump Jr. on NBC Nightly News, July 21, 2016.
Trump’s Hostage Crisis?
“Let’s talk about what’s happening now. Your administration, you’re not doing the recreation, not even schooling these kids anymore. You’ve gotten rid of all that stuff. It looks like these kids are being used as some sort of – is it hostage? It’s like they’re being held hostage.”
— Host Chuck Todd to Donald Trump on NBC’s Meet the Press, June 23.
Trump Just Made Up “Mythical Immigrant Criminal”
“I felt like he [Trump] spoke more to his base than I expected him to, particularly on immigration and that could be part of his sales pitch. Maybe he knows that amnesty for 1.8 million is something his base doesn’t like, so he led with the, let me paint the picture of the – this mythical immigrant criminal here that I want everybody to get fired up about.”
— Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on NBC New’s live coverage of State of the Union, January 30, 2018.
Chuck’s Absurd Assertions
“[The State of the Union speech] is shaping up to be a night of absurdist theater. Absurd because the White House says the President’s address is going to be about bipartisanship, unity, compromise...Absurd because tonight’s address was delayed because of an act of over partisanship, when the President himself decided to engineer a 35-day government shutdown over a border wall that he promised to his political base....Absurd because the President is seemingly going to act like everything is normal, despite a cracked up cabinet, despite his ongoing feud with the intel community, countless investigations into him, his staff, his campaign, his business, and even now his inauguration.”
— Host Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s MTP Daily, February 5.
The Real “Crisis” Is Trump Himself
“Many have noted, that despite Mr. Trump’s many self-inflicted wounds, his presidency benefitted from not having to face a financial or international crisis. But perhaps now we need to face this uncomfortable question: What if the president is the crisis?”
— Host Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press, December 23, 2018.
Russia Collusion Delusion Is Worse than Watergate and Iran Contra
“Welcome to day one of what is arguably the biggest presidential scandal involving a foreign government since Iran-Contra. Take a breath, hyperbole aside, folks, hunker down cause this is a class five political hurricane that’s hitting Washington.”
— Host Chuck Todd discussing Michael Flynn’s resignation on MSNBC’s MTP Daily, February 14, 2017.
Chuck Won’t Be Silenced By Trump
“One thing we’re not is the opposition. We’ve never tried to be part of the political debate, but people want to drag us into it. We shouldn’t take the bait. We’re simply a voice of truth. There’s no balance, there’s just fairness and truth. And a true voice and the truth is what we all need to be hearing right now. A voice that no matter how many disparaging tweets or calls of fake news, we can’t let it be silenced.”
— NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd at Radio Television Digital News Association dinner on March 8, 2018.
“This not a laughing matter. I’m sorry, delegitimizing the press is un-American.”...
— NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd in a February 16, 2017 tweet after Trump press conference.
Chuck Is No Believer in Trump Tax Cuts
“For what it’s worth, there has been no study that has been able to somehow reinforce this idea that tax cuts do translate to economic growth. The one time it did was when we went down from 90 percent with Kennedy down and got rid of that tax hike, but where is the analysis here? I know you guys scrubbed one from the Treasury Department on one having to do with corporate tax cuts. Where is the analysis that says this is going to lead to economic growth?”
— Host Chuck Todd to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on NBC’s Meet the Press, October 1, 2017. “The prosperity of the 1980s, with growth rates higher than 6 percent, proved the Gipper [Ronald Reagan] correct....The Reagan tax-rate reductions increased tax revenues from $500 billion to $1 trillion by the end of the 1980s.” – Former Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner in July 13, 2015 Washington Times column.
“You’ve been preparing for this your whole life in some ways....You’ve turned out these big crowds. You inspired 200,000 volunteers. You moved people....It is a remarkable thing, as a liberal, to see the success you’re having, the resonance that your message is having and I don’t know what’s going to happen in the campaign long term, but good luck to you, sir.”
— MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on The Rachel Maddow Show, September 17, 2015.
Trump Could Be “Gateway Drug” for KKK Becoming Mainstream in GOP
“One thing that’s getting traction on social media is the response to Donald Trump’s speech from David Duke, the former Klan leader....He says ‘Great Trump speech, America first, stop wars, defeat the corrupt elites, protect our borders, fair trade, couldn’t have said it better,’ meaning ‘couldn’t have said it better myself.’ And a lot of people who are critical of Donald Trump generally look at praise like that from someone like Donald [sic] Duke and wonder if he’s a gateway drug, if there is something beyond Donald Trump himself, that means a much greater transformation of the Republican Party into something that is going to be new to mainstream politics.”
— Anchor Rachel Maddow after Trump’s speech during MSNBC’s live coverage of the GOP convention, July 22, 2016.
Maddow Links Trump to Hitler and KKK
“What’s the worst-case scenario for America if he [Donald Trump] wins? It can be pretty bad. You don’t have to go back far in history to get to almost apocalyptic scenarios....Over the past year I’ve been reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor. I am gravitating toward moments in history for subliminal reference in terms of cultures that have unexpectedly veered into dark places, because I think that’s possibly where we are.”
— MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in a July 12, 2016 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
“I’m thinking about President Obama, too. I mean, to have the first African-American President succeeded by a guy who was endorsed by the KKK...and have that be the succession to the first black president, it’s a big deal.”
— MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on MSNBC’s live election coverage 2:37 am ET, November 9, 2016.
Year One of Trump = “Fear, Threats and Anxiety”
“One year of Trump: fear, threats and anxiety, that is how the majority of Latinos have lived the first 12 months of Trump’s government.”
— Anchor Jose Diaz-Balart on Noticias Telemundo, January 17, 2018.
Pushing Climate Panic
“Today is World Environment Day, a date that is increasingly more necessary, and that here at Telemundo we want to commemorate with an important announcement. From now on, we will no longer talk about climate change when referring to the crisis affecting our planet. We will talk about climate emergency.”
— Anchor Jose Diaz Balart on Noticias Telemundo, June 5.