All three networks spent their morning shows again hyping protests in London over President Trump’s visit with departing Prime Minister Theresa May and the royal family.
ABC’s foreign correspondent Ian Pannell was clearly excited by the protesters, inflating their numbers while speaking on their behalf as if he were a protester himself, even admitting the only reason he was there was to cover the protesters:
[B]ut the reason we're here today is for the people out here, thousands, tens of thousands possibly even hundreds of thousands are expected to gather here today. They're not against America. They are against the President and the official visit here to the UK. They're against the man, the policy, the word, the deed, and that is why they've come out here.
There's even a giant robot that's come all the way from Philadelphia and it spouts out famous phrases he likes to use like fake news and ‘no collusion.
CBS wasn’t any less obnoxious, touting the protests in two separate reports from correspondent Paula Reid. Reid touted the “thousands” of protesters in the streets but dejectedly noted it was a “smaller group than expected.” Like the other networks, Reid highlighted the return of the “baby Trump” balloon from last year’s protests.
Anchor Tony Dokoupil was amused by the baby Trump balloon and said while laughing, “Who could forget the balloon? I think they had it last year as well.”
In another report, Reid and Dokoupil actually claimed that the protests against Trump were his own fault.
Dokoupil eagerly asked Reid when they could hear more from Trump’s “opponents,” ie, the protesters. Reid snarked that Trump could make enemies even in a country that was one of our closest allies:
That’s right Tony. Even when visiting one of our closest allies the President still manages to find adversaries and those protesting, you mentioned, are happening just a short distance from here... the dull roar from those protests serves as a reminder that even though London’s ruling elite is rolling out the red carpet for President Trump, not everyone is happy that he’s here.
Finally, in NBC’s short report from Peter Alexander, he touted Trump’s “deep unpopularity” in the city while gushing that the baby balloon was “ready to launch.” Even after sharing the President’s schedule for the day, all anchor Savannah Guthrie cared about was the anti-Trump protesters, eagerly asking again if Alexander had “seen the protesters” yet.
Read the relevant transcripts from ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning news shows below:
ABC’s Good Morning America
ROBIN ROBERTS: As we've seen President Trump's visit it is sparking protests in the UK. Our senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell is in London with all that Good morning, Ian.
IAN PANNELL: Yeah, good morning, Robin. From the famous Trafalgar Square, the statue of Nelson's Column is behind me but the reason we're here today is for the people out here, thousands, tens of thousands possibly even hundreds of thousands are expected to gather here today. They're not against America. They are against the President and the official visit here to the UK. They're against the man, the policy, the word, the deed, and that is why they've come out here. We can see it in all the placards that are out there. There's even a giant robot that's come all the way from Philadelphia and it spouts out famous phrases he likes to use like fake news and ‘no collusion. The plan today is to March down to Westminster to make their voices heard. But there’s a ring of steel around the President, the chances are he may not hear what's happening but they'll still go on and protest, George.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Ian Pannell in London, thank you.
CBS This Morning
TONY DOKOUPIL: Paula, we're seeing protests happening in London right now in fact. What can we expect on that front today?
PAULA REID: Tony, we can actually hear several thousand protesters demonstrating not far from here, but we’re told it’s a considerably smaller group than what was expected. Among those protesters is opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. He boycotted last night's state banquet but he is expected to address the demonstrations. Now one of the groups is employing a large balloon depicting President Trump as a giant orange baby in a diaper clutching an iPhone. The organizer says the balloon is meant to send a message to President Trump that he’s not welcome here.
DOKOUPIL: [chuckling] Paula Reid in London for us. Paula thank you. Who could forget the balloon? I think they had it last year as well.
ANTHONY MASON: Thousands of people of London are protesting near President Trump's meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, as day two of the president's three-day visit.
TONY DOKOUPIL: This morning London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Mr. Trump a poster boy for the far right movement around the world and the president called Khan a stone cold loser yesterday, Paula Reid is outside 10 Downing Street where the President and May are meeting. Paula, we expected to hear more from the president's opponents.
PAULA REID: That's right, Tony, even when visiting one of our closest allies the President still manages to find adversaries and those protesting, you mentioned, are happening just a short distance from here at ten downing street. We're inside the president and prime minister are still in a working lunch, but the dull roar from those protests serves as a reminder that even though London’s ruling elite is rolling out the red carpet for President Trump, not everyone is happy that he’s here.
PETER ALEXANDER: This morning across London large protests expected against the President who’s deeply unpopular here. That Trump baby balloon? Ready for launch. The backlash less than 24 hours after President Trump tweeted, haven't seen any protests yet. Great love all around. As for his plans today, the expectation was that President Trump would meet with Theresa May one-on-one. Now both sides are going to bring delegations with them before a news conference at her office 10 Downing Street. Then the Prime Minister and the President will look at the Churchill war rooms. It’s an underground bunker where Winston Churchill led Allied efforts during WWII. Finally tonight President Trump will host a dinner for dignitaries including Prince Charles and Camilla at the U.S. Ambassador's residence right here in London. Savannah?
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: You're about five hours ahead of us there in London. Have you seen those protests, Peter?
ALEXANDER: Right now there are about 10,000 protesters that have gathered in Trafalgar square. We can show you some pictures as we speak. The wet weather, though, it's been raining hard in the last few minutes. That could really dampen these demonstrations. The streets have been shut down to allow those protests. You'll remember, the protesters got the green light from London's Mayor Sadiq Khan who traded insults with President Trump before the president even arrived.