Nets Finally Notice Hillary Coal Comments After Miner Confronts Her

After 50 days of the network news censoring Hillary Clinton’s stated plan to cripple the coal industry in pursuit of a left-wing climate change agenda, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows finally covered the comments after a laid off West Virginia coal miner confronted the Democratic frontrunner.

During an otherwise staged campaign round table discussion on Monday, unemployed coal miner Bo Copley cited Clinton’s comments during a March 13 CNN town hall that “We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” He demanded: “I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend?”

Despite complete silence on the controversy for nearly two months, the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all played the March soundbite. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell explained: “Copley fighting back tears as he confronted Clinton about comments she had made earlier this year at an Ohio town hall.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Cecilia Vega noted: “Protesters greeting her outside a stop in West Virginia. Inside, Clinton coming under fire for comments she made about clean energy.”

On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes observed: “Clinton and her husband have been greeted by demonstrators nearly everywhere they go in Appalachia....They are angry about this blunt comment Clinton made about the flagging coal industry at a town hall in March.”

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In response to Copley, Clinton remarked: “I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me, because that is not what I intended at all.”

Both NBC and CBS spun that reply as Clinton “apologizing” for her attacks on the coal industry. On Today, Mitchell declared: “Hillary Clinton, in a rare and candid moment on the campaign trail....The Democratic frontrunner apologizing to a father of three, Bo Copley, who recently lost his job at a coal company.” On This Morning, Cordes claimed: “Clinton apologized again for the comment last night in Williamson, West Virginia.”

To her credit, Vega refrained from using the word “apology” during her report on GMA.    

All three shows parroted Clinton’s line of defense. Mitchell touted: “Clinton says her remarks were taken out of context, as she touted the $30 billion plan she had announced last year to help the struggling coal community.” Vega assured: “Clinton made a promise to bring back manufacturing jobs and she said she wants her husband to come out of retirement to help her come up with a plan for those jobs if she maybes it to the White House.” Cordes forwarded: “In Kentucky Tuesday, Clinton said as president she would task former President Bill Clinton with working to revitalize former coal and manufacturing communities.”

Here are transcripts of the May 3 coverage on the three morning shows:

Today
7:04 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Let's turn over to the Democratic side of things. Hillary Clinton holds a slight lead over Bernie Sanders heading into today's Indiana primary. But it's this encounter in West Virginia, with a father who lost his job as a coal worker, that's getting a lot of attention this morning. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has more on that. Andrea, good morning.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. It was that conversation, a round table here in West Virginia, when that unemployed coal worker pressed Clinton very hard about comments she had made earlier this year about the coal industry. Remarks, she says, did not accurately reflect her efforts to help the area hit hard by job losses.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton Confronted by Coal Miner; Apologizes in Candid Moment on Trail]

While looking to mine support in Trump-friendly coal country, Hillary Clinton, in a rare and candid moment on the campaign trail.

HILLARY CLINTON: I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me, because that is not what I intended at all.

MITCHELL: The Democratic frontrunner apologizing to a father of three, Bo Copley, who recently lost his job at a coal company.

BO COPLEY: Unfortunately, my circumstance, being here, is not as pleasant as what everyone else's is.

MITCHELL: Copley fighting back tears as he confronted Clinton about comments she had made earlier this year at an Ohio town hall.

CLINTON [CNN]: We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

COPLEY: I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs, and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend?

CLINTON: I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time.

MITCHELL: Clinton says her remarks were taken out of context, as she touted the $30 billion plan she had announced last year to help the struggling coal community.

CLINTON: What I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs. I didn't mean we were going to do it. What I said was, that is going to happen unless we take action to try to help and prevent it.

MITCHELL: Clinton went on to say that she knows she faces an uphill battle with the voters in this region. And as for Copley, who is a Republican, he says he doesn't know whom he'll vote for, but that he does not feel swayed by her apology. It was an interesting and candid moment, an unusual moment on the campaign trail. Matt and Savannah?

LAUER: It certainly is. Okay, Andrea, thanks very much.


GMA
7:05 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to the Democrats. Hillary Clinton trying to score a big win over Bernie Sanders in Indiana as she faces tough criticism from coal miners in West Virginia. ABC's Cecilia Vega is here with the latest on all that. Good morning, Cecilia.

CECILIA VEGA: Robin, good morning to you. An uncomfortable moment for Hillary Clinton overnight when she came face-to-face with one coal miner who put her on the spot. But today in Indiana, that vote is up for grabs. Bernie Sanders is hoping for a win to keep him in this race. In the final hours before Indiana's crucial vote, Bernie Sanders was actually in the Hoosier state making his case from Fort Wayne —

BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you, all.

VEGA: — to Evansville.

SANDERS: Thank you, Evansville.

VEGA: Sanders needs to win 92 percent of all remaining delegates to win the nomination. His supporters still enthusiastic.

SANDERS: I think that choice is to tell the billionaire class — [Supporter yells profanity.] — and the corporations. Well, that is one way to phrase it.

VEGA: Hillary Clinton feeling so confident about clinching the nomination, she moved on to the south.

PROTESTER: Go home, Hillary.

VEGA: Protesters greeting her outside a stop in West Virginia. Inside, Clinton coming under fire for comments she made about clean energy.

CLINTON [March 13, 2016]: We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

VEGA: An out of work coal miner putting her on the spot for something she now says is a misunderstanding.

MAN: I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend.

CLINTON: I know that, Bo, and, you know, I'm —  I don't know how to explain it other than what I said was totally out of context from what I meant because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time.

VEGA:  With all those cameras there, that made for a tough moment. Clinton made a promise to bring back manufacturing jobs and she said she wants her husband to come out of retirement to help her come up with a plan for those jobs if she maybes it to the White House.


CBS This Morning
7:06 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Indiana's Democratic primary could produce a surprise. The latest poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders 50 to 46%. That four-point gap is less than the margin of error, so that means it's a statistical tie. Sanders is trying to flip Democratic super-delegates and improve his chances. Clinton is looking ahead to upcoming races in West Virginia and Kentucky. Nancy Cortes is in Washington with how the Clinton campaign hit a bit of a bump in Appalachia. Nancy, good morning.

NANCY CORDES: Good morning, that's right. Indiana votes today but Clinton is busy trying to put out a fire in coal country. In West Virginia, she was met by protesters and confronted by an emotional former miner over her stance on coal.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Indiana Surprise?; Poll: Sanders Close to Clinton on Primary Day]

Clinton and her husband have been greeted by demonstrators nearly everywhere they go in Appalachia. Many of them waving Trump signs. They are angry about this blunt comment Clinton made about the flagging coal industry at a town hall in March.

HILLARY CLINTON [CNN]: We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

CLINTON: It was a misstatement.

CORDES: Clinton apologized again for the comment last night in Williamson, West Virginia. But she got an earful from laid-off coal worker Bo Copley anyway.

BO COPLEY: I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend? Because those people out there don't see you as a friend.

CLINTON: What I said was totally out of context from what I meant because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time. And I did put out a plan last summer.

CORDES: A 2015 Duke University study found the coal industry lost more than 49,000 jobs in the four years after the 2008 recession. In Kentucky Tuesday, Clinton said as president she would task former President Bill Clinton with working to revitalize former coal and manufacturing communities.

CLINTON: I’ve told my husband he's got to come out of retirement and be in charge of this because, you know, he's got more ideas a minute than anybody I know.

CORDES: Still, her coal controversy could help Bernie Sanders there. He spent the day in Indiana, where he hopes to pull off an upset today.

BERNIE SANDERS: Our ideas are the future of the Democratic Party.

CORDES: Ironically, Sanders wants to move more aggressively than Clinton to tax carbon usage and ban mountain top coal mining. Clinton told that group last night in West Virginia, Charlie, that she had been advised just to skip the state but that she wanted to go anyway and explain her positions.

CHARLIE ROSE: Thanks, Nancy.

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Economy Coal Industry Environment Global Warming Pollution ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Andrea Mitchell Cecilia Vega Nancy Cordes Hillary Clinton

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