On Wednesday, all three network morning shows promoted video of left-wing protesters shouting profanity at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen while she was trying to have dinner at Washington D.C. restaurant Tuesday night. The footage was provided to the liberal media by the radical political group itself, the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America.
“One nation, divided. New protests erupting coast-to-coast over the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy. Hecklers forcing the head of Homeland Security out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington,” co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed at the top of NBC’s Today show. Minutes later, correspondent Craig Melvin touted how “anger really boiled over at Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen just a day after she passionately defended the administration’s zero tolerance policy.”
The reporter labeled Nielsen “the face of the Trump administration’s controversial separation policy” and reiterated how she was “blasted by protesters overnight while trying to eat dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the nation’s capital.” A soundbite then ran of one protester launching into a profane tirade against the cabinet secretary: “Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is in a Mexican restaurant of all places! The f*****g gall! Shame on you!”
Melvin concluded: “Nielsen tried to ignore the shouting before finally leaving.”
Reports at the top of the Today show’s 8:00 a.m. ET hour and Megyn Kelly Today’s 9:00 a.m. ET hour both repeated the same clip of the protester’s profane ranting.
Near the end of her coverage of the immigration issue, anchor Megyn Kelly briefly came to Nielsen’s defense: “I will say, just the level of discourse....shouting down Secretary Nielsen, you know, when she’s having dinner. I understand tempers are raging right now, but just decency. Decency.” Appearing as a guest on Kelly’s show, Guthrie replied: “I agree.”
Of course those belated calls for decency did not prevent either NBC morning show from airing the nasty attacks on Nielsen.
While the Today show included the bleeped-out profanity in it’s coverage of the incident, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning decided to edit around that portion of the footage, while still promoting the protesters.
“And breaking overnight, boiling over....The president’s Homeland Security adviser [sic] Kirstjen Nielsen, the public face of a zero tolerance immigration policy, is run out of a Mexican restaurant in D.C. by protesters,” World News Tonight anchor David Muir announced at the start of GMA, filling in for co-host George Stephanopoulos.
Moments later, Muir remarked: “Secretary Nielsen overnight, who went to Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., heckled by protesters at that Mexican restaurant. A lot of people asking why was she – why did she choose to go to a Mexican restaurant in the middle of all of this.”
During a report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega echoed: “The woman who has become the public face of the White House’s family separation policy trying to enjoy dinner at a Mexican restaurant....Instead, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen run off by chanting protesters.” A soundbite was featured of the socialist protesters chanting in unison: “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace!”
Fellow correspondent Gio Benitez provided more air time to the story at the top of the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, observing that “now we’re seeing people directly confront officials about this policy.”
CBS This Morning devoted the least amount of time to Nielsen being harassed by the demonstrators, with correspondent Ed O’Keefe briefly noting: “As tensions escalate in Washington, a group of protesters confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant.” A clip ran of the protesters shouting: “End family separation! If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace!”
However, following O’Keefe’s report, co-host Gayle King hurled her own invective at the DHS secretary:
It’s so hard to figure out what Secretary Nielsen was thinking. Is she just giving a middle finger to the situation or is she just tone deaf? You would think of all nights maybe you might have Chinese that night. You look at that and it just doesn’t make any sense.
This promotion of profane attacks on a cabinet secretary comes from the same media that so often lecture on the importance of civility. Just imagine the press reaction if a member of Barack Obama’s cabinet was treated this way by conservative protesters.