MSNBC Frets SCOTUS Pick Will Squash Negative News for Trump

At the top of her 10:00 a.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, anchor Hallie Jackson worried that President Trump’s upcoming nomination of a Supreme Court justice would provide “kind of a lifeline for Donald Trump, given other news his administration may not want to talk so much about, like the Russia investigation.”

Minutes later, citing analysis from NBC’s daily political newsletter First Read, Jackson warned: “The idea that, yes, this is a major headline for President Trump, it’s also kind of a lifeline. Because there are other major stories that the president sure doesn’t want to be talking about, that he doesn’t have to talk about because of the Supreme Court pick.”  

 

 

She then listed all the negative news stories the liberal media would rather be focused on:

Everything from the debacle happening in North Korea, the Putin summit coming up, the trade war that is hurting farmers, many of whom voted for him, migrant kids still separated from their parents, the Special Counsel showdown. The president, in a way, is almost getting rescued by this pick tonight.

Associated Press Political Reporter Lisa Lerer noted that the prime time announcement was “being debuted like the premiere of The Apprentice” and observed: “I mean, if there’s anything that we know this president understands, it’s how to make a media splash.” She scolded: “And he is doing this to the fullest possible extent, in part, to wipe those thousands of kids still separated from their parents off the front pages.”

Lerer assured viewers that the press would be back to hammering the administration soon enough: “I think it’s unclear whether he’ll be successful. He may be successful for a couple days, but you know, this is going to go on for weeks.”

At that point, Jackson did acknowledge that a Supreme Court nomination was actually a major news event: “And to be clear, this is a critically important piece of the president’s legacy. So of course he’s going to pay attention to it, of course he’s going to focus on it, rightfully so, given how, sort of, big of a deal this is.”

After lamenting anti-Trump storylines not getting enough attention amid all the Supreme Court coverage, the First Read article promised: “So the upcoming Supreme Court pick has given Trump a temporary break from these stories dominating today’s news. But these stories also aren’t going away.”

Fearing that the Trump administration is not getting enough hostile media coverage is laughable. Media Research Center studies have consistently found that NBC, along with its network competitors ABC and CBS, have provided 90% negative coverage of the Trump presidency. That overwhelming bias seems unlikely to change any time soon.

Here is a transcript of the July 9 MSNBC segment:

(...)

10:12 AM ET
 
HALLIE JACKSON: Joining me now is Lisa Lerer, Political Reporter for the Associated Press and Sahil Kapur, National Political Reporter for Bloomberg. And guys, we’re going to talk more later in the show about the political pressures that are building on some of these, for example, red state Democrats, but there is something else that has gone under the radar a bit.

First Read, our political team there, pulled this out in their newsletter this morning. The idea that, yes, this is a major headline for President Trump, it’s also kind of a lifeline. Because there are other major stories that the president sure doesn’t want to be talking about, that he doesn’t have to talk about because of the Supreme Court pick.

Everything from the debacle happening in North Korea, the Putin summit coming up, the trade war that is hurting farmers, many of whom voted for him, migrant kids still separated from their parents, the Special Counsel showdown. The president, in a way, is almost getting rescued by this pick tonight.

LISA LERER [ASSOCIATED PRESS]: That’s exactly right. And that’s why you see it being debuted like the premiere of The Apprentice, right?  

JACKSON: 9:00 time slot, right. Network slot.  

LERER: Prime time slot. He’s down to four, who’s it gonna be? I mean, if there’s anything that we know this president understands, it’s how to make a media splash. And he is doing this to the fullest possible extent, in part, to wipe those thousands of kids still separated from their parents off the front pages. I think it’s unclear whether he’ll be successful. He may be successful for a couple days, but you know, this is going to go on for weeks.

JACKSON: And to be clear, this is a critically important piece of the president’s legacy.

LERER: Of course, of course.

JACKSON: So of course he’s going to pay attention to it, of course he’s going to focus on it, rightfully so, given how, sort of, big of a deal this is.

SAHIL KAPUR [BLOOMBERG NEWS]: Right, this is a rare issue that unites all aspects of the right and the Republican Party, right? Whether it is President Trump’s base, whether it’s Washington elites, whether it is even never-Trump conservatives who despise him and will not support him for any reason, but they kind of like the fact that he’s, you know, changing the shape of the courts. This is absolutely enormous in terms of its consequence. He’s going to have two Supreme Court justices on the bench, both of them who are probably going to be – Gorsuch is 50 right now, the next one is either going to be in her 40s or early 50s, going to be on the bench for probably another three decades, if not more.

In addition to this, he’s put more judges on the circuit courts than any president at this point in their presidency, which is 21. Enormously consequential.

JACKSON: And Mitch McConnell loved that as well.

(...)


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