Nets Tout Dems ‘Launching All-Out War’ Against Kavanaugh

On Wednesday, network morning show coverage of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh dropped off significantly, with combined air time of less than two minutes. However, the ABC, NBC, and CBS broadcasts still managed to use that brief amount of reporting to tout Democrats “launching all-out war” against the federal judge.

“The President’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, met with key senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday and was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, as Democrats zero in on their main arguments....White House pretty confident, but Democrats are promising the fight of a lifetime,” proclaimed co-host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America.

 

 

Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl agreed: “...you are right, Democrats are launching an all-out war to try to defeat this nomination.” The reporter then dutifully parroted all of the liberal talking points against the nominee: “They will focus on three key areas, trying to portray Kavanaugh as somebody that would overturn Roe v. Wade, somebody that would rule against ObamaCare, and somebody who would protect Donald Trump against the independent counsel.”

Karl did admit that it was a uphill battle for Democrats:

But George, to do this, they will have to convince every single Democrat to vote no, including those who supported his last nominee and who are up for re-election in solidly Republican states. And they will have to convince one Republican to go no as well.

GMA was the only network morning show on Wednesday to provide a full report on the Supreme Court debate, lasting 1 minute 16 seconds. NBC’s Today show only offered an 18-second news brief from co-host Hoda Kotb, who emphasized the scrutiny Kavanaugh was under:

Under the microscope. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh making the rounds on Capitol Hill, this as both sides draw battle lines ahead of the confirmation fight.

The quick item included soundbites of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer promising to “oppose this nominee with everything I’ve got” and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praising Kavanaugh as “an extraordinarily well qualified nominee.”

CBS This Morning provided a 22-second news brief to viewers, with co-host Norah O’Donnell highlighting how “Democrats are promising a strong resistance to Kavanaugh’s confirmation”:

President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is meeting with more senators today on Capitol Hill. Republicans have a narrow 51 to 49 majority. And it’s been made even slimmer with the absence of Arizona Senator John McCain due to his battle with cancer. Democrats are promising a strong resistance to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. They say abortion rights could be in jeopardy.

On Tuesday, the CBS broadcast had an exclusive interview with Senator Schumer and asked if it would be “a betrayal of the party for any Democrat to support him [Kavanaugh] in any way.”

The focus on the Democrats declaring “war” on Kavanaugh fulfilled the media promise that any attempt by Republicans to confirm a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy would be met with a “bare-knuckle,” “ugly,” and “epic” fight.  

A Media Research Center study examining Tuesday’s morning and evening network coverage of Kavanaugh found that Trump’s court pick was labeled “conservative” a combined total of 11 times. That was in sharp contrast to Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, only being given the “liberal” label twice, and his second nominee, Elena Kagan, only being ascribed with the ideological description once.     

So far, the networks have worked hard to promote the Democratic Party’s messaging when it comes to Judge Kavanaugh, already looking for ways to tear him down.

Here is a full transcript of the July 11 report on GMA:

7:13 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, we’re going to move on now and get the latest on the battle for the Supreme Court. The President’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, met with key senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday and was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, as Democrats zero in on their main arguments. Our Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl tracking it all. And Jon, White House pretty confident, but Democrats are promising the fight of a lifetime.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Supreme Court Showdown Heats Up; Trump’s Pick Meets Key Senators on Capitol Hill]

JON KARL: Kavanaugh has just started meeting with senators on Capitol Hill. Republicans only so far, but you are right, Democrats are launching an all-out war to try to defeat this nomination. They will focus on three key areas, trying to portray Kavanaugh as somebody that would overturn Roe v. Wade, somebody that would rule against ObamaCare, and somebody who would protect Donald Trump against the independent counsel.

But George, to do this, they will have to convince every single Democrat to vote no, including those who supported his last nominee and who are up for re-election in solidly Republican states. And they will have to convince one Republican to go no as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, and meantime, Kavanaugh’s team is encouraged by the first comments at least, from one of those Republicans who seemed to be on the fence, Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

KARL: Yeah, Susan Collins of Maine said she would not support him if he were hostile to Roe v. Wade and she says she sees no indication right now that he is, although she still wants to talk to him about that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl, thanks very much.


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NBDaily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America Video U.S. Supreme Court George Stephanopoulos Jonathan Karl Hoda Kotb Norah O'Donnell