Nets Hail Anti-Trump Protests in London: ‘Not-So-Royal Welcome’

On Friday, the network morning shows devoted much of their coverage of President Trump’s visit to Britain on protesters “denouncing and mocking” him. Hosts and correspondents seemed to delight in the president receiving a “not-so-royal welcome” and being taunted by a giant balloon flying over the British capital “depicting Mr. Trump as an angry baby.”

“Breaking overnight, not-so-royal welcome. Massive protests greet President Trump in London as he meets the British Prime Minister and the Queen today,” proclaimed co-host Hoda Kotb at the top of NBC’s Today show. A clip was featured of anti-Trump protesters booing the president.

 

 

Minutes later, fill-in co-host Willie Geist declared: “Meanwhile, the president’s making his way across Europe and leaving kind of a trail of controversy as he goes.” Kotb agreed: “He certainly is. That is our top story.” After noting that Trump would be meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth, the host reiterated: “All of it playing out under the backdrop of large protests.”

In the report that followed, correspondent Hallie Jackson gushed: “Thousands more protesters are expected today, with the U.S. embassy warning American visitors to ‘keep a low profile.’ That Trump baby blimp taking its first steps.” A soundbite followed of one protester exclaiming: “You should know that people stand against him wherever he goes.”

As if that promotion of the protests wasn’t enough, Geist thanked Jackson for her report and announced: “For more on those protests against the president’s visit, we turn to NBC’s Richard Engel.” Amid a crowd of noisy demonstrators, Engel parroted their anti-Trump message:

I am in central London right now, there are thousands of people here and there will be tens of thousands in central London as the day progresses. This is a very diverse crowd – men, women, old, young, straight, LGBT – there is an ethnically diverse crowd here. But they all have one message, they say that President Donald Trump is not welcome in this city.

After again hyping the balloon mocking Trump, the reporter explained: “But what people here are angry about – we’ve spoken to several people – is what they perceive to be President Trump’s arrogance.”

Engel repeated his praise of the protests later that morning, during an NBC News Special Report on Trump’s joint press conference with Prime Minister May.

Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts told viewers: “President Trump saying he feels unwelcome in London this morning, responding to that 20-foot baby blimp as protesters fill the streets.” Minutes later, correspondent Terry Moran emphasized: “And as protesters against the president gathered on the streets of London, Trump says he feels unwelcome. Singling out the Trump baby blimp that will be flying all day.”

At the start of CBS This Morning, co-host John Dickerson echoed his NBC and ABC colleagues: “We’re in London amid new anti-Trump protests, and Windsor Castle, where the president will have tea with the Queen.”

In a report that followed, White House Correspondent Weija Jiang touted liberal London Mayor Sadiq Khan giving “protesters permission to fly this 20-foot balloon over Parliament today, depicting Mr. Trump as an angry baby.” In yet another report immediately following that one, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer eagerly hyped the demonstrations:

The crowds have already started to gather here in central London, and as you can see, somebody’s already handed out dozens of “Stop Trump” balloons. Organizers expect the crowd to grow to around 50,000, which would make it the largest weekday demonstration in London in 15 years when huge crowds marched against the American invasion of Iraq.

“The protesters are opposed to Mr. Trump’s presence in Britain as well as his policies, everything from immigration to trade,” she added. Continuing to pile on, Palmer pointed out: “Today's protest kicked off with the launch of the balloon depicting Mr. Trump as a bad-tempered baby in a diaper.”

Wrapping up the segment, the reporter perfectly summarized how the media were aiding the anti-Trump protesters: “For months, the British government has worked on Mr. Trump's schedule to make sure he didn't have to come anywhere near these protests, but that doesn’t dim the mood at all because the demonstrators know whatever else, the president is bound to see and hear them on television.”

And the liberal press has been only too happy to oblige.

Here is a full transcript of Richard Engel’s July 13 report for NBC’s Today:

7:06 AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: For more on those protests against the president’s visit, we turn to NBC’s Richard Engel. Richard, good morning.

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Willie. I am in central London right now, there are thousands of people here and there will be tens of thousands in central London as the day progresses. This is a very diverse crowd – men, women, old, young, straight, LGBT – there is an ethnically diverse crowd here. But they all have one message, they say that President Donald Trump is not welcome in this city.

The balloon, that blimp of President Trump, a baby Trump, went up this morning. It has already come down. And now what we’re going to see are these protests marches. They have been peaceful so far, they are expected to be peaceful throughout the day. But what people here are angry about – we’ve spoken to several people – is what they perceive to be President Trump’s arrogance.

You just talked about with Hallie – and I hope you can hear me, it’s getting a little louder – that meeting that happened with Theresa May last night, that dinner at Glenheim Palace. Picture this, while President Trump and Theresa May and other people are having dinner, this report comes out in which President Trump criticizes her, says that the trade deal might be off, says that somebody else might be better suited to be prime minister of this country. This is while they are still together. And people here think that is rude, that is arrogant, that is not the kind of relationship they expect to have with the U.S. president.

GEIST: Richard Engel, fighting the vuvuzelas, but doing it well. Richard, thank you very much.

Here is a full transcript of Elizabeth Palmer’s July 13 report for CBS This Morning:

7:06 AM ET

BIANNA GOLODRYGA: The main protest over this visit is happening miles away in London this morning. Political groups that oppose the President have spent months preparing for this. Elizabeth Palmer went out to see the demonstrators who are denouncing and mocking the President.

ELIZABETH PALMER: The crowds have already started to gather here in central London, and as you can see, somebody's already handed out dozens of "Stop Trump" balloons. Organizers expect the crowd to grow to around 50,000, which would make it the largest weekday demonstration in London in 15 years when huge crowds marched against the American invasion of Iraq.

The protesters are opposed to Mr. Trump’s presence in Britain as well as his policies, everything from immigration to trade. And, in fact, the protests began last night when the President and his entourage arrived via helicopter at the American ambassador's residence in central London. He spent the night there. Today's protest kicked off with the launch of the balloon depicting Mr. Trump as a bad-tempered baby in a diaper. For months, the British government has worked on Mr. Trump's schedule to make sure he didn't have to come anywhere near these protests, but that doesn't dim the mood at all because the demonstrators know whatever else, the president is bound to see and hear them on television. For CBS This Morning, I'm Elizabeth Palmer in London.


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CyberAlerts Britain Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Protesters ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Elizabeth Palmer Hoda Kotb Hallie Jackson Richard Engel Robin Roberts Terry Moran John Dickerson Weijia Jiang Donald Trump