On Wednesday, all three network morning shows rang in the New Year by touting Democrats trying to “bring order to the chaos of Trump’s Washington” and using the government shutdown to bash Republicans. In addition, the broadcasts hyped the impact of the budget impasse by claiming that America’s national parks were being overwhelmed by “mounds of trash.”
Promoting incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blaming the GOP for the shutdown, on ABC’s Good Morning America, Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce cited the Democratic leader “tweeting that the President has, quote, ‘given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly and quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown.’”
Minutes later, Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran proclaimed: “New year, same shutdown. President Trump beginning the new year the way he ended the last one, staking so much of his credibility on getting money for that wall – from the taxpayers, not from Mexico, as he promised.” He then cheered:
Nancy Pelosi has that solid Democratic majority ready to challenge President Trump on policies like the wall and on investigations that could bedevil this White House. And as Mary pointed out, they are out to prove that they, the Democrats are the responsible party of government and can bring order to the chaos of Trump’s Washington. We’ll see how that goes.
On NBC’s Today show, correspondent Hallie Jackson echoed her ABC colleagues by reciting Pelosi’s tweet. She then gushed over Democrats’ strategy to “make a move to reopen government” and “dare Republicans to keep the government closed.” The reporter admitted that the proposal was “not expected to go anywhere in the Senate, much less get to the President’s desk,” but seemed excited by the partisan posturing.
“Pelosi says even without a deal, House Democrats will take action Thursday to end the shutdown when they take control of the House,” correspondent Chip Reid mentioned on CBS This Morning. He then added: “But without an agreement between both parties and the White House, the shutdown’s impact grows.”
Later in the show, the CBS hosts allowed Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler to accuse “extremist” Republicans of trying to “hold the whole country hostage” with the shutdown. Without being challenged, he went on to claim that the Trump administration didn’t care “if kids die,” referring to migrant children entering the country at the southern border.
Besides providing favorable coverage to Democrats, the networks also spent time exaggerating the impact of the shutdown. “President Trump has invited congressional leaders to the White House today for a bipartisan meeting as the shutdown takes a toll. Well, take a look at these images, mounds of trash piling up at our national parks, where a few workers are on hand,” announced co-host Robin Roberts on GMA. As she spoke, images appeared on screen of a few pieces of litter on the ground and a single overflowing trash can.
On the Today show, Jackson declared: “Both sides stuck, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers stuck in the middle and visitors to national parks and monuments stuck with this. At Joshua Tree, volunteers are picking up the slack by picking up the trash.”
However, it was CBS This Morning that revealed the most devastating impact of the shutdown, as fill-in co-host Michelle Miller warned viewers:
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo are closed this morning because of that shutdown. Even the Zoo’s popular online Panda Cam is set to go dark. Say it ain’t so, Chip Reid. He’s at the White House.
Later in the report, Reid noted: “Smithsonian museums will be closed today, along with the National Zoo. And for federal employees not allowed to work or working without pay, anxiety is high.” A soundbite ran of Homeland Security employee Ryan Baugh ranting: “Federal employees shouldn’t be treated this way. They shouldn’t be the bargaining chip in this important debate. I mean, a lot of our work is going undone right now.”
Only then did the reporter mention that Baugh was “also a member of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal employees,” an organization currently suing the Trump administration over the shutdown.
At the top of the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, Reid’s fellow CBS correspondent Ed O’Keefe was on garbage duty: “Across the country, some national parks have remained open during the standoff, but are operating with limited staff. As a result, visitors are leaving behind overflowing garbage bins that pose a threat to wildlife.”
Predictably, the liberal media are reporting on the government shutdown in a manner that is most favorable to Democrats and most hostile to Republicans.
Here is a transcript of the January 2 shutdown coverage on ABC’s GMA:
7:03 AM ET
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to Washington, where the partial government shutdown is entering day 12. President Trump has invited congressional leaders to the White House today for a bipartisan meeting as the shutdown takes a toll. Well, take a look at these images, mounds of trash piling up at our national parks, where a few workers are on hand. More than 400,000 are being forced to work a second week without pay, while nearly 400,000 more are on furlough. Mary Bruce is on Capitol Hill, has the latest for us. Good morning, Mary.
MARY BRUCE: Good morning, Robin. Well, the two sides are finally talking here today. For the first time since the government shutdown 12 days ago, the President and congressional leaders have agreed to meet today at the White House, but that may be where the agreement ends. I would not hold your breath for any major breakthrough here today, as both sides are still refusing to budge.
And with the new Congress set to start here tomorrow, well, the President is tweeting, saying the shutdown “is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker!,” saying, “Let’s make a deal.” But Pelosi then fired back, tweeting that the President has, quote, “given Democrats a great opportunity to show how we will govern responsibly and quickly pass our plan to end the irresponsible #TrumpShutdown.”
Now, Democrats here are expected to pass legislation tomorrow that would open up the government, but the President is already rejecting that plan because, Robin, it does not include that money that he wants for his border wall.
ROBERTS: That’s true. And we have already showed the impact of the shutdown. It’s also having an effect on how immigration cases are being handled, is that correct?
BRUCE: Yeah, Robin, you now have 800,000 federal employees that are working without pay or are furloughed, and that does also include the nation’s immigration judges. Which means that this fight over the President’s border wall has reportedly paralyzed the immigration courts and is allowing some undocumented immigrants to dodge deportation as this shutdown fight continues, Robin.
ROBERTS: Alright, Mary, thank you.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Consequences are cascading right now. I want to go to the White House now and get the view from there from our Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran. And Terry, we just heard Mary say the President had that tweet saying, “Let’s make a deal,” but he’s about to find out how much leverage he has in this new Washington.
TERRY MORAN: That’s right, George. New year, same shutdown. President Trump beginning the new year the way he ended the last one, staking so much of his credibility on getting money for that wall – from the taxpayers, not from Mexico, as he promised. But as you point out, it is a brand-new ball game for him here. Nancy Pelosi has that solid Democratic majority ready to challenge President Trump on policies like the wall and on investigations that could bedevil this White House. And as Mary pointed out, they are out to prove that they, the Democrats are the responsible party of government and can bring order to the chaos of Trump’s Washington. We'll see how that goes.