Nets Follow Pelosi Marching Orders: ‘Bribery’ Mentioned 43 Times

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Following Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday morning press conference in which she accused President Trump of “bribery,” the broadcast networks spent the next 24 hours featuring the term 43 times in evening and morning show coverage. All of it designed to boost the impeachment crusade against Trump.

After Thursday’s evening newscasts dutifully assaulted viewers with the “bribery” buzzword a whopping 19 times (four mentions on NBC Nightly News, six mentions on ABC’s World News Tonight, and nine mentions on CBS Evening News), Friday’s morning shows kept up the onslaught with another 18 mentions (six on NBC’s Today, seven on ABC’s GMA, five on CBS This Morning). In addition, special impeachment hearing coverage on NBC (two mentions) and CBS (four mentions) featured the word six more times.

 

 

The mentions included both carefully selected soundbites from Pelosi herself, as well as anchors and correspondents hyping the talking point as a new “stark” and “significant” claim from House Democrats.

“The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine takes center stage on Capitol Hill this morning as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signals where this case is headed,” co-host Savannah Guthrie excitedly announced at the top of NBC’s Today show before a clip ran of Pelosi declaring: “It’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery.”

In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Peter Alexander promoted another soundbite of Pelosi crying “bribery” by breathlessly explaining: “The Constitution specifically cites ‘bribery’ as an impeachable offense.”

At the start of special impeachment hearing coverage in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour, Guthrie turned to Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and hyped the term once again:

For the first time, Chuck, we heard yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really put this in stark terms. She used the term “bribery” and it was a signal of what an impeachment charge, if it comes, might be. How significant do you think that was?

Todd observed: “I think they believe they’re trying to change the language a little bit, they’re trying to penetrate what they think is a little bit of a filter in the American public that isn’t necessarily consuming all of this right now.”

In other words, the previous talking points on impeachment weren’t working, so Democrats tried to come up with more sensational rhetoric. Now the media are trying to help promote the new marketing strategy.

Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Cecilia Vega proclaimed: “And the major new development, Speaker Nancy Pelosi now accusing the President of bribery, an impeachable offense.” Reporting from the hearing room on Capitol Hill minutes later, correspondent Mary Bruce melodramatically touted:

Cecilia, the Speaker is using a new significant way to define the President’s alleged misconduct....Pelosi is now declaring President Trump committed bribery, an impeachable offense in the Constitution....She says Trump’s misconduct is worse than what forced Richard Nixon out of office.

Reporting for CBS This Morning, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes described upcoming testimony from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as “the woman who they see as chapter one, the first real casualty of this scheme that Democrats are now describing as bribery.”

Cordes enthused: “On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the President’s actions with a simple but significant word – ” A clip ran of Pelosi saying the word “bribery” in the Thursday presser. Footage was then shown of Cordes questioning the Democratic leader: “What makes this a case of bribery?” Pelosi assured her: “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation.”

During the 9:00 a.m. ET hour’s special impeachment coverage, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell gushed: “And day two follows a dramatic escalation yesterday, when we heard from the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who said President Trump’s phone call at the heart of this investigation was attempted bribery. That is significant, those choice of words.”

Moments later, she asked Cordes: “And, Nancy, we saw the Democrats begin to lay out this case about bribery yesterday. What have you learned about what the focus will be today?” Cordes replied: “Well, I think you’ll hear that term ‘bribery’ a lot more today now that it has essentially been sanctioned by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.”

That prediction has certainly come true, but journalists seem to be just as eager as partisan Demcorats to throw around the serious criminal charge without any substantiation.

Help fight against the liberal media's impeachment crusade

Here is a transcript of the November 15 “bribery” mentions on NBC:

Today
7:00 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE:  Round two. The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine takes center stage on Capitol Hill this morning as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signals where this case is headed.

NANCY PELOSI: It’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER: This morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpening her case for impeachment, calling Tuesday’s [sic] testimony from two top career diplomats “devastating” and leveling this new charge against the President.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Ousted Ambassador to Testify Today; Democrats Shift Impeachment Focus to “Bribery”]

NANCY PELOSI: What the President has admitted to and says it’s perfect, I said it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery.

ALEXANDER: The Constitution specifically cites “bribery” as an impeachable offense. Democrats notably recasting their case in plain English, dropping the phrase “quid pro quo” to describe the President asking Ukraine’s leader to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, while security aide was being withheld.

PELOSI: The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.

ALEXANDER: Democrats hope to build on their case with today’s public testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

(...)

8:04 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now using the word “bribery” to describe White House pressure on Ukraine to conduct political investigations.

(...)

NBC Special Report
9:04 AM ET

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let me turn to Chuck Todd, who’s in Washington, because for the first time, Chuck, we heard yesterday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really put this in stark terms. She used the term “bribery” and it was a signal of what an impeachment charge, if it comes, might be. How significant do you think that was?

CHUCK TODD: Well, I think that’s a – I think they believe they’re trying to change the language a little bit, they’re trying to penetrate what they think is a little bit of a filter in the American public that isn't necessarily consuming all of this right now. But I expect to see, to hear some of that same language echoed today, particularly by the Democrats.

(...)

Here is a transcript of the November 15 “bribery” mentions on ABC:

Good Morning America
7:00 AM ET

CECILIA VEGA: Impeachment showdown. Just moments from now, the ex-ambassador to Ukraine who says she felt threatened by President Trump about to testify in public for the first time. And the major new development, Speaker Nancy Pelosi now accusing the President of bribery, an impeachable offense. Our team live in Washington with the latest.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

VEGA: And, Mary, now Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpening her case, accusing the President of bribery.

MARY BRUCE: Cecilia, the Speaker is using a new significant way to define the President’s alleged misconduct. It comes as Marie Yovanovitch today will say that she was the target of a smear campaign by the President’s allies. She will – is expected to say in this hearing room today that she was blindsided, forced out of her position after more than three decades of public service. Democrats, though, will say that she is the first victim of the President’s shadow diplomacy in Ukraine.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Impeachment Showdown; Pelosi Accuses Trump of “Bribery” Ahead of Second Day of Hearings]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now declaring President Trump committed bribery, an impeachable offense in the Constitution.

NANCY PELOSI: The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.

BRUCE: She says Trump’s misconduct is worse than what forced Richard Nixon out of office.

PELOSI: Makes what Nixon did look almost small, almost small.

BRUCE: Democrats sharpening their case as public hearings continue.

(...)

7:30 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Another high stakes day on Capitol Hill. Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted by President Trump about to testify publicly for the first time. This as Speaker Nancy Pelosi raises the stakes in the impeachment showdown, accusing the president of bribery.

(...)

8:02 AM ET

BRUCE: It all comes as Democrats here on the Hill are sharpening their case against the President. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now declaring that the President committed bribery. Cecilia, that is an impeachable offense.

(...)

Here is a transcript of the November 15 “bribery” mentions on CBS:

CBS This Morning
7:09 AM ET

(...)

NANCY CORDES: Well, Tony, Democrats see it like this – day one of these public hearings on Wednesday sort of laid out this entire story from end to end. Now we hear from the woman who they see as chapter one, the first real casualty of this scheme that Democrats are now describing as bribery.

(...)

7:11 AM ET

NANCY CORDES: On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the President’s actions with a simple but significant word –  

NANCY PELOSI: Bribery.

CORDES: That word appears in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

That’s a very serious charge. What makes this a case of bribery?

PELOSI: The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation.

CORDES: Republicans are going to argue today that Yovanovitch isn’t a true witness to what Democrats are calling bribery because she was recalled before military aid was held up this summer.

(...)

8:05 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: And yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called that bribery.

(...)

CBS Special Report
9:01 AM ET

(...)

NORAH O’DONNELL: And day two follows a dramatic escalation yesterday, when we heard from the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who said President Trump’s phone call at the heart of this investigation was attempted bribery. That is significant, those choice of words.

(...)

9:04 AM ET

O’DONNELL: And, Nancy, we saw the Democrats begin to lay out this case about bribery yesterday. What have you learned about what the focus will be today?

CORDES: Well, I think you’ll hear that term “bribery” a lot more today now that it has essentially been sanctioned by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

(...)

CORDES: Republicans, on the other hand, are going to argue that the President has every right to recall any ambassador at any time for any reason. And so Mr. Trump didn’t do anything wrong. And beyond that, they’ll say she’s really not a witness to what Democrats are now describing as bribery because she left her post in May and the President didn’t freeze military aid to Ukraine until July.

(...)

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