On Tuesday, NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America both worked to portray House Democrats backing impeachment as courageous politicians “putting principle before politics” rather than as partisans trying to appease the far left of their party.
“One by one, more than a handful of those House Democrats from conservative-leaning districts, a critical bloc of lawmakers, who have already expressed reservations about impeachment, now say they are putting principle before politics, announcing they will back impeachment,” correspondent Peter Alexander announced on the Today show.
He hailed the Democrats for bravely toeing the party line: “A vote that could make them more vulnerable back home, but one that reinforces how Democrats are united heading into tomorrow’s historic vote.”
After Alexander cheered the “growing list of House Democrats from competitive districts say they will vote in favor of impeachment,” soundbites were featured of liberal lawmakers defending their radical position to try to overturn the 2016 election:
REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER [D-VA]: It is because of this oath that I will be voting yes on both articles of impeachment.
ALEXANDER: The decision’s drawing mixed reviews.
REP. ELISSA SLOTKIN [D-MI]: I made this decision out of principle and out of a duty to protect and defend the Constitution. I feel that in my bones. [Booing and cheers]
On ABC’s Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Cecilia Vega proclaimed: “All eyes right now on these Democrats, moderate Democrats, particularly vulnerable in these Trump-leaning districts.” Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce fretted: “Yeah, and Cecilia, these moderate Democrats have been under intense pressure. The White House and the President’s allies have launched essentially a campaign to try to convince them to back the President.”
She then seemed to express relief that the supposed pressure wasn’t changing their minds: “But now, one by one, we are seeing these Democrats lining up behind impeachment. There are now 17 – at least 17 Democrats from Trump-leaning districts who say they will support impeachment.”
The reporter specifically highlighted how Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin “says she simply has to stick with her principles here, even though she admits it could cost her her job.”
CBS This Morning included soundbites of Democrats like Slotkin, but let them speak for themselves rather than have a reporter parrot talking points. To her credit, correspondent Nancy Cordes followed those clips by noting: “Minnesota’s Colin Peterson is one of at least two Democrats expected to vote no.” Congressman Peterson was then shown declaring: “Well, the President has not committed a crime.”
The idea that NBC and ABC could seriously believe the notion that Democrats are just following their “principles” regardless of politics is laughable. The media would never just accept the idea that Republicans were pursuing an agenda devoid of politics, so why afford Democrats that benefit of the doubt?