Since NBC News is nothing more than the public relations arm of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, on Thursday, the Today show welcomed on one of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s biggest supporters to trash President Trump. Of course the network morning show never bothered to tell viewers that its guest, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, had endorsed Biden for president.
At the top of the program, co-host Hoda Kotb fretted: “Coronavirus and the classroom. The heated debate over how and if schools should reopen....President Trump threatening to cut off funding if that doesn’t happen.” She then hyped how Weingarten “warns of the dangers” and told viewers the Biden backer would be on for a live interview.
Minutes later, fellow co-host Craig Melvin eagerly brought the teachers’ union chief on the show for a softball chat that allowed her to repeatedly hurl attacks at Trump. The anchor simply introduced Weingarten as “the longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers,” but not once provided a disclaimer that she and her organization endorsed Biden’s presidential candidacy back in March.
After laughably claiming that the union’s criticism of Trump for urging the reopening of schools was “not about politics,” Weingarten consistently proved that it was:
And, frankly, just because Donald Trump wants to take a risk with people who go to bars or beaches, those of us who have spent our life teaching kids are not going to take a risk with kids or with our members’ lives....the President trying to ignore research and science or trying to pressure the CDC to change that science is not okay with parents or with teachers....the President’s pontification and hyperbole.
Perhaps worried that she had not done enough of Biden’s hatchet work, Weingarten actually cut off Melvin so that she could squeeze in more attacks at the end of the segment:
Let me just say one more thing. This is what I’m scared about, and I said this in an interview yesterday. They – if too many of our members believe Donald Trump’s hyperbole instead of somebody like Andrew Cuomo’s caution about their health and safety, we’re going to have a whole lot of people retire early, quit, take a leave. So at the very same time that kids need these experienced teachers, because they are facing three crises, they need people to kind of calm them down, focus on their well-being and their instruction, we’re going to see a huge brain drain in the next few weeks. That was unconscionable what he did for political reasons.
Despite her blatant political motivation, Melvin still remained silent on her affiliation with the Biden campaign. He just thanked her for her time.
At the top of the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, Melvin even touted another teachers’ union that endorsed Biden also slamming Trump:
MELVIN: Rehema Ellis is NBC’s education correspondent. Good to see you again, my friend. So of course we heard President Trump yesterday basically say that if these schools don’t open, they may lose federal funding. I know that you talked to the head of the National Education Association about that specifically. What did they tell you?
REHEMA ELLIS: They told me that they’re concerned about the President making that kind of demand. Because they recognize that across the country there really is a patchwork quilt approach to reopening our schools. And the National Education Association says specifically regarding the President, “No one wants to welcome students back to the classroom more than America’s educators. But the Trump administration has provided no real plan, their actions are chaotic and their rhetoric is appallingly reckless.” [Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association]
If you or your organization back Biden for president, NBC will be happy to give you plenty of air time and pretend that you’re an objective expert. That’s what happens when a fake news network is indistinguishable from the DNC.
Wiengarten’s work on behalf of the Biden campaign was brought to NBC viewers by Burlington and Hellmann’s. Go here to let these advertisers know what you think about them sponsoring such content.
Here is a transcript of the July 9 coverage:
7:00 AM ET
HODA KOTB: Coronavirus and the classroom. The heated debate over how and if schools should reopen.
DONALD TRUMP: We want them open in the fall.
KOTB: President Trump threatening to cut off funding if that doesn’t happen. In New York City, the nation’s largest school district, a plan to return on a part-time basis.
MAYOR BILL DEBLASIO [D-NY]: Whatever we do has to be, first and foremost, seen through the prism of health and safety.
KOTB: As a leading teachers union warns of the dangers.
RANDI WEINGARTEN [AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS PRESIDENT]: You will have a lot of teachers either take a leave of absence or ask for reasonable accommodations or just quit.
KOTB: She’s with us for a live interview.
7:09 AM ET
CRAIG MELVIN: Let’s bring in Randi Weingarten now. Randi is the longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers. Randi, good morning to you, thanks for your time this morning.
WEINGARTEN: Good morning, Craig. Great to be with you.
MELVIN: In the simplest of terms, what do America’s teachers need to return to their classrooms in the fall? What’s it going to take?
WEINGARTEN: So let me just debunk one myth, Craig. Because we put out, as you know, a plan to reopen schools safely in April. So this is not about politics for us.
7:11 AM ET
WEINGARTEN: And, frankly, just because Donald Trump wants to take a risk with people who go to bars or beaches, those of us who have spent our life teaching kids are not going to take a risk with kids or with our members’ lives. We know what will prevent a virus spread in a school, we’ve done a lot of research. And, frankly, the President trying to ignore research and science or trying to pressure the CDC to change that science is not okay with parents or with teachers.
7:12 AM ET
MELVIN: How concerned are your teachers about getting sick?
WEINGARTEN: They’re very – look, they’re very concerned about that. The other results in our poll, and not just my Twitter feed and my phone calls in the last 24 hours, but if you look at what teachers told us in late June, basically 75% of them basically have been affected by COVID in one way or another. So they understand it, they’re affected by it, they’re scared by it. But that’s why it’s so remarkable that with all of that, if they had the proper safeguards, they want to be in classrooms.
The people I worry about is exactly who you just talked about, Craig, and also who I’ve heard from in the last 48 hours because of the President’s pontification and hyperbole. They are now scared that, you know, what’s going to happen to them.
I mean, think about it, about 20% of teachers are over 50. About 30% of our principals are over 50 or over 55. So if you’re in the sandwich generation, as I am, where you may be caring for an elderly parent, what are you going to do if you’re going to risk not only you getting sick but your elderly parent getting sick? So yesterday, we put out a memorandum, an opinion letter to all of our locals about how you get a reasonable accommodation. Because I’ve been now been hearing, in the last 48 hours, we need to have reasonable accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act for people who are high risk.
MELVIN: Randi –
WEINGARTEN: And this is what – let me just say one more thing. This is what I’m scared about, and I said this in an interview yesterday. They – if too many of our members believe Donald Trump’s hyperbole instead of somebody like Andrew Cuomo’s caution about their health and safety, we’re going to have a whole lot of people retire early, quit, take a leave. So at the very same time that kids need these experienced teachers, because they are facing three crises, they need people to kind of calm them down, focus on their well-being and their instruction, we’re going to see a huge brain drain in the next few weeks. That was unconscionable what he did for political reasons.
MELVIN: Alright, Randi Weingarten, head of the teachers’ union. Again, we’re talking about teachers, but there’s so much support staff as well in those schools, the nurses, the custodians, the cafeteria workers as well.
MELVIN: Randi, thank you for your time this morning.
WEINGARTEN: Thank you.