NBC: Was McConnell Being ‘Sexist?’ Tout New ‘Feminists Battle Cry’

February 8th, 2017 9:26 PM

The Big Three networks were eager Wednesday evening to drag out the Senate drama involving Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren being “silenced” by the mean old Republicans. But reporter Kasie Hunt took the story lower and wondered if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was being sexist to his colleague. She even pressed Warren herself for an answer, “Do you think what senator McConnell did last night was sexist?

But Warren wasn’t biting:

ELIZABETH WARREN: I think what he did was wrong.

KASIE HUNT: But it wasn’t sexist?

WARREN: I think reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the floor of the United States Senate honors the Senate.

What seemed to drive Hunt to those question’s was McConnell’s use of gender-based pronouns when referring to Warren. She played a clip of McConnell on the Senate floor stating “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Within hours, that quote became a feminist battle cry already printed on t-shirts. Hillary Clinton tweeting, ‘she persisted, so must we all,’” Hunt touted.

Hunt also tried to promote how well the event would help Warren’s political career. “But can this silencing of a progressive firebrand give her a bigger megaphone,” Hunt wondered aloud before asking the Senator, “Is this the first step in your 2020 presidential campaign?” Warren didn’t give a definitive answer, only reiterating that the Democrats were “the party of opposition.”

Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin agreed that the kerfuffle would work wonders for Warren going forward. “She couldn’t have written this any better. It gives her a big leg up amongst all the other Democrats in Washington vying for leadership,” he told Hunt.

As with what happened on Wednesday morning, NBC failed to actually touch on the veracity of Warren’s claims about Sessions. Hunt only recalled that “The White House tonight is still defending Sessions' record but after all of this.” NBC effectively failed Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s challenge to tell the true about the Alabama senator yet again.

In reality, Sessions is responsible putting murderous Ku Klux Klan members behind bars (with one getting the electric chair) and bankrupting the hate group in the state of Alabama.  

Transcript below: 

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NBC Nightly News
February 8, 2017
7:05:52 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: There's new fallout this evening after a dramatic moment on the floor of the United States senate. Top Democrat Elizabeth Warren silenced by Republicans after reading the words of MLK's widow Coretta Scott king. All of it part of a fire storm over President Trump’s nominee for attorney general. Here is our Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie hunt.

[Cuts to video]

KASIE HUNT: A stunning standoff on the Senate floor. Senator Elizabeth Warren reading a scathing 1986 letter from Martin Luther King's widow criticizing attorney general nominee Senator Jeff sessions' record on civil rights.

ELIZABETH WARREN: Just one more technique used to intimidate black voters.

HUNT: Republican leader Mitch McConnell interrupting.

MITCH MCCONNELL: I call the senator to order under the provisions of Rule 19.

HUNT: Invoking an arcane rule that prohibits attacking another senator.

MCCONNELL: She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

HUNT: Within hours, that quote became a feminist battle cry already printed on t-shirts. Hillary Clinton tweeting, “she persisted, so must we all.”

Do you think what senator McConnell did last night was sexist?

WARREN: I think what he did was wrong.

HUNT: But it wasn’t sexist?

WARREN: I think reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the floor of the United States Senate honors the Senate.

HUNT: Today, other Democrats reading the same letter on the floor without interruption.

A TRIO OF SENATORS: Intimidate and frightened elderly black voters.

HUNT: A McConnell spokesperson says they didn’t break the rules because their remarks were not “preceded by a prolonged disparagement of a colleague.” The Republican senator who held the gavel last night agrees.

STEVE DAINES: The senator will take her seat.

This wasn’t about Senator Warren specifically as a person. This is about the words used on the floor of the United States senate.

HUNT: There have been insults hurled without punishment before. Ted Cruz once called McConnell a liar.

TED CRUZ: He is not telling you the truth.

HUNT: But can this silencing of a progressive firebrand give her a bigger megaphone?

Is this the first step in your 2020 presidential campaign?

WARREN: We're the party of opposition and that is our job.

MARK HALPERIN: She couldn’t have written this any better. It gives her a big leg up amongst all the other Democrats in Washington vying for leadership.

[Cuts back to live]

HUNT: The White House tonight is still defending Sessions' record but after all of this, none of the drama on the floor is expected to change the ultimate outcome, with Sessions expected to be confirmed within the hour. Lester?

HOLT: Kasie, thank you.