ABC, NBC Fawn Over Ossoff: Democrats’ ‘Best Chance’ Against Trump

With the polls getting ready to close in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, ABC and NBC flaunted their admiration for the young Democrat Jon Ossoff Tuesday evening. “Tonight, the eyes of the political world are on a congressional district in Georgia where an upstart Democrat is trying to win a special election in what has been a Republican-held district for years,” announced Anchor Lester Holt during NBC Nightly News, “Democrats hoping to ride anti-Trump sentiment to victory.

Holt handed it off to reporter Kasie Hunt who declared that “Democrat Jon Ossoff seemed to have come out of nowhere to become his party's first best chance to take on Donald Trump.” She hyped how he was giving Republicans a hard time for a seat that they normally win. “He’s drawn volunteers from all over the country and big name celebrities and he's been attacked by name by President Trump,” she touted.

Some traditionally Republican voters in this suburban Atlanta district just can't stomach the President,” Hunt reported. She then played a clip of a purported Republican who told her that “He has brought, I think, the decorum of the presidency down so low I cannot bring myself to support candidates like that anymore.” The only pro-Trump perspective was an unidentified man saying “Thank god for Trump!”

And in closing out her report, Hunt noted that “Democrats far beyond Georgia hoping this is just the beginning to energize their base of opposition.

Similarly, on ABC, Anchor David Muir hyped how much money Ossoff managed to fundraise. “Millions of dollars have flooded into the race from around the country to help a little-known Democrat. But Republicans say they will win this,” he stated as though it was an impossible task for Republicans to counter.

Reporter Steve Osunsami touted just how much this race meant for Democrats. “As voters here decide tonight, people on the blue team far away from Georgia are praying that this special election north of Atlanta turns into a revenge vote against the President,” he said.

Carrying all that weight on his young shoulders is 30-year-old Democrat John Ossoff,” he opined, “A former congressional aide who finds himself leading in the polls in a crowded field that includes 11 Republicans.

To his credit, Osunsami was the only reporter that mentioned that there was a controversy with Ossoff’s candidacy. “There’s a lot being made tonight about the fact that Ossoff doesn't even live in the district, which even the President was on social media today making that point,” he said.

CBS hyped Ossoff’s candidacy on Monday, the day before the election, with Nancy Cordes talking about how “Democrats across this country are invested their hopes” in him. They too failed to mention that Ossoff doesn’t live in the district. It obviously was ABC and NBC’s turn to stir the pot and sing Ossoff’s praises. 

Transcript below:

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NBC Nightly News
April 18, 2017
7:13:12 PM Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Tonight, the eyes of the political world are on a congressional district in Georgia where an upstart Democrat is trying to win a special election in what has been a Republican-held district for years. Democrats hoping to ride anti-Trump sentiment to victory. And the President himself apparently keeping a close watch. NBC's Kasie Hunt has details.

[Cuts to video]

KASIE HUNT: Voters in a deep red Georgia district heading to the polls today.

JON OSSOFF: Good morning, everybody.

HUNT: Democrat Jon Ossoff seemed to have come out of nowhere to become his party's first best chance to take on Donald Trump.

OSSOFF: The kind of country that we believe in, one that is courageous and tough.

HUNT: It's just one House seat but Republicans usually win here by more than 20 points. Ossoff, a first-time candidate, has raised a whopping $8.3 million. He’s drawn volunteers from all over the country and big name celebrities and he's been attacked by name by President Trump.

DONALD TRUMP: Only you can stop the super liberal Democrats and Nancy Pelosi's group, and in particular, Jon Ossoff.

HUNT: What's at stake here?

OSSOFF: Well, this is an opportunity for this community to make a statement about what we believe in.

HUNT: Ossoff needs 50% of the vote to avoid a June runoff with one of the other 17 candidates in the special election to replace Tom Price, who left the seat to become HHS secretary. Karen Handel is the leading Republican.

KAREN HANDEL: Once we get through this, I think you'll see whether it's me in the runoff for someone else this district will stay in the hands of a Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thank god for Trump!

HUNT: But some traditionally Republican voters in this suburban Atlanta district just can't stomach the President.

ANDREW WALKER: He has brought, I think, the decorum of the presidency down so low I cannot bring myself to support candidates like that anymore.

HUNT: Democrats far beyond Georgia hoping this is just the beginning to energize their base of opposition. Kasie Hunt, NBC news, Atlanta.

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ABC
World News Tonight
April 18, 2017
6:40:15 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: We turn next here, to a special election in Georgia unfolding tonight. It’s a race President Trump is watching closely. Republicans have held this House seat since 1979. Several candidates are now running after Donald Trump barely beat Hillary Clinton in that district. Millions of dollars have flooded into the race from around the country to help a little-known Democrat. But Republicans say they will win this. ABC’s Steve Osunsami in Georgia.

[Cuts to video]

STEVE OSUNSAMI: As voters here decide tonight, people on the blue team far away from Georgia are praying that this special election north of Atlanta turns into a revenge vote against the President.

JOHN OSSOFF [in ad]: When President Trump embarrasses our country or acts recklessly I’ll hold him accountable.

OSUNSAMI: Carrying all that weight on his young shoulders, is 30-year-old Democrat John Ossoff. A former congressional aide who finds himself leading in the polls in a crowded field that includes 11 Republicans.

OSSOFF: It’s all about Get Out the Vote.

OSUNSAMI: The congressional seat he’s trying to win is wildly important to the President, who barely won it in November, and raged on Twitter that “Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress.” This is the home of Republicans Newt Gingrich and Tom Price, who left the seat to join the President’s cabinet. This recorded message hit telephones here today.

DONALD TRUMP: Liberal Democrats from outside Georgia are spending millions and millions of dollars trying to take your Republican congressional seat away from you. Don't let them do it.

OSUNSAMI: Records show that Democrats from out of state have stuffed Ossoff’s mailbox with nearly $8 million. Karen Handel is one of the top Republicans hoping to make a runoff in June.

KAREN HANDEL: I think the number one donor state for him happens to be California, and I would argue that Hollywood values don't align all that well with 6th district values.

[Cuts back to live]

OSUNSAMI: There’s a lot being made tonight about the fact that Ossoff doesn't even live in the district, which even the President was on social media today making that point. Clearly, in tonight's results, both sides will be keeping score. David?

MUIR: All right, Steve Osunsami in Georgia watching that case into the night. 

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