CBS/NBC Downplay GOP Victory in Shutdown, ABC Guilts Dems for ‘Giving In’

Congressional Republicans and President Trump declared victory on Monday over the Democrats in the government shutdown, as the Resistance could no longer hold out and voted on the continuing resolution to fund the government. In an exchange, they received a promise to negotiate and vote on DACA in the next few weeks. The three major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were notably disappointed and frustrated that their party caved after just three days.

CBS Evening News was one of two programs that downplayed the Republican victory. As they were coming on the air, anchor Jeff Glor took on an indefinite tone. “The federal government is fully reopening tonight. Nearly three days after a dispute over immigration led to a closure. Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal today to fund the government for a few more weeks and put off a potential DACA fix until next month,” he reported.

Throughout their first report on the shutdown, CBS didn’t declare a winner as the liberal media swiftly did back in 2013. Instead, Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes touted the progressive Senators who were still holding out and who conveniently had presidential ambitions. “16 progressive senators, including several presidential hopeful, wanted to hold out for more. California Democrat Kamala Harris said McConnell’s vow fell far short of an ironclad guarantee,” she reported.

Cordes was cheerful that the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was funded for six years, but suggested it was only a Democratic priority when it was a key priority for Republicans since the six-year funding plan was their idea. Obviously, she was trying to find something positive she could spin for Democrats.  

CBS didn’t declare a winner until their second report, and White House Correspondent Major Garrett seemed frustrated by it. After being asked by Glor about what the President was looking for in the immigration bill, the reporter appeared to snap at him:

 

 

We'll get to that in a minute, Jeff. One of the reasons the nation didn't see the President this weekend is because the White House strategy was not to have the President appear to own any part of this shutdown. And the President's lack of engagement, not a single phone call over the weekend with Democrats, led to a victory largely on his terms.

NBC Nightly News also downplayed the Republican and White House victory. It took until their third report to declare a winner in the shutdown standoff. “So Chuck, back to this shutdown. What happened here? Did Democrats lose their nerve,” fill-in anchor Savannah Guthrie wanted to know.

To put it in football terms, Savannah. I would say this was a false start by the Democrats,” explained Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd. “The Democrats showed their cards. At a minimum, he already knows he's going to get his wall from Democrats if he gives them DACA. And that in itself is already a small victory for this White House.

ABC anchor David Muir, on World News Tonight, was quick to declare Republicans victorious and did it often, but the network was clearly disappointed in the Democrats and sent them on a guilt trip. “Three days in, and late today, the Senate voting to end it. The House voting just moments ago. The Democrats giving in on the dreamers for now,” he announced in the opening tease.

And Muir did it again during the introduction of their first report. “Today was day three and then Senate Democrats deciding to give in on the dreamers with a promise from Senate Republicans that they'll take up the issue soon,” he reported. “Senate Majority Leader McConnell emerging triumphant.

 

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In wrapping up her report, Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce seemed disheartened by the Democrats’ actions, the position they found themselves in, and actually declared they were responsible for the shutdown:

That's why this is such a political gamble for Democrats. They took a stand here, shutting down the government over Dreamers and it is unclear if they'll ultimately get what they want. We're told Schumer's message tonight to disappointed Democrats: “You have to play the hand you're dealt. It is what it is.”

Clearly, they all were pulling for one team in particular as they were seemingly acting like their team had just lost the Super Bowl.

Partial transcripts below:

CBS Evening News
January 22, 2018
6:31:18 PM Eastern [2 minutes 28 seconds]

JEFF GLOR: Good evening. The federal government is fully reopening tonight. Nearly three days after a dispute over immigration led to a closure. Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal today to fund the government for a few more weeks and put off a potential DACA fix until next month. We begin tonight with chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, who is on capitol hill.

[Cuts to video]

CHUCK SCHUMER: The Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement.

(…)

NANCY CORDES: 16 progressive senators, including several presidential hopeful, wanted to hold out for more. California Democrat Kamala Harris said McConnell’s vow fell far short of an ironclad guarantee.

(…)

[Cuts back to live]

CORDES: In an attempt to get back on America's good side, Congress did authorize back pay for all those furloughed workers. And the funding bill that passed today also reinstated the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years, a big Democratic priority, Jeff.

6:33:46 PM Eastern [1 minute 15 Seconds]

GLOR: Nancy Cordes, thank you very much. White House Correspondent Major Garrett is at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Major, is there any indication we know what the President is looking for now in an immigration bill?

MAJOR GARRETT: We'll get to that in a minute, Jeff. One of the reasons the nation didn't see the President this weekend is because the White House strategy was not to have the President appear to own any part of this shutdown. And the President's lack of engagement, not a single phone call over the weekend with Democrats, led to a victory largely on his terms, as the press secretary said, "This afternoon what the president did clearly worked."

(…)

...

NBC Nightly News
January 22, 2018

7:04:52 PM Eastern [1 minute 19 seconds]

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: This brings us to Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press. So Chuck, back to this shutdown. What happened here? Did Democrats lose their nerve? Has anything really fundamentally changed in terms of where the fights are, where the battles are?

CHUCK TODD: No, I don't think anything has changed. I would, to put it in football terms, Savannah. I would say this was a false start by the Democrats. The tactic might be an effective tactic but the timing was poor, didn't have leverage now, there was no sense of urgency and Democrats had no explanation as to why have this fight now instead of in four weeks?

You can make a case in four weeks for them to draw these lines in the sand, but the Republican line was simply, we need more time to negotiate, and as far as the public was hearing, they’re sitting there: “What's wrong with that? That doesn't seem unreasonable.”

I do think this, Savannah. We will go right back to where we were over the weekend in about three weeks. I think we're still a long way away, and if anything, President Trump has to feel good about one thing. The Democrats showed their cards. At a minimum, he already knows he's going to get his wall from Democrats if he gives them DACA. And that in itself is already a small victory for this White House.

GUTHRIE: We may be having this very conversation in a few weeks. Chuck, thank you.

...

ABC
World News Tonight
January 22, 2018
6:30:27 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Tonight, from Washington, breaking developments as we come on the air. The government shutdown. Three days in, and late today, the Senate voting to end it. The House voting just moments ago. The Democrats giving in on the dreamers for now. So, who wins, who loses? And how much did this cost the U.S. taxpayer?

(…)

6:31:42 PM Eastern [4 minutes 21 seconds]

MUIR: And good evening from Washington. We are here in the nation's capital because of the government shutdown. Today was day three and then Senate Democrats deciding to give in on the dreamers with a promise from Senate Republicans that they'll take up the issue soon. The Senate voting to end the shutdown and then just moments ago, the House voting to follow suit. Senate Majority Leader McConnell emerging triumphant. Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer emerging with a promise from McConnell they will tackle immigration and the Dreamers. But this showdown ends not without costing U.S. taxpayers millions and costing political capital, too, with seeing so many Americans seeing political dysfunction yet again. And by the way, this new funding to get the government back open, only lasts three weeks.

(…)

BRUCE: That's why this is such a political gamble for Democrats. They took a stand here, shutting down the government over Dreamers and it is unclear if they'll ultimately get what they want. We're told Schumer's message tonight to disappointed Democrats: “You have to play the hand you're dealt. It is what it is.”


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