‘Big Idea’: NBC Boosts Gillibrand’s Paid Family Leave Campaign Plank

The third installment of NBC’s so-called “Big Idea” series, which they already admitted was designed to only help Democratic 2020 candidates, featured floundering New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her bid to implement a national paid family leave program.

After anchor Lester Holt once again reminded viewers the network was only interested in boosting Democratic campaigns, correspondent Harry Smith used the kid gloves as he highlighted of Gillibrand’s record (click “expand”):

HARRY SMITH: What's your big idea?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: My big idea is having national paid family leave. We're the only industrialized country in the whole world that doesn't have national paid leave.

SMITH: Why do you think America is so far behind on this?

GILLIBRAND: Because there’s not enough women in Congress.

SMITH: Kristen Gillibrand has been a stalwart of the #MeToo movement. And the Senator likes to point out she has voted against President Trump's legislative initiatives more than anyone else in the upper chamber.

 

 

Of course, there was no mention of Gillibrand’s decades-long support for the Clintons despite knowing of Bill’s transgressions against women.

As he did with the “Big Ideas” from Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, Smith made the legislative pitch to viewers himself. “Gillibrand's plan would allow workers up to three months of paid leave, at a pay rate of 66 percent of their regular paycheck,” he asserted, while showing footage of the two of them chillin’ on her D.C. stoop.

When it came time to discuss how she planned to pay for it, he let her freely push her propaganda:

SMITH: How do you pay for it?

GILLIBRAND: To pay for paid leave, it's a very small amount of money. It's about $2 a week. You pay it and your employer pays it. That's all it would cost.

She says Americans will embrace a plan that equals the price of a cup of coffee,” he echoed. “Is it worth it to you to pay $2 a week to know it will be there for you when you need it? Yes, opponents will say that it's a tax but it's an investment and very small investment that over your lifetime will help you,” Gillibrand told him.

While Smith was letting Gillibrand link the supposed lack of women in Congress with why there was no paid family leave program in the U.S., NBC News largely ignored Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) own paid family leave legislation he proposed last year.

In a report by National Review last year, “The Economic Security for New Parents Act would allow new parents to pull forward Social Security benefits to finance paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child in exchange for having their retirement delayed by three to six months per benefit taken.” That’s three months longer than Gillibrand’s proposal.

Contrary to NBC’s efforts to make paid family leave seem like a problem that could be fixed effortlessly, Smith made no attempt to look at how the plan would affect businesses and what it would cost them in the macro. Even Rubio’s idea wasn’t a silver bullet because it relied on the Social Security system which was predicted to be bankrupt in a couple of decades.

But NBC had no interest in fact-checking, researching, or investigating any of these proposals. They only wanted to boost Democratic policy ideas ahead of the debate they were moderating.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
June 12, 2019
7:12:02 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Two weeks away from the first Democratic primary debate here on NBC, our series My Big Idea is giving candidates a chance to tell voters what issue defines them. Tonight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tells Harry Smith her big idea.

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: What's your big idea?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: My big idea is having national paid family leave. We're the only industrialized country in the whole world that doesn't have national paid leave.

SMITH: Why do you think America is so far behind on this?

GILLIBRAND: Because there’s not enough women in Congress.

SMITH: Kristen Gillibrand has been a stalwart of the #MeToo movement. And the Senator likes to point out she has voted against President Trump's legislative initiatives more than anyone else in the upper chamber.

GILLIBRAND: I will go toe to toe with anyone to do the right thing.

SMITH: We talked with the Senator on her D.C. front stoop.

GILLIBRAND: I met a mom whose son was dying and she literally couldn't be by his side. I can't imagine. And that's what parents face and that’s what people face all across this country every day. It's an outrage.

SMITH: Gillibrand's plan would allow workers up to three months of paid leave, at a pay rate of 66 percent of their regular paycheck.

How do you pay for it?

GILLIBRAND: To pay for paid leave, it's a very small amount of money. It's about $2 a week. You pay it and your employer pays it. That's all it would cost.

SMITH: She says Americans will embrace a plan that equals the price of a cup of coffee.

GILLIBRAND: Is it worth it to you to pay $2 a week to know it will be there for you when you need it? Yes, opponents will say that it's a tax but it's an investment and very small investment that over your lifetime will help you.

SMITH: Paid family leave, that's Kirsten Gillibrand's big idea. Harry Smith, NBC News, Washington.

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