CBS Spends Almost Half of Cummings Tribute Talking About Trump

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Elijah Cummings, the late Maryland Democratic congressman who passed away due to health complications Thursday, was the son of sharecrop farmers, became civil rights icon, and served for decades in the House of Representatives. But the CBS Evening News boiled his life achievements down to largely what he did during the last few years of his life: battling President Trump.

For a segment that lasted two minutes and one second, CBS spent almost a minute (55 seconds) talking about President Trump in some way. In contrast, ABC’s one minute, 42 seconds on World News Tonight only had 20 seconds about Trump. NBC Nightly News’s remembered Cummings over two segments, one of which included a re-airing of some of Cummings’ first speech on the floor of the House. The NBC remembrance totaled three minutes and two seconds with 48 seconds on the Trump feud.

“Flags were lowered to half-staff today at the White House, U.S. Capitol, and across Maryland in honor of Congressman Elijah Cummings, the longtime civil rights champion,” anchor Norah O’Donnell solemnly began at the top of the segment before noting he was also a “key figure in the impeachment inquiry.”

Of all the quotes Cummings made over his 68 years of life, correspondent Chip Reid chose to start his report with one about President Trump. “I may be dancing with the angels when all of this is corrected but I gotta tell you, we must fight for our democracy,” Cummings said on June 12 of this year.

 

 

After sharing touching words from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Reid reported that “Cummings, who was chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee spent last few years battling health issues and President Trump.”

Reid then highlighted some of the feuds between Cummings and Trump:

CUMMINGS: Those in the highest levels will of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language, and encouraging reprehensible behavior.

REID: He denounced the President's immigration policy that separated parents and children at the border.

CUMMINGS: We are better than that! We are so much better!

REID: And he fought back when the president called his Baltimore district a "rodent-infested mess."

CUMMINGS: I do not have time for people who want to trash our city.

But today, the President praised Cummings tweeting, ‘His work and voice will be very hard if not impossible to replace,’” he added. Reid went on to talk about what Cummings meant to the city of Baltimore, which he represented a portion of.

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

CBS Evening News
October 17, 2019
6:43:30 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Flags were lowered to half-staff today at the White House, U.S. Capitol, and across Maryland in honor of Congressman Elijah Cummings, the longtime civil rights champion and key figure in the impeachment inquiry died this morning. He was 68. Chip Reid looks back at Cummings' remarkable life.

[Cuts to video]

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I may be dancing with the angels when all of this is corrected but I gotta tell you, we must fight for our democracy.

CHID REID: His colleagues on Capitol Hill said Elijah Cummings' death leaves an enormous void.

SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He's now with the angels, out of pain.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): We respected him because he was good. [Transition] Respect him because of what he fought for he believed in.

REID: Cummings, who was chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee spent last few years battling health issues and President Trump.

CUMMINGS: Those in the highest levels will of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language, and encouraging reprehensible behavior.

REID: He denounced the President's immigration policy that separated parents and children at the border.

CUMMINGS: We are better than that! We are so much better!

REID: And he fought back when the president called his Baltimore district a "rodent-infested mess."

CUMMINGS: I do not have time for people who want to trash our city.

REID: But today, the President praised Cummings tweeting, "His work and voice will be very hard if not impossible to replace." After riots broke out in Baltimore four years ago—

CUMMINGS: Go home folks.

REID: --Cummings took the lead in trying to restore order. Community activist Anthony Pressley says Cummings never strayed from his roots.

ANTHONY PRESSLEY: We saw him every day. He walked the streets. He went to the local church here. He was just a part of Baltimore. He wasn't from Baltimore. He was of Baltimore.

[Cuts back to live]

REID: In a statement, Cummings' wife Maya said, "He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity." Norah.

O’DONNELL: A huge loss, indeed, Chip, thank you.

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