NBC Ignored GOP Role in Justice Reform, Now Boosting Warren’s Plan

Listen to the Article!

A week ago to the day, NBC Nightly News along with their broadcast competitors (ABC and CBS) ignored the lead role GOP lawmakers played in reforming the criminal justice system in Oklahoma. Now, on this Monday, the network’s flagship evening news program was helping to promote Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) criminal justice reform plan as part of their pre-debate series where they only address “What Matters” to Democratic voters.

Last Monday, NBC correspondent Ron Mott omitted key details about how Oklahoma’s justice system was reformed. After explaining the case of one Oklahoma woman, Mott noted the reforms were passed via ballot initiatives “by Oklahoma voters in 2016.” The key detail he left out was that the ballot initiatives only covered future cases and not those already incarcerated. The state’s heavily Republican-controlled legislature and GOP governor championed a bill that made the initiatives retroactive.

For their latest report on criminal justice reform, NBC correspondent Harry Smith met with Warren at a Raleigh, North Carolina school to discuss her plan to end what has been dubbed “the school to prison pipeline.”

After Warren cited an ACLU statistic suggesting “there are now 14 million schoolchildren who go to schools that have a guard but don't have a school counselor, don't have a school nurse,” Smith made the pitch for Warren’s plan himself:

To close the school, the prison pipeline, Warren wants to mandate de-escalation and discrimination training for school police officers. Decriminalize truancy and invest $800 billion in public schools, money she’d get from her proposed wealth tax.

 

 

He then offered up weak pushback when addressing how Warren’s so-called “wealth tax” would fund the program:

WARREN: It's like a property tax only instead of just being real estate.

SMITH: Right.

WARREN: It's also your stock portfolio, the diamonds, the Rembrandt, and the yacht.

SMITH: Are we even sure this is constitutional?

WARREN: Oh, yeah, I'm sure this one is constitutional. We got plenty of constitutional scholars who’ve looked at this. [Transition] And here is the thing, overall when you think about our criminal justice system, we should be spending less money to lock people up and more money to lift them up.

That’s the same “wealth tax” that’s supposed to fund her gigantic Medicare for all plan that many analysts note would lead to tax increases on the middle-class. Of course, Smith didn’t care to question how Warren’s tax could possibly pay for both programs (and other pie in the sky programs she’s been teasing).

Then, there was his apparent refusal to follow up on which “constitutional scholars” okayed her tax scheme.

Just to reiterate, this segment was part of an ongoing, pre-debate series anchor Lester Holt admitted was designed to gauge only “What Matters” to Democratic voters. That’s despite the media lecturing President Trump on how he’s the President for all Americans.

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

NBC Nightly News
November 11, 2019
7:13:46 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: With just over a week away from the next Democratic debate, our Harry Smith is taking Democratic voter questions straight to the candidates. Tonight, Senator Elizabeth Warren in the series What Matters.

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: We spoke with Elizabeth Warren at a school in Raleigh, North Carolina sharing what Democratic voter Enith Santiago told us about her painful frustration with students being treated like criminals.

ENITH SANTIAGO: When I got in a fight, I got suspended. I got put in in-school suspension. My child gets in a fight, you’re get arrested. You're going on probation. So, after a while, what happens? You stop caring. You become what society is telling you you are.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Wow.

SMITH: Enith Santiago, what do you say to her?

WARREN: I say she's right. We have had a criminal justice system that for decades now, basically since the 1994 crime bill has been the principle part of this, that just says criminalize as much as you can, maximize the charges. And here is the thing, doesn't keep us any safer, but boy does it break lives.

There are now 14 million schoolchildren who go to schools that have a guard but don't have a school counselor, don't have a school nurse.

SMITH: To close the school, the prison pipeline, Warren wants to mandate de-escalation and discrimination training for school police officers. Decriminalize truancy and invest $800 billion in public schools, money she’d get from her proposed wealth tax.

WARREN: It's like a property tax only instead of just being real estate.

SMITH: Right.

WARREN: It's also your stock portfolio, the diamonds, the Rembrandt, and the yacht.

SMITH: Are we even sure this is constitutional?

WARREN: Oh, yeah, I'm sure this one is constitutional. We got plenty of constitutional scholars who’ve looked at this. [Transition] And here is the thing, overall when you think about our criminal justice system, we should be spending less money to lock people up and more money to lift them up.

SMITH: That's Warren's plan for decriminalizing kids in schools. Harry Smith, NBC News, Raleigh, North Carolina.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential NBC's 'Big Idea'/'What Matters' Crime Education Bias by Omission Double Standards Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television NBC NBC Nightly News Video Harry Smith Elizabeth Warren

Sponsored Links