Though the apparent attempt to rundown multiple Trump supporters registering voters in Florida happened Saturday afternoon, and drew outrage from both of the state’s senators and President Trump himself, the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely ignored the vicious attack. Come Sunday morning, only NBC’s Sunday Today thought it was worth some airtime, but only 25-seconds worth.
In his fleeting news brief, NBC host Willie Geist reported that “A 27-year-old man is under arrest and charged with aggravated assault after police say he drove a van into a Republican Party voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday. No one was hurt, thank goodness.”
Today in Jacksonville, Florida six Trump Campaign volunteers were intentionally targeted while registering voters. pic.twitter.com/0wzaCYh5ut— Duval County GOP (@DuvalGOP) February 8, 2020
Geist then chided the President’s response on Twitter. “Police say they can't yet say with any certainty whether this was politically motivated, but President Trump tweeted about the incident, writing, ‘Law enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with!’”
ABC’s Good Morning America, on the other hand, had two minutes and 40 seconds to gush about the frivolous Academy Awards and spiked their own online report about the attack. “A man has been arrested after allegedly deliberately driving a van into a tent full of Trump supporters who were working to register new voters at a shopping center parking lot,” reported Jon Haworth.
The report also featured the Twitter thread from the Duval Country GOP documenting the assault. The group shared pictures of the aftermath and the suspect driving away. “Today in Jacksonville, Florida six Trump Campaign volunteers were intentionally targeted while registering voters,” they said in the first tweet.
The piece also shared the outrage from the state’s two Republican senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. And unlike NBC, they were willing to call it what it was. “Thanking God that no one was injured in today’s politically motivated attack against [Duval Country GOP] volunteers today,” Rubio said.
“This appears to be a politically-motivated attack on hard-working volunteers in Duval County. Thankful that no one was hurt. [Duval County GOP] will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state,” exclaimed Scott.
The ABC report did neglect to mention the party affiliation of both Senators and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry (R), who said: “This is outrageous. The hate is toxic and dangerous. Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters.”
This wasn’t the first time the networks were disinterested in violence against Republican election efforts. In the run-up to the 2018 election, the networks refused to report on the intentional firebombing and vandalism of a GOP office in Wyoming.
The transcript is below:
NBC’s Sunday Today
February 9, 2020
8:12:09 a.m. Eastern [25 seconds]
WILLIE GEIST: A 27-year-old man is under arrest and charged with aggravated assault after police say he drove a van into a Republican Party voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday. No one was hurt, thank goodness. Police say they can't yet say with any certainty whether this was politically motivated, but President Trump tweeted about the incident, writing, "Law enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with!"