With all three of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) leading their Tuesday evening newscasts with word Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R) planned to support the Democratic effort to impeach President Trump for his incitement of the Capitol attack last week, only one of them felt like being balanced enough to note Democratic opposition to the move: NBC Nightly News.
As ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News were boasting about Cheney, NBC told viewers about how West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) didn’t support his colleagues and thought impeachment was “ill-advised.”
It was White House correspondent Peter Alexander who was thoughtful enough to include Manchin’s decent:
ALEXANDER: And ahead of a potential Senate trial, one Democratic senator is urging against impeachment.
MANCHIN: I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people when we're going to be so divided and fighting again.
The soundbite Alexander used was from Manchin’s extended interview with the Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier during Monday’s Special Report. In the interview, the Senator made the case that Democrats didn’t have the votes to remove Trump via a Senate trial. He even seemed a little frustrated with House Democrats.
“I don't see any of that because there will be 48 still – 48 Democrats until we see Warnock and Senator Ossoff. So, until that happens, you need 67 votes. I think my arithmetic we have 19 Republicans. I don't see that and I think the House should know that also. We've been trying to send that message over. They know the votes aren't there,” he explained.
Manchin went on to argue that any possible punishment for Trump should be left up to the legal system:
Let the judicial system do its job, Bret. And then you know, we’re country of the rule of law, that's the bedrock of who we are. Let that take its place. Let the investigations go on and evidence come forth and then we will go forth from there. There's no rush to do this impeachment now. We can do it later if they think it's necessary.
And while he vehemently disagreed with his Republican colleagues who challenged the validity of the election, Manchin stood against the Democratic calls to have them thrown out. “Well, the Senate – Senators, there's only 100 of us, Bret, and you know the power that the Constitution gives each senator. They were acting within the confines. It was bad -- I think very, very, very bad judgment and those who held their ground, I could not believe it,” he said.
Whatever the outcome of the House impeachment vote Wednesday (and it’s more than likely NBC supported impeachment), it was good to witness some form of balanced coverage of where certain lawmakers stood on the issue instead of simply marching in lockstep with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
The transcript is below:
NBC Nightly News
January 12, 2021
7:04:41 p.m. Eastern
PETER ALEXANDER: And ahead of a potential Senate trial, one Democratic senator is urging against impeachment.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN: I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people when we're going to be so divided and fighting again.