CNN Reporter on Nancy Pelosi as Speaker: ‘A Moment to Savor’

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper began the Thursday edition of his "AC: 360" program by announcing that he intended to "keep them [the Democrats] honest." A few seconds later, reporter Dana Bash described Nancy Pelosi’s elevation to Speaker as "a moment to savor." For everyone? Ms. Bash elaborated, saying that portents of Democratic power could be seen everywhere, including the appearance of Hollywood celebrities and the sight of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sitting in the back of the chamber:

Anderson Cooper: "Day one for lawmakers who are promising a whole host of legislation in their first 100 hours of work. We're here tonight to help keep them honest. So, throughout the hour, we will be looking at how Democrats hope to make law. First, though, CNN's Dana Bash on how they are making history."

Dana Bash: "A moment to savor -- Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel and, with it, power for the Democrats, an ambitious agenda, but, today, history, the first female Speaker, second in line to be president."

Nancy Pelosi: "For our daughters and our granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling."

Now, the CNN correspondent would likely argue that she meant the first female Speaker is an occasion to appreciate. However, imagine this was 1994, would Bash describe Newt Gingrich being sworn in as the first Republican Speaker in 40 years as "a moment to savor?" It’s conceivable the term would have been used, but likely only with the qualifier that such a moment would be relished by Republicans. Is CNN unaware of the fact that half the county is dreading, not gleefully anticipating, a Pelosi Speakership? Perhaps Dana Bash has less credibility on this subject, given her recent characterization of incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as being an iPod-loving, "People" magazine-reading everyman.

In fairness to Anderson Cooper, the Thursday "AC: 360" did follow-up on its critical analysis of the Democratic ethics agenda and whether or not they will continue to allow convicted congressional felons to receive pensions.

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 10:02pm on January 4,follows:

Anderson Cooper: "We're here to cover another front-page day, the first female House speaker, the first Muslim congressman, the first Buddhist, the first time Democrats have controlled both the House and Senate in the Bush administration. Day one of a Congress that you elected, because you said you wanted big changes. Day one for lawmakers, who are promising a whole host of legislation in their first 100 hours of work. We're here tonight to help keep them honest. So, throughout the hour, we will be looking at how Democrats hope to make law. First, though, CNN's Dana Bash on how they are making history."

Dana Bash: "A moment to savor -- Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel and, with it, power for the Democrats, an ambitious agenda, but, today, history, the first female Speaker, second in line to be president."

Nancy Pelosi: "For our daughters and our granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling."

Bash: "Symbols of a new Democratic era everywhere: Hollywood actor Richard Gere in the gallery, former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert in the back with the rank-and-file. Bipartisanship was the buzz word, from the House--"

Pelosi: "I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship."

Bash: "–To the Senate, where Democratic Leader Harry Reid began the day with a get-together for senators from both parties. The Vice President swore in 33 senators, giving Democrats their razor-thin majority."

Harry Reid: "51 to 49 -- some may look at this as a composition -- as a composition for gridlock, a recipe for gridlock. But I see this as a unique opportunity."

Bash: "Yet, Democrats wasted no time challenging the President on the war."

Pelosi: "Nowhere were the American more -- people more clear about the need for a new direction than in the war in Iraq."

Bash: "But, first, the House will debate new ethics measures, like banning gifts from lobbyists. Next week, House Democrats start the clock on 100 legislative hours of campaign promises. The Senate will work at a slower pace. Passing anything there requires compromise with Republicans. By this was a day for family to come watch history unfold, the first Muslim congressman, 43 black lawmakers, 90 women, led by the new House speaker. The day ended with a traditional phone call from the House speaker to the President, informing him the new Congress is in session. Mr. Bush told Nancy Pelosi he's ready to work with her, an olive branch, but also a reminder, she may wield the speaker's gavel, but he still wields the veto pen."

Congress Campaigns & Elections Liberals & Democrats CNN Anderson Cooper 360
Scott Whitlock's picture


Sponsored Links