Seconds After Speech Ends, Brian Williams Assails ‘Dark,’ ‘Bizarre' State of the Union

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Just seconds after Donald Trump ended his third State of the Union address on Tuesday, — a speech that saw tributes to the heroics of our military and awarding Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom —  MSNBC’s Brian Williams, immediately bashed it as “dark,” “bizarre” and “unusual.” The honesty-challenged journalist also scolded the “many points [that] differed from the truth.”

Williams launched into attack mode, decrying: “Hard to put how unusual this was from the Speaker of the House ending by pointedly ripping up the text of the speech, to the President here engaging for the second time the Chief Justice who is sitting as judge at his impeachment trial, which continues tomorrow.”

He berated, “The dark parts were dark. The bizarre parts were bizarre, down to the awarding of the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh by the First Lady during the speech which at so many points differed from the truth.” 

 

 

Williams would certainly know about “differing from the truth.” This is the man who falsely said he was shot down in Iraq in 2003, who told tales about seeing dead bodies while covering Hurricane Katrina. But Williams has no self awareness. After the 2018 State of the Union, he claimed, “we will fact-check” Trump’s speech. 

On Tuesday, MSNBC made liberal host Rachel Maddow a State of the Union co-anchor. She echoed Williams: “There were few dramatic moments beyond just the bizarreness.” She also chided: 

The awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, not only announcing that he would receive it, but instead of doing it in the East Room with the ceremony and the president awarding it, having the President's wife, the first lady, pin it on right there.

Surprisingly, Chris Matthews offered some praise for the State of the Union, concluding: “I think regular people — they’ll see the schmaltz, the corniness. But they’ll like it because it’s all good stuff.” 

A partial transcript is below: 

MSNBC State of the Union coverage
02/04/2020
10:25 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Hard to put how unusual this was, from the Speaker of the House ending by pointedly ripping up the text of the speech, to the President here engaging for the second time the Chief Justice who is sitting as judge at his impeachment trial, which continues tomorrow. To the Republican chant of four more years prior to the start of the speech. The dark parts were dark. The bizarre parts were bizarre, down to the awarding of the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh by the First Lady during the speech which at so many points differed from the truth. 

RACHEL MADDOW: There were few dramatic moments beyond just the bizarreness, signing the tie here would be one of them. But the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, not only announcing that he would receive it, but instead of doing it in the East Room with the ceremony and the President awarding it, having the President's wife, the first lady, pin it on right there.

...

JASON JOHNSON: This is a micro targeted campaign game show. That's what it was. It was a game show. It was a performance. He brings out the single black mom to trot her out for suburban white women to like Republicans. He offers the Tuskegee air man out there. He's offering cookies and doughnuts for people. We were all taking about — I predicted he was going to do a soldier reunion because that sort of thing really resonates with people. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: You did. 

JOHNSON: It was a campaign commercial. I don't think that's inherently bad. You can change the state of the union however it is you want, but the fact that it was sandwiched between a tremendous number of lies, the fact that the imagery he presents is completely different from how he runs his administration. The fact that the very thing he got impeached for is what he was doing. I can perfectly imagine he told that single mother he told Mr. Mcgee, hey, “I got a favor for you. If you'll show up at my State of the Union, I'll have a scholarship for your kid. I'll offer you this school, I'll offer you this program.” That's how this president operates. It was effective for his base, but it was another example of his sort of disgusting abuse of the office. 

WILLIAMS: Chris Matthews? 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think regular people — they’ll see the schmaltz, the corniness. But they’ll like it because it’s all good stuff.  

 

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