On Monday morning, even rumors about the possibility of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring sent the network morning shows into panic mode. Reporters wrung their hands over the potential that President Trump could replace the high court’s “swing vote” and make it “solidly conservative for decades.”
Could James Comey have broken the law? In a day dedicated to live testimony of Jeff Sessions about the Russian investigation, two journalists at CBS actually circled back to a potentially big problem for Comey and his liberal defenders: Whether or not he broke the law by leaking documents to the media.
One of the largest revelations to come out of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s public hearing with former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday was that President Trump was not under investigation. That fact didn’t seem to sit well with CBS’s John Dickerson when he appeared during CBS News Special Report after the hearing. Almost desperately, Dickerson tried to argue Trump had to be under scrutiny, “So, a President who was once concerned about not being under investigation those actions he took may now, in fact, make him under investigation.”
After Hillary Clinton used a softball inteview during a Silicon Valley tech conference on Wednesday to blame everyone but herself for her failed presidential campaign, Thursday’s network morning shows eagerly promoted her excuses, even pushing unfounded conspiracy theories advanced by the former Democratic nominee.
The frenzied liberal journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC on Wednesday smelled blood in the water. They threw around the “I-word,” “impeachment” and “impeachable offenses” for Donald Trump. Rather than waiting for actual memos to appear or for evidence unrelated to anonymous sourcing, former Bill Clinton operative and Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos excitedly wondered, “The big question, did President Trump try to block the FBI's Russia investigation [and] commit an impeachable offense?”
On Monday, the network morning shows were openly gleeful that former President Obama used his speech accepting a Profile in Courage Award from his liberal friends in the Kennedy family to trash Republican efforts to fix the mountain of problems created by ObamaCare. The ABC, CBS, and NBC broadcasts managed to ignore any of those failures as they cheered on Democratic efforts to use the issue to tear down the GOP.
NBC didn't bury the story after a commercial break like the other networks, but they did try to paint President Donald Trump’s nominee in a highly negative light, literally. “Gorsuch says he met Mr. Trump when interviewed for the job,” reported justice correspondent Pete Williams on NBC Nightly News. While he was saying that, a dreary black and white clip of Gorsuch shaking Trump’s hand played in slow motion. It looked as though it was a scene out of a TV murder documentary.
Capitol Hill was a hive of activity on Monday. The House Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee conducted the first in a series of hearings in the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Both were major events on the hill but the Comey hearing drew the overwhelming majority of the network news attention, leaving one anchor to say it was “overshadowing” Gorsuch.
Just hours before the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was set to begin, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning eagerly parroted Democratic talking points against President Trump’s judicial pick and promised an “intense grilling” for the federal judge as the “ugly” process got underway.
It appeared that two of the Big Three networks smelled blood in the water Thursday evening as both ABC and NBC lent their aid to Congressional Democrats in their push to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Many lawmakers on both sides have been calling for Jeff sessions to recuse himself when the news of these meetings broke,” hyped ABC anchor David Muir during World News Tonight, “But tonight, Democratic leaders are going even further saying he should step down.” All because Democrats accuse Sessions of lying to the Senate about meetings with the Russian Ambassador.
Of the three networks on Thursday, only CBS This Morning bothered to explain that there is nothing unusual about a president fighting with the judiciary. Reporter Jan Crawford highlighted the long history of Democrats, including Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama attacking judges. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today skipped this point.
Minutes after Donald Trump selected Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, CBS on Tuesday labeled him a “predictable conservative” with “some controversial decisions.” NBC and ABC also deemed Gorsuch a “conservative.” In contrast, the networks in 2016 rushed to declare Barack Obama’s attempted replacement, Merrick Garland, a “moderate.” In the first 24 hours of that pick, ABC and NBC avoided the “liberal” label. CBS used the word just twice.