GMA Skips Hoffa's Call for War Against Tea Party 'Sons of Bitches'

Good Morning America on Tuesday skipped any mention of James Hoffa's call for war against the Tea Party and the union leader's exhortation to "take these son[s] of bitches out." The ABC program was the only network evening or morning show to ignore the heated rhetoric entirely.

All three evening newscasts on Monday and CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today offered brief references to Hoffa's comments in Detroit (although, in many parts of the country, the CBS broadcast was pre-empted for coverage of the U.S. Open). Bill Plante on the Early Show asserted that Hoffa "took aim at the Tea Party." Nightly News' Kate Snow added that the labor leader simply "turned up the political heat."

NBC reporter Kristen Welker on Monday did note that the Tea Party Express "called those comments damaging and dangerous." However, none of the network programs offered critical voices or wondered if this fit the new tone called for in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting last January.

Typical were those of CBS's Sharyl Attkisson. On Evening News, she played the clip and quickly noted, "Combative words for Republicans in the warm-up to the President's speech in Detroit today from Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa."

Here are Hoffa's comments: "President Obama this is your army!...Everybody here has got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong."

On cable, CNN's American Morning actually probed the comments. Christine Romans observed, "The President was not at the rally when Hoffa made those comments. Let's bring in Dan Lothian live at the White House. Dan, is the administration saying anything about the sons of bitches comments from Hoffa?"

Lothian noted that the White House has failed to comment on the story.

On Monday's Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer highlighted the outrage expressed by the Tea Party Express. He pressed Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, "Was James Hoffa over the line in saying those words, 'Let's take these son of a bitches out and get America back to where we belong'?"

On Good Morning America, Tuesday, Jake Tapper did cover the President's speech in Detroit:

JAKE TAPPER: [Obama] spoke to the Detroit Labor Council. He gave an impassioned defense of labor unions. And then he talked about the jobs plan he'll present to the country on Thursday, saying that he will present plans for job creation that both parties can get behind and support. And then, he challenged Republicans, saying the time for games is over.       

However, he found no time for the "sons of bitches" comments. (Tapper did report on it online in his Political Punch blog.)

To see how Fox News covered the story, go here.

A transcript of the accounts of the comments can be found below:


Early Show
09/06/11
7:15

ERICA HILL: Something else, though, that was said at that rally is really making Republicans upset this morning. For more on that, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante joins us now. Bill, good morning.

BILL PLANTE: Good morning, Erica. Yeah, the gloves really came off at that Labor Day rally in Detroit. It's almost as though the election were this November and not 14 months away. The day's sharpest comments came not from any of the candidates, but from one of the President's most ardent supporters. Teamster's head Jimmy Hoffa was warming up the crowd at the President's Labor Day rally in Detroit and took aim at the Tea Party.

JAMES HOFFA: President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of [bleeped] out and give America back to America, where we belong.

PLANTE: The President Obama who showed up at yesterday's rally looked a lot like candidate obama three years ago. All fired up, and challenging Republicans to work together with him. Making it clear that he's ready for a fight.

Today
09/06/11

O'DONNELL: Controversy kicked off the President's jobs event in Detroit, Monday when Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa Jr. tried to rally Democrats with a raw swipe at the Tea Party.

[On screen headline: "Decision 2012, GOP Candidates Hammer Obama On Campaign Trail"]

JAMES HOFFA: Everybody here has gotta vote. If we go back, and we keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America, where we belong.

O'DONNELL: When the President spoke later he was tough but tamer, calling out Republicans.
                       
Nightly News
09/05/11

KATE SNOW: President Obama spent part of his Labor Day addressing a crowd of union members in Detroit. He gave them a big preview of his jobs speech coming up later this week. And both he and one of his supporters turned up the political heat. NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker joins me now form Washington. Kristen, good evening.

KRISTEN WELKER: Good evening to you, Kate. Well, President Obama sounded a lot like candidate Obama when he addressed a crowd of thousands in Detroit earlier today. And as you say, he really did turn up the heat. He gave a little glimpse of the jobs plans that he will announcing on Thursday. He said it will include investing in infrastructure projects that he believes could put as many as a million construction workers back to work. He said it will also include extending payroll tax cuts. And then he said- the President ratcheted up the pressure on Congress. Take a listen.

BARACK OBAMA: But we're not going to wait for them. We're going to see if we've got some straight shooters in Congress. We're going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party.

WELKER: But, we also had heated words from Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, who took a swipe at the Tea Party. Take a listen.

JAMES HOFFA: Everybody here has got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong. Thank you very much!

WELKER: Now, the Tea Party Express called those comments damaging and dangerous.

World News
09/05/11

JIM SCIUTTO: Warming up the friendly union crowd, the Teamsters' James Hoffa took the rhetoric even further, accusing the Tea Party of fighting a war on working people.

JAMES HOFFA: Let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.

Evening News
09/05/11
6:35

SHARYL ATTKISSON: Combative words for Republicans in the warm-up to the President's speech in Detroit today  from Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa.

JAMES HOFFA: Let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org