All three broadcast networks aired special reports Tuesday afternoon on President Biden’s visit to Buffalo, New York following Saturday’s racist act of terror and, in the case of ABC, senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce was enthralled and almost emotional in vocalizing support for Biden’s broad strokes about white supremacy. In Bruce’s words, Biden was saddled with “a really impossible task...to heal what is still very clear a very broken country.”
Ah, nothing like a good side of America-bashing too in the same vein as CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King hours earlier.
ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir teed Bruce up, boasting of Biden’s “strong words” about how many in “the media and politics” are peddling white supremacy “for power, political gain, and for profit.” From there, Bruce boasted that there was “no question that this is the strongest condemnation yet from Joe Biden since he took office, against the hate, the racist hate that is ripping this country apart.”
She continued by touting how “really remarkable” it was for Biden to attack “members of the media and those in the political sphere.” Note how Bruce accepted Biden’s premise as fact:
And what is really remarkable here is that President Biden directly called out the members of the media and those in the political sphere that are allowing this hate to fester. The President calling out those who are allowing this kind of hate to radicalize individuals through the internet into believing this kind of fringe, racist replacement theory that was espoused by the alleged shooter in Buffalo. And the President saying that those who spread lies for power, political gain, and profit, must be called out[.]
Bruce added that America’s “strong” thanks to “the diversity of this country” and such opposition to diversity at Charlottesville in 2017 was what led Biden to run for president.
The ABC partisan made it seem as though Biden “critics” were only the left, noting they’ve wanted him to do more and wield “his bully pulpit, his microphone, the power of the presidency and his political weight.”
On Tuesday, Bruce argued that he fulfilled that “to begin a really impossible task of, as a President, directing and trying to respond to hate and to heal what is still very clear a very broken country.”
Muir concurred, warning that he’ll be “holding accountable those in the media, those in the politics who are using this, ‘for power, political gain, and for profit.’”
Over on CBS, correspondent Ed O’Keefe identified those who wanted Biden to do more were Democrats and demand he “cite people who work at Fox News” and “Republican leadership, especially in the House.”
O’Keefe also touched on a proposal from House Democrats to expand resources to investigate domestic terrorism, but has been stalled due to Democratic infighting about how it could backfire in the future even though they’d use it to “target [Republican] groups, perhaps closer to the white supremacy thought that the President is calling out.”
And on NBC, far-left Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson argued that white supremacy was not only “part of the history of this country,” but “a growing part of the present.” In other words, look for white supremacy around every corner!
Because it was a special report, there were no advertisements.
To see the relevant transcripts from May 17, click “expand.”
ABC News Special Report
May 17, 2022
12:40 p.m. Eastern
DAVID MUIR: The President saying hate and fear is given too much oxygen in this country. He said those who use it for power, and political gain, and profit, he called them out. He said we must reject the lie. He said white supremacy is poison — a poison in this country, no more. Let's bring in our senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce listening in on this, Mary, and these are strong words from the President about something he is concerned about for quite some time. And yet again, we saw this horror play out in Buffalo and now we learn that that was the motivation, the fear, the hate, and certainly, white supremacy.
MARY BRUCE: David, I think there is no question that this is the strongest condemnation yet from Joe Biden since he took office, against the hate, the racist hate that is ripping this country apart. You heard him label this a racist rampage and calling it out for what it is: terrorism, calling, as you note, white supremacy a poison. And what is really remarkable here is that President Biden directly called out the members of the media and those in the political sphere that are allowing this hate to fester. The President calling out those who are allowing this kind of hate to radicalize individuals through the internet into believing this kind of fringe, racist replacement theory that was espoused by the alleged shooter in Buffalo. And the President saying that those who spread lies for power, political gain, and profit, must be called out and must stop because, of course, it is the diversity of this country, as the President noted, that — that makes it so strong. And I think the history here is important to remember, as you noted. President Biden was inspired to run for office because he heard those chants, those racist chants of those marching through Charlottesville, Virginia. This was at the core of President Biden’s campaign. And his critics have said that he has not, so far, taken enough action on this, that he hasn’t used his bully pulpit, his microphone, the power of the presidency and his political weight to call this out. Today, he is taking very direct steps to address that criticism and tried to begin a really impossible task of, as a President, directing and trying to respond to hate and to heal what is still very clear a very broken country, David.
MUIR: Mary Bruce, watching this from the White House. Mary, our thanks to you. And just to underscore what Mary pointed out there, the President taking this much further today, his condemnation of this kind of hate that we are witnessing in parts of this country. Obviously concerned about the far reaches of the internet, fringe groups, but also today signaling that he is also holding accountable those in the media, those in the politics who are using this, for power, political gain, and for profit, as Mary said moments ago.
CBS News Special Report
May 17, 2022
12:41 p.m. Eastern
ED O’KEEFE: In a speech that otherwise repeats themes that he has touched on throughout his candidacy for president and throughout his presidency, he is now adding to this a concern that there is, as he put it, media, politics, and the internet helping radicalized individuals spread this racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and white supremacy. It stops short, however, of what many Democrats have called on this White House to do in recent days, and that is to name those in media and politics, especially, who are spreading these unfounded conspiracy theories. They cite people who work at Fox News, they cite Republican leadership, especially in the House and they want to hear the President and his top aides call out those people explicitly. The President inferred them today, didn’t go quite as far, but it is, as you pointed out, an amplification.
12:43 p.m. Eastern
ED O’KEEFE: In terms of domestic terrorism, there is legations that House Democrats have been trying to get passed in recent weeks that would establish new domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security and at the FBI. But there were disagreements among Democrats exactly on how to proceed amid concerns that those offices, once established, might end up targeting groups like Black Lives Matter or other, more liberal organizations that are out there trying to raise their concerns. On the flip side, there will be — there would be — there will be concern among conservatives and Republicans that such an office might unfairly target other groups, perhaps closer to the white supremacy thought that the President is calling out. And so, that’s going to spark a disagreement about how exactly — and a debate — about how exactly you police ideology and thought like this and where is the line on where4 exactly that can be monitored or policed or made illegal. And so, that is part of the challenge that faces Congress when they already struggle to do so much else, especially with midterm elections fast approaching.
MAJOR GARRETT: Where is that line indeed.
NBC News Special Report
May 17, 2022
12:45 p.m. Eastern
EUGENE ROBINSON: I was struck by a couple aspects of the President's speech, that — that first, and — and — and Lester, it's — it’s — it’s insane that we're accustomed to this, right? We can gauge this speech against others he and other previous presidents have given on such occasions. It shouldn't be, but it can. And so, this was not primarily a speech about guns and gun control. We’ve had that argument for so long. This time, those opponents of gun control always say, you know, the best weapon against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Well, there was a good guy on the scene — the former policeman, Aaron Salter, and — and yet, he, too, was killed. He was not able to kill the suspect, who was wearing body armor. So — but we're going to have that argument again and again and it’s hard to see it getting anywhere. What really struck me was the way the President did lean in on the issue of white supremacy, which he identified white supremacy as the poison in our policy politic that is fueling this wave of domestic terrorism. So, let's see what the next step is to combat this — this poisonous ideology that — sadly, it’s part of the history of this country and, tragically, is a growing part of the present of this country. White supremacy is what we have to deal with.
LESTER HOLT: Important perspective.