Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC all made the cowardly decision to give oxygen to the far-left, perpetually crackbrained protesters at Code Pink disrupting a Senate hearing about aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.
ABC’s World News Tonight led the way with the gross promotions. Anchor David Muir hailed them in an opening tease: “The protests erupting during a hearing on Capitol Hill today. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shouted down while making the case for billions in federal aid to help Israel and Ukraine defend themselves.”
Muir later called it an “unsettling scene” with “protests disrupting a key hearing on defending Israel” and “shout[ing] down” Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as they “[made] the case for billions in federal aid to help Israel defend itself, to help with humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians, and to help aid Ukraine.”
Senior congressional correspondent Rachel Scott huffed that the two secretaries “came to Capitol Hill asking for emergency funding to support Israel’s war against Hamas,” but that wasn’t easy after being “shouted down by dozens of protesters.” She even gave them multiple soundbites (click “expand”):
CODE PINK PROTESTER #1: Stop funding the genocide!
SENATOR PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): Allow us to continue the hearing.
CODE PINK PROTESTER #2: The American people don’t want to support this brutal war.
SCOTT: With their hands raised, covered in red paint, they called for an end to the war.
CODE PINK PROTESTER #3: Cease-fire now! I beg you.
SCOTT: The Biden administration asking congress for an additional $14 billion in aid to Israel, plus $9 billion for humanitarian efforts in Gaza. But that’s not all. They are also requesting $61 billion in support for Ukraine, arguing the conflicts are interconnected, and must be addressed together.
AUSTIN: In both Israel and Ukraine, democracies are fighting ruthless foes who are out to annihilate them. We will not let Hamas or Putin win.
BLINKEN: Many are again making the bet that we’re too divided or too distracted at home to stay the course.
She, of course, had to take a pot shot at Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) for wanting to separate Israel and Ukraine funding and have any aid money be offset by IRS cuts. In turn, he wouldn’t just go along with the President: “Democrats argue that would upend President Biden’s effort to go after tax cheats and corporations who don’t pay their fair share.”
Scott didn’t give Code Pink shameless promotion on Wednesday’s Good Morning America. Instead, she made it all about Johnson with Team Biden “pleading with Congress fore more aid” but stymied by Johnson having “his own plans.”
Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News also gave Code Pink a boost (also without naming them). Like Muir, anchor Lester Holt touted them in a tease: “At another hearing, anti-war protesters, their hands painted red, removed by police”.
That took up a portion of senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake’s report from the Hill on the funding debate:
CODE PINK PROTESTER #1: 3,500 kids dead!
HAAKE: Also on the Hill, anti-war protesters interrupting a hearing as the secretaries of state and defense were pushing the White House plan to spend $105 billion in emergency support for Israel, Ukraine, and other national security threats.
CODE PINK PROTESTER #2: Ceasefire now!
Haake footnoted them on Wednesday’s Today: “And despite six interruptions from protesters calling for a cease-fire, Secretaries Austin and Blinken made their plea to a divided Congress and argued that not passing this package would ultimately embolden America's adversaries.”
After a scant mention on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News of “protesters...disrupt[ing]” the hearing, CBS Mornings focused on both the loons and what senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang called a “bitter fight” over foreign aid for Israel and Ukraine (click “expand”):
BLINKEN : Not in the face of an intensifying strategic competition.
CODE PINK PROTESTER #1: Stop the brutal, brutal massacre in Gaza.
JIANG: On Capitol Hill, protesters interrupted a hearing about President Biden’s requests for more than $100 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, border security, and Indo Pacific nations like Taiwan, meant to keep China at bay.
AUSTIN: What happens in Ukraine and what happens in Israel matters not to just Ukraine and Israel, it matters to us. It affects our national security as well.
JIANG: Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson has already introduced a bill that would only send assistance to Israel leaving out Ukraine. It also includes cutting funding already earmarked for the IRS. Tuesday night, the White House warned that the bill is bad for Israel, for the Middle East region, and for our own national security, and if the president were presented with this bill, he would veto it.
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It would be a huge mistake to separate this package.
JIANG: And even Senate Republicans are siding with the administration.
BLINKEN: For our adversaries, be they states or non-states, this is all one fight and we have to respond in a way that recognizes that.
JIANG: It is important to remember that President Biden can only veto the House’s Israel only funding measure if it makes it to his desk, but that’s pretty unlikely to get past the Democratic controlled Senate[.]
To see the relevant transcripts from October 31, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC). To see the relevant transcripts from November 1, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).