Colluding With Power: ABC, CNN, MSNBC Begin New Year with Softballs for KJP

January 2nd, 2024 2:06 PM

On Tuesday morning as more Americans returned to work, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN This Morning, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe partnered with their allies in the Biden administration to forcefeed viewers White House propaganda in the form of softball interviews with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

ABC shamelessly had a Jean-Pierre predecessor — co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos — interview her and billed it as a chance “to discuss President Biden’s priorities and challenges in the year ahead.”



“A lot of the polls show [Biden] — especially in the battleground states — trailing or tied with Donald Trump. What does the White House think about that? How can you turn it around,” he asked.

Jean-Pierre offered up the first of many laughers, proclaiming Biden “has accomplished more in three years than any other President has been able to do in two terms” to go with an economy that’s “working”.

Following laborious talk about disparate issues of abortion, guns, and vets, Stephanopoulos had two open-ended softballs on foreign policy:

White House also facing national security challenges, including the war in the Middle East and the potential now for a wider war with Iran, now that they’ve sent a warship into the Red Sea. We’ve seen these battles with the Houthi rebels over the last several days. Are you concerned about a wider war?


The war in Ukraine is grinding on, it seemed to escalate over the last several days, but this aid package is still stalled in Congress. Are you confident you can get it done early this year?

Thanks to Stephanopoulos refusing to interject on her tome-sized answers, the Clinton official allowed her to run out the clock and left time for not a question, but acknowledgment of the border crisis: “Also tied up in those negotiations, border security. Many American cities now overwhelmed with this immigration crisis.”

Given the lack of time remaining, Stephanopoulos did nothing to challenge her answer ripping Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) for making American less safe by bussing and flying illegal immigrants to major cities away from his state (which would, therefore, be an admission that illegal immigrant criminals should be taken off the street).

CNN presented the only sorts of challenges and, not surprisingly, they came from the left as fill-in co-host Audie Cornish brought up student loan debt and urged Biden to use more executive orders.

A former NPR host who joined the network to launch a show that never premiered on CNN+ (R.I.P.), Cornish couldn’t have started with an easier question: “We want to talk both domestic and international, but I want to get a sense first from you what is the White House considering a priority in this first month of the year?”

Jean-Pierre went on a winding answer listing pieces of legislation that weren’t even signed in 2023, but Cornish interjected to swoon: “[Y]ou’re making some excellent points about the macroeconomy. But you alluded to some kitchen table issues — drug prices, for one. Also, housing is another issue. Education is another issue.”

She then invoked student loans and, while the cross-talk would normally indicate disagreement, it sure didn’t (click “expand”):

CORNISH: The student loan issue was not something addressed by the White House in the end in a comprehensive way, according to many young voters. Are you going to try to finish those jobs, in particular?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I’m just going to take a step — let me just deal with the student loan issue for a second. Look, the President put forth a plan. He wanted to keep this promise on dealing with the student loan debt that is really crushing families across the country. And he took steps even though the plan that he put forth was stopped certainly —

CORNISH: Do you think that —

JEAN-PIERRE: — by folks in Congress.

CORNISH: — do you think that argument — well, I want to just jump in here because —

JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no. But I —

CORNISH: — because there is an issue with young voters.

JEAN-PIERRE: No, I’m going to answer your question.

CORNISH: And I want to make — because they have heard from you that essentially, this is something the President —


CORNISH: — has tried to do. And do you think that over time they start to feel like —


CORNISH: — trying isn’t enough?

Cornish went gentle on immigration, asking “what’s the [administration’s] response” to Democratic mayors “calling for federal support to manage the influx of migrants to their areas.”

Jean-Pierre bashed Abbott as she did to Stephanopoulos and went unchallenged. With time running out, Cornish sounded like a slightly paranoid suburban Democrat calling for Biden to rule by even more edicts:

I just want to add that the President has done some things in his capacity, right? He has made extra effort to expand border — if not wall, barriers. He has made some changes in policy. Are there more things on the executive side you see as being an option in 2024?

Pivoting to Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski’s first question was perhaps the most challenging as she asked whether there’s “more good news to come on the economy” and argued it was “a little perilous to label an economy, like Bidenomics” if it ever crashes.

Nearly three minutes later, Jean-Pierre finished and co-host Willie Geist brought up the recent trend of horrendous polling for Biden. Instead of digging into why that’s happening, he simply asked if she could “explain those numbers.” Over 90 seconds later, he tried again with the same verbiage.

Way Too Early host, Politico writer, and Biden tool Jonathan Lemire ended the powwow with a lament about the Biden impeachment inquiry (click “expand”):

LEMIRE: Congress comes back next week with a lot on the to-do list. So, we know the White House has been pushing for the supplemental, border security deal for aid — aid to — aid in Ukraine, of course, the government funding deadline also looms. But, I wanted to ask you about something that a lot of Republicans are really focusing on right now and that is the impeachment inquiry into the — into the President. And, you know, the White House has made clear they don’t believe there’s any evidence there, but talk to us about how you are preparing for what is coming, you know, in the weeks and months ahead, which, if nothing else, will be a drain on staff, time, personnel, and resources.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, the White House counsel is dealing with this...[Y]ou said it, Jonathan. There is no evidence. And it’s not just coming from Democrats. It is coming from Republicans, as well. There is no there there. And it’s so unfortunate that Republicans in Congress want to focus on the — on the President’s family instead of the American family. We want to work with them in a bipartisan way...[W]e just talked about a list of things that I discussed, that we discussed, that we really need to work on for the American family, whether it’s — whether it’s gun violence prevention. We were able to... put out a significant, bipartisan legislation to deal with gun violence, the first one in 30 years. We need to do that. We need to continue to work together on border security. The President, first day in his administration...he put forward was a comprehensive immigration law...We appreciate the negotiations that are currently happening in the Senate. It’s headed in the right direction. We want to come up with a bipartisan agreement...There’s a lot of ways that we can work with Congress instead of them going after the President’s family. They should really truly, truly focus on the American family.

To see the relevant transcripts from January 2, click here (for ABC), here (for CNN) and here (for MSNBC).