ABC, CBS ‘Uncommitted’ to Reporting on Michigan Dem Primary Chaos

February 19th, 2024 10:45 PM

You would think, with a little over a week to go before Michigan’s presidential primary election, that a Democrat member of Congress mounting an insurgent rejection campaign against President Joe Biden might garner coverage across the network evening newscasts. Alas, you would’ve thought wrong. Only one network found room for the push for a vote of “uncommitted” on the Democratic Party’s primary ballot.

Here’s NBC’s report on Michigan’s homegrown version of “Operation Chaos”, an addendum to the network’s reporting on fallout from the death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, as aired on NBC Nightly News on Monday, February 19th, 2024:

LESTER HOLT: Garrett, President Biden also faces a new hurdle in Michigan related to next week's Democratic primary. What can you tell us? 

GARRETT HAAKE: That's right, Lester. A movement among the state's sizable Arab-American population, including progressive Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, to vote “Uncommitted” in that primary as a protest against the Biden administration's support for Israel and their actions in Gaza. It could be a major warning sign for November. Lester.

HOLT: Garrett Haake. Thank you.

That was all of 26 seconds, but it was still 26 seconds more than what ABC or CBS devoted to the matter. It turns out that multiple groups are pushing for an “Uncommitted” vote. Per NBC News dot com’s own reporting:

(Tlaib) joined growing calls from progressive activists in Michigan to vote “uncommitted” in the state's Democratic presidential primary on Feb. 27 instead of voting for Biden.

The video of Tlaib was posted to the X account of “Listen to Michigan,” a group urging voters to vote “uncommitted” in the primary.

Tlaib, who is Palestinian American, cited her dissatisfaction with the Biden administration's role in the war between Israel and Hamas as her reason for urging people to vote.

“It is also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn, to say, ‘Enough is enough. We don't want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction. We want to support life. We want to support life. We want to stand up for every single life killed in Gaza,’” Tlaib said.

And it isn’t just the Arab-American community. As the report notes, 

On Wednesday, Our Revolution, a progressive political organization founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also urged Michigan Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the primary. (Sanders has distanced himself from the group’s position, saying he supports Biden’s re-election bid.)

The report goes on to note that Our Revolution reiterates their endorsement of Biden. On the other hand, the recent slew of dispatches from Michigan suggest that the Arab-American community is more firmly in the “Never Biden” camp.

It is odd that the other networks, having also gone through the time and production expense of parachuting correspondents into Dearborn, remain silent on Operation Uncommitted. It is even weirder when you consider the many “Biden’s Coalition Is Cracking” reports filed from everywhere. This is right in that wheelhouse. 

Alas, there’s still a little over a week before the primary. We’ll see.