On Friday afternoon, MSNBC repeatedly gushed over Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordering city workers to paint the words “Black Lives Matter” in bright yellow letters down 16th Street leading up to the White House. The left-wing cable channel hailed the political stunt as “a big yellow middle finger to the White House” and the newest “monument” in the nation’s capital.
“Today Washington, D.C.’s mayor had ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on the street that leads to the White House. Take a look,” Chuck Todd marveled at the top of the 2:00 p.m. ET hour. Reporting from downtown D.C. moments later, correspondent Garrett Haake touted:
Take a look around me at the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza. We’re in pretty much full-on block party mode here. We’ve got live music, we’ve got music pumped out into the street. Really the only thing we’re missing, I think, are hot dog vendors before this turns into a full-on street fair.
The reporter then celebrated the street painting and compared it to a profane gesture against President Trump: “You know, one of the most pervasive chants at all of these protests has been, ‘Whose streets? Our streets.’ It feels like that is D.C.’s answer....That feels like a big yellow middle finger to the White House essentially.”
At the top of the 3:00 p.m. ET hour, anchor Brian Williams enthusiastically endorsed the action: “As the President spoke about that jobs report, crews were painting the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ on 16th Street in Washington, an unambiguous message which leads directly to the White House.” He then remarked to co-anchor Nicolle Wallace that he hoped “that lettering is visible from space” so “we can now read forever and all-time that Black Lives Matter.”
For her part, Wallace applauded D.C.’s latest “monument”:
Well, you know what’s so, I think, healing about seeing that, and our producer Pat Burke, he said that monument now is alongside all the other monuments in the nation’s capitol. The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial. It is now a monument that speaks to the desires and the priority of 76% of Americans. 76% of Americans – it’s up 26% from 2015 – believe that racism is a problem in this country....So I think it’s a start. No one will feel that it’s enough. I don’t, but I think it is – it is an important monument.
The Washington Post similarly cheered the street branding on Friday. However, buried in that article was a brief notation that the group Black Lives Matter DC denounced the virtue signaling as “a performative distraction from real policy changes,” particularly their radical agenda of wanting to “defund the police.”
For the liberal media, the most important aspect to any story is, how does this advance the resistance to Trump?
Here is a full transcript of Haake’s June 5 report:
2:04 PM ET
CHUCK TODD: Today Washington, D.C.’s mayor had “Black Lives Matter” painted on the street that leads to the White House. Take a look. Right there, that is, I believe, appears to be 16th Street. Yup, right there. And there it is, in D.C., they’ve been painting it there. This is where protesters have been demonstrating to honor George Floyd. And it’s in sharp contrast to the largely peaceful protests that have unfolded this week, a new fencing barrier now stands outside the White House. It’s unclear why that’s necessary. But it is become – the White House complex looks like it’s being expanded and expanded and expanded outside of that 1600 Pennsylvania area. White House spokesperson Judd Deere said they do not comment on security protocols or decisions.
Joining us now is MSNBC Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake, who has been all over D.C. over this week. And it is interesting, it’s like , you know, Garrett, when I first came to D.C., you could drive on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House. And then there was an incident and they got rid of that, made it a pedestrian way. Now I’m starting to wonder, are we ever going to get Lafayette Park back again?
GARRETT HAAKE: Well, Chuck, it sure feels like we ought to. To the fence behind me seems like a complete anachronism now, totally out of place for what has become the changing vibe of these protests. Take a look around me at the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza. We’re in pretty much full-on block party mode here. We’ve got live music, we’ve got music pumped out into the street. Really the only thing we’re missing, I think, are hot dog vendors before this turns into a full-on street fair. That’s not to say that the messaging and the protesting don’t continue, but the tension that existed in this plaza more or less around the clock for the last week is now completely gone.
And you showed that yellow paint, that “Black Lives Matter” down the street of 16th Street. You know, one of the most pervasive chants at all of these protests has been, “Whose streets? Our streets.” It feels like that is D.C.’s answer. You had a mayor and a police chief and a city who were very upset at the way the federal officials have handled the protests in this city, really starting especially on Monday afternoon. That feels like a big yellow middle finger to the White House essentially. Pushing back against the federal response here.
And I would just add that there is absolutely no, zero, no visible law enforcement presence here except to block off the streets at the end of the road to accommodate this ever-evolving protest movement here in D.C. today, Chuck and Katy.
TODD: Garret Haake, man, I have to tell you, you’ve experienced all different types of sort of protest vibes in any moment in time. Quite the change from just five days ago. Garrett, nice work, man. Stay safe out there. Katy, over to you.
TUR: He’s got his barbecue red checks on today, Chuck. And as we reported, the President –
TODD: To think where we were.
TUR: It’s better than the gas mask he had earlier, certainly.