While journalists in 2020 are now telling America that it’s time to unify and accept Joe Biden’s victory, it was a very different story four years ago. In December of 2016, celebrities, as well as reporters at ABC, CBS and NBC, pushed the “last ditch” attempt by Hillary Clinton supporters to get the electoral college to reject Donald Trump.
Liberal actor Martin Sheen, as well as TV stars Debra Messing, Noah Wyle and others, pleaded with Republican electors to reject the results of the 2016 election. In a video, Sheen lectured, “Republican members of the electoral college, this message is for you. “As you know, our Founding Fathers built the electoral college to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue.”
The video calls on 37 GOP electors to “vote your conscience” and against what the state had voted for. That certainly sounds like not accepting the results of the election.
At the top of the December 19, 2016 Today show, not-yet disgraced Matt Lauer offered some hope: “One last gasp. A desperate, last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the presidency as the Electoral College meets across country today. Protesters encouraging members to change their votes, but is there any real chance changing the outcome?”
Although reporter Hallie Jackson admitted the scheme was “unprecedented,” she promoted, “Today, the last, last-ditch attempt to try to reverse the election of Donald Trump, protests planned to persuade electors around the country not to cast votes for the President-elect....37 would need to flip to stop Trump temporarily...”
Later that day, there were defections... against Clinton. A stunned Cecilia Vega on World News Tonight explained, “Some of those electors who were supposed to vote for her, instead voted for Republican Colin Powell.”
Keep all of this in mind as journalists and celebrities talk about unity.
For more examples from our FLASHBACK series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.