FAKE NEWS: ABC, NBC Suck Up to ‘Diverse’ Biden Picks as ‘Mainstream,’ ‘Not Political’

On Tuesday afternoon, ABC and NBC weren’t just in spin mode for Team Biden, but trying one-up each other like men on a group date during an episode of The Bachelorette. After President-Elect Joe Biden held a public event with his top national security picks, the two networks lauded the picks as not only “diverse,” but “mainstream” and “not political.”

ABC chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz illustrated her coziness with The Swamp, gushing over how Biden’s team was “the least flashy team you could possibly get” but “deeply experienced,” “humble, and they are lifelong public servants.”

Raddatz then dropped the punchline, insisting the team wasn’t “political”:

When I look at that group up there, and let’s put John Kerry aside, because, as we know, he was the Democratic nominee for president once, but they are not political. They are just career people. They have worked together for many years. I remember Jake Sullivan at the side of Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state all the time, and as they say, they really do reflect America. 

Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton flack? Not political? And Tony Blinken, longtime Democratic operative? And former CNN analyst? 

On top of that, both served on the Biden and Clinton campaigns, so hopefully Raddatz doesn’t lie like that again to her viewers.

Marveling over DNI pick Avril Haines, chief anchor and former Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos hailed her as having “talk[ed] about truth to power and the independence, not a policymaking community. We know they’ve been under siege for the last four years.”

Raddatz agreed, praising her promise to “speak to truth to power” and depoliticize the intelligence community because, in the world of Adam Schiff and his media simps, intelligence “was politicized and skew[ed]…putting politics before what they actually saw and I know there were many intelligence professionals, career intelligence professionals who were upset by that.”

Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl continued the lunacy, bragging that it symbolized “a mainstream, experienced cabinet.”

Speaking from Delaware, correspondent Rachel Scott urged Americans to put aside their political views and bend the knee in awe of the Biden administration (click “expand”):

Joe Biden and his administration wanted to communicate to the rest of America that his picks are reflective of the diversity in this country. Joe Biden has pledged to have one of the most diverse cabinets, one of the most diverse administrations in American history and what you heard today was some very personal stories from most of those picks and regardless of where you stand on politics, what we could see there is history in the making. As you mentioned, you could have the first immigrant, the first Latino to serve as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. You could have the first woman leading the intelligence community.

There will be some questions about whether or not the Biden administration and this cabinet goes far enough when it comes to progressive policies that many in the party and many to the left would like to see this administration put in place. And we also know that this is just the first round. Sources tell us that Joe Biden is expected to tap Janet Yellen to serve as the Department of Treasury secretary. George, for 231 years that is a position that has only been held by white men in this country. She would be the first woman.

NBC correspondent Geoff Bennett read from the same sheet music, insisting that the “stagecraft” of the event and the group’s “a range of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, ages, a range of diverse lived experiences” would help Americans “buy into” the Biden administration (click “expand”):

[T]he President-Elect and vice President-Elect wanted to amass a group of officials who were both capable, competent, not controversial, should they need to be confirmed by a divided Senate and also turns out this is a group that is also collegial. This, so far, is not a team of rivals….So just another quick word about what we just take place, that stagecraft that sort of carefully choreographed rollout, that was designed to send a message, I’m told, to the world, to the country, to the federal bureaucracy, that as Joe Biden put it, America is back, and that rebuilding, restoring, repairing the American brand both here at home and around the world is a primary goal and it is an urgent goal. 

And another thing that I think was apparent based on that group was the level of diversity. And we heard Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris speak to that, and that was important to Joe Biden for a number of reasons, chief among them being that he wanted a group of people who reflect a range of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, ages, a range of diverse lived experiences so they would bring that to him and in effect make him a better president. And as Joe Biden speaks about trying restore the country, trying to bring Americans back together again, trying to heal the country, he views it as a key way to get people — Americans across the country to buy into his presidency if he has a cabinet and top advisers that reflect the country he’s trying to lead, Kate. 

Just as Bennett and Scott spoke with one voice, Senior Washington correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell did the same with Raddatz and expressed relief that the Washington bureaucracy would have their full reign restored, fretting how horrible and sad both Trump secretaries of state had been to the concept of foreign public service.

Mitchell also talked about the Haines pick and insisted Biden’s team won’t “be political”:

So, that is a very strong signal and as you point out also, Avril Haines saying the intelligence community, which was discredited on day one by President Trump when he — right after the inaugural went over to Langley and was so critical of the intelligence community and then even more so after the Mueller Report. They are being told it is not going to be political, and Joe Biden is saying these are people, this is a team who’s going to tell me — this team will tell me what I need to know, not what I want to know. That is a big change.

Due to these having been network special reports, there were no ad breaks. But to learn more about the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page, go here.

To see the relevant ABC and NBC transcripts from November 24, click “expand.”

ABC News Special
November 24, 2020
1:43 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: President-Elect, congratulating his team. Like so much during this pandemic, a ceremony unlike any we’ve seen before. The message being sent by having every nominee socially distant and wearing masks when they weren’t speaking. We also see here, and Martha Raddatz, I want to bring you in on this, when you look at the team and look at the nominations, it’s clear that he values three things: loyalty, diversity, and experience. 

MARTHA RADDATZ: Exactly, this is about the least flashy team you could possibly get. They are deeply experienced. They are humble and they are lifelong public servants. When I look at that group up there, and let’s put John Kerry aside, because, as we know, he was the Democratic nominee for president once, but they are not political. They are just career people. They have worked together for many years. I remember Jake Sullivan at the side of Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state all the time, and as they say, they really do reflect America. Avril Haines, she was the first female deputy director of the CIA, and when she was asked about that later on, she said she was surprised. She didn’t really think of it that way, but a woman from the CIA came up to her — she said an older woman, who burst into tears and basically said this means so much to me to have a woman, to see someone who looks like me in a position like this, so it matters to those employees. And right now, I have to think, in all of those departments, they are thinking about having these career officials back in their departments. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to — I want to follow up. Because it did seem like Avril Haines’ comments were the most pointed of all the comments we saw, talking about truth to power and the independence, not a policymaking community. We know they’ve been under siege for the last four years. 

RADDATZ: Absolutely, and she made very clear that she will speak truth to power, that she will tell Joe Biden and Kamala Harris exactly how she views what’s going on in the intelligence community which, right now, in the last four years many thought was politicized and skewing the intelligence in a certain direction, putting politics before what they actually saw and I know there were many intelligence professionals, career intelligence professionals who were upset by that, George. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Martha Raddatz, thanks very much. I want to bring in Jon Karl as well, our chief white house correspondent. Jon, you served as White House correspondent under President Obama as well. Every single one of these appointees served in the Obama administration. 

JONATHAN KARL: Every single one of these appointees also has broad Washington experience, even beyond service in the Obama administration. George, this represents a pretty sharp break with what we have seen under the Trump administration in a number of areas, just to look at personnel, policy as is often said in Washington, you have John Kerry with the intention to get back into the Paris climate accords. You have a new Secretary of Homeland — or designate Security of Homeland Security who was instrumental in forming the DACA program. Big change on immigration and a big change on our alliances, no more getting in fights with our allies, you know, an emphasis on multilateralism. But in some ways, George, this is a cabinet that doesn’t scream big change. Change from Trump, but not change from what we have seen over previous administrations. This is in many ways a very mainstream cabinet, not a cabinet filled with a far left, progressive radicals like the Republicans were suggesting would be the case during the campaign. This is a mainstream, experienced cabinet, filled with people who know President-Elect Joe Biden very well. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s true. Two more ceilings broken, though, the first Latino at the department of homeland security and the first woman, as Martha said, Avril Haines, as director of national intelligence. And Rachel Scott, you were there.

RACHEL SCOTT: Joe Biden and his administration wanted to communicate to the rest of America that his picks are reflective of the diversity in this country. Joe Biden has pledged to have one of the most diverse cabinets, one of the most diverse administrations in American history and what you heard today was some very personal stories from most of those picks and regardless of where you stand on politics, what we could see there is history in the making. As you mentioned, you could have the first immigrant, the first Latino to serve as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. You could have the first woman leading the intelligence community. There will be some questions about whether or not the Biden administration and this cabinet goes far enough when it comes to progressive policies that many in the party and many to the left would like to see this administration put in place. And we also know that this is just the first round. Sources tell us that Joe Biden is expected to tap Janet Yellen to serve as the Department of Treasury secretary. George, for 231 years that is a position that has only been held by white men in this country. She would be the first woman. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Alexander Hamilton appointed by George Washington, the first president. Rachel, thanks very much.

— 

NBC News Special
November 24, 2020
1:44 p.m. Eastern

KATE SNOW: Geoff, notable for a lot of firsts there, but also notable that these are people with a lot of experience in government. It’s a contrast, I think to what we saw four years ago where a lot of outsiders were brought in. 

GEOFF BENNETT: It’s such a great point that you make, Kate, because these six people, Joe Biden’s six elections for top posts in national security and foreign policy in his future administration, they are not well known to the American people, but they are well known to the career staffers who work in the agencies that these folks have been tapped to lead and they are also well known to the senators, the U.S. Senators both Democratic and Republican, who will be in the position to confirm them and I’m told that that was by design, the President-Elect and vice President-Elect wanted to amass a group of officials who were both capable, competent, not controversial, should they need to be confirmed by a divided Senate and also turns out this is a group that is also collegial. This, so far, is not a team of rivals. Tony Blinken, the secretary of state nominee, and Jake Sullivan, who has been tapped to be the National Security Adviser, have deep friendship even though they are 15 years apart in age. That’s also the case for other members of that group of six that we saw. So just another quick word about what we just take place, that stagecraft that sort of carefully choreographed rollout, that was designed to send a message, I’m told, to the world, to the country, to the federal bureaucracy, that as Joe Biden put it, America is back, and that rebuilding, restoring, repairing the American brand both here at home and around the world is a primary goal and it is an urgent goal. And another thing that I think was apparent based on that group was the level of diversity. And we heard Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris speak to that, and that was important to Joe Biden for a number of reasons, chief among them being that he wanted a group of people who reflect a range of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, ages, a range of diverse lived experience so they would bring that to him and in effect make him a better president. And as Joe Biden speaks about trying restore the country, trying to bring Americans back together again, trying to heal the country, he views it as a key way to get people — Americans across the country to buy into his presidency if he has a cabinet and top advisers that reflect the country he’s trying to lead, Kate. 

SNOW: Geoff, thank you. Following all this also is our chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell. Andrea, we heard the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations say that multilateralism is back, that diplomacy is back, we heard the Director of National Intelligence nominee say the intelligence community is indispensable. Those are important messages right now. 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Absolutely. That message from the U.N. Ambassador designee Linda Thomas-Greenfield was so important. She used to head the Foreign Service. She’s been an ambassador to many countries around the world, widely respected. She was retired, brought back from retirement for this, and her message is to a hollowed out State department and to foreign leaders that multilateralism, as you point out, is back. She’s telling the State Department where many people have retired prematurely because of how hostile they felt the Pompeo/Trump regime was, and Tillerson was before that, to the career foreign service that they are back, they are valued. Remember who some of the top witnesses at impeachment were who were so vilified by the President that they were forced into retirement prematurely. So, that is a very strong signal and as you point out also, Avril Haines saying the intelligence community, which was discredited on day one by President Trump when he — right after the inaugural went over to Langley and was so critical of the intelligence community and then even more so after the Mueller Report. They are being told it is not going to be political, and Joe Biden is saying these are people, this is a team who’s going to tell me — this team will tell me what I need to know, not what I want to know. That is a big change.

SNOW: Andrea, thank you.

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