The media bias watchdogs over at the Media Research Center had their work cut out for them at ABC following President Trump's well-received State of the Union address. Is ABC staying true to the journalistic imperative to report in an honest, unbiased manner that provides the audience with factually-grounded coverage of important events? Not even close.
In an eye-opening poll following the SOTU, CBS found that a remarkable 75% of viewers approved of Trump's speech, including 97% of Republicans, 72% of Independents, and even 43% of Democrats. A strong majority (65%) of viewers said the speech made them feel "proud" and 35% said it made them feel "safer," while just 14% felt "scared" and 21% "angry."
But ABC's take on Trump's positive, largely unifying message about the greatness of America and its citizens? It was a "divisive" and "gloomy" speech that "stok[ed] ... racial tensions," as MRC's Curtis Houck highlights.
"He did not unify that chamber tonight," said former Clinton administration official-turned-"newsman" George Stephanopoulos, a sentiment with which Jonathan Karl agreed. "He did not unify this chamber, particularly on the issue of immigration," said Karl.
"[Y]ou have to think about those dozens of DREAMers in the audience tonight," worried congressional correspondent Mary Bruce. "What they are thinking, as they hear the President talk about this, as they see the divisions there on the floor, concerned that they could face deportation come the beginning of March ..."
Cecilia Vega also weighed in on Trump's comments on immigration and seemed to even come to the defense of murderous MS-13 gang members. "One of the things that he said though, George, is that he wants to — have the country set aside the differences and went on to talk about undocumented immigrants as MS-13 gang members, demonizing them," she said.
Another majorly "divisive" aspect of the speech, according to CBS: Trump mentioned honoring the national anthem . . .
Below are some excerpts of the transcripts various CBS personalities responding to Trump's "sad" speech provided by MRC's Curtis Houck highlights (emphasis mine):
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One thing is pretty clear, Jon. He did not unify that chamber tonight.
JONATHAN KARL: George, I've never seen anything like it. Right now, the Democrats have basically run for the exits. I mean, usually when the President leaves, you still have members applauding. He did not unify this chamber, particularly on the issue of immigration. Not a single Democratic applause on his immigration proposal.
MARY BRUCE: There is an urgent, looming deadline here and Republicans and Democrats are no closer to solving this and, George, you have to think about those dozens of DREAMers in the audience tonight. What they are thinking, as they hear the President talk about this, as they see the divisions there on the floor, concerned that they could face deportation come the beginning of March and what the DREAMers were thinking when they heard the president say that line that will likely be one of the most memorable moments of the speeches, when he said “Americans are dreamers, too.”
CECILIA VEGA: One of the things that he said though, George, is that he wants to — have the country set aside the differences and went on to talk about undocumented immigrants as MS-13 gang members, demonizing them. I think he's going to have a tough sell when he's trying to sell unity and bringing up this issue of undocumented immigrants as criminals for a lot of people, particularly those DREAMers in that room that Mary was saying. Again, sort of stoking, I think many would say, racial tensions by bringing up this issue out of kneeling during the National Anthem. The headline out of the speech, for me, George, though, is of course, is that “Americans are DREAMers too.” I think many people will see this as clear, concise, and compassion from this President.
MARTHA RADDATZ: It was also just a particularly gloomy speech. I mean, he didn't mention the word carnage, but he talked a lot about carnage. It was a sad speech there at the end and did not unify, exactly what everybody is saying about not unifying. The Democrats are there. They represent people in the country who probably feel exactly how they do.
COKIE ROBERTS: Well, they probably should have been somewhat more enthusiastic when the President came in. We haven't seen them not clapping for a president who enters the chamber, but he did do a variety of things that clearly did make them angry, and, you know, talking about the national — standing for the national anthem, there were many African-Americans members of Congress there wearing kente cloth — African cloth. The President never mentioned Africa, never said anything like that, so, there was not anything there for them to — to relate to.