NBC Hypes Left-Wing Fantasy of D.C. Statehood, Dem Power Grab


On Friday, NBC’s Today show decided to waste nearly four and a half minutes of air time promoting a left-wing fantasy designed to give the Democratic Party a permanent Senate majority – making Washington, D.C. a state. The legislative move being a blatant partisan power grab and unconstitutional was glossed over, as the segment focused on parroting DNC talking points to sell the political scheme.

“The 51st state? A divided House votes to grant Washington, D.C. statehood, a major step in a decades-long movement,” co-host Savannah Guthrie announced at the top of the broadcast, before admitting it was “facing a tough fight in the Senate.” Minutes later, correspondent Hallie Jackson kept up the illusion that there was a chance of it actually happening: “Democrats want to change that. They say, to give people a voice. But Republicans paint it as a political power grab. All of it setting up a statehood standoff.”

 

 

The taped report began with Jackson proclaiming: “For 60 years, 50 states, but Congress is now one step closer to adding another.” Following a soundbite of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declaring “D.C. statehood is an idea whose time has come,” the reporter kept up the pretense:

The House passing a bill that would make Washington, District of Columbia, the State of Washington Douglass Commonwealth, honoring abolitionist Frederick Douglas. The mayor would be the new governor, and the 700,000-plus people living in D.C., who already pay the most federal taxes per capita, would get federal voting rights, including two new senators.

Only briefly did she mention the real motivation of Democrats: “That would almost certainly mean two more Democrats, given D.C.’s political leanings, with the GOP intensely opposed to statehood.” A clip was allowed of Republican Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs warning: “The Democrats’ support is really about, of HR-51, Democratic partisanship, Democratic power.”

Rather than continue to examine the suspect motives of Democrats, Jackson instead tried to distract by ridiculing other GOP arguments against D.C. statehood:

JACKSON: Some Republicans argue D.C. is too small.

REP. NANCY MACE [R-SC]: D.C. wouldn’t even qualify as a singular congressional district.

JACKSON: It does have more people than Vermont or Wyoming. Some have argued D.C.’s not Wyoming.

SEN. TOM COTTON [R-AR]: Wyoming is a well-rounded, working class state.

She then turned to cynical race-baiting: “Democrats blast that as thinly veiled racism.” A soundbite followed of Democratic New York Congressman Mondaire Jones hurling this vile attack at Senator Cotton: “I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word, ‘white.’”

Jackson finally found time to mention the fact that D.C. statehood violates the Constitution, though she framed it as just a claim from the right: “As for the founding fathers, some conservatives say they never intended that the nation’s capital become a state.”

Rattling off more Democratic Party justifications, Jackson touted:

If it happens, D.C. would have the highest percentage of black residents in the country. Top Democrats frame statehood as a civil rights issue….There’s also the security component that Democrats point to, saying that D.C. should be able to make its own decisions about things like the National Guard, something that came up, in particular, after the Capitol siege on January 6th.

Following Jackson’s report, Guthrie turned to Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and wondered: “So how about it, with this movement toward statehood, does it have momentum? Where do you see it going from here?” Todd engaged in liberal wish-casting as he predicted both D.C. and Puerto Rico would become states within 10 years:

Look, it has momentum. Not this year, but I call it momentum this decade. And I do think the path to D.C. statehood actually goes through the Caribbean. It goes through Puerto Rico. And in fact, the movement for Puerto Rico’s statehood has been gaining momentum….So look, it ain’t gonna happen this year, but I think we’re gonna see a new flag, probably with two more stars on it, probably by the end of this decade. I do think the momentum is there. An all-Latino state, a majority Latino state in Puerto Rico, a majority African-American state in the District. I think it’s gonna happen.

The attempt by Democrats to discard the Constitution just to achieve the craven political goal of gaining two more senators should be met with skepticism and scorn by any honest journalist. It’s a shame NBC doesn’t employ any.

This promotion of a long-held Democratic Party fever dream was brought to viewers by Kohl’s and Dove. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.

Here is a full transcript of the April 23 segment:

7:10 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And now to the debate playing out in Washington over the fate of the nation’s capitol. Craig joins us with that story this morning. Hi, Craig.

CRAIG MELVIN: Hey, Savannah, Hoda, good morning. Good morning to you, as well. The House has now passed a bill to make the District this country’s 51st state. But a major fight now looms in the Senate. NBC’s senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson joins us from Washington with more. Hallie, good morning.

HALLIE JACKSON: Craig, good morning to you. You know this city well, you know that D.C. is more than the National Mall and the monuments, it is full of regular neighborhoods like this one. All of them a little bit different, but with one thing in common. So common, it’s been on the license plates: “Taxation without representation.” Democrats want to change that. They say, to give people a voice. But Republicans paint it as a political power grab. All of it setting up a statehood standoff.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Battle Over DC Statehood; House Approve Bill That Could Make Capital 51st State]

For 60 years, 50 states, but Congress is now one step closer to adding another.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER [D-NY]: D.C. statehood is an idea whose time has come.

JACKSON: The House passing a bill that would make Washington, District of Columbia, the State of Washington Douglass Commonwealth, honoring abolitionist Frederick Douglas. The mayor would be the new governor, and the 700,000-plus people living in D.C., who already pay the most federal taxes per capita, would get federal voting rights, including two new senators. That would almost certainly mean two more Democrats, given D.C.’s political leanings, with the GOP intensely opposed to statehood.

REP. ANDY BIGGS [R-AZ]: The Democrats’ support is really about, of HR-51, Democratic partisanship, Democratic power.
JACKSON: Some Republicans argue D.C. is too small.

REP. NANCY MACE [R-SC]: D.C. wouldn’t even qualify as a singular congressional district.

JACKSON: It does have more people than Vermont or Wyoming. Some have argued D.C.’s not Wyoming.

SEN. TOM COTTON [R-AR]: Wyoming is a well-rounded, working class state.

JACKSON: Democrats blast that as thinly veiled racism.

REP. MONDAIRE JONES [D-NY]: I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word, “white.”

JACKSON: And one Republican argued this:  

REP. JODY HICE [R-GA]: D.C. Would be the only state – the only state without an airport, without a car dealership.

JACKSON: D.C. does have car dealerships, and the Constitution doesn’t mention those anyway. As for the founding fathers, some conservatives say they never intended that the nation’s capital become a state.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY [R-LA]: Anybody who knows a law book from a J. Crew catalog knows it’s unconstitutional.

DEL. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON [D-D.C.]: There is nothing in the Constitution that says the District cannot become a state.

JACKSON: If it happens, D.C. would have the highest percentage of black residents in the country. Top Democrats frame statehood as a civil rights issue, and supporters include the Biden administration, about half of all voters nationwide, and a lot of folks who call the District home.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [D.C. RESIDENT]: It makes me feel as if I am being robbed of a right that I should have.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [D.C. RESIDENT]: It feels that my voice in Congress is not represented.

JACKSON: There’s also the security component that Democrats point to, saying that D.C. should be able to make its own decisions about things like the National Guard, something that came up, in particular, after the Capitol siege on January 6th. But the bottom line here, because of the opposition, because of the fight in the Senate, unless there is some kind of rules change in that chamber, you probably don’t have to run out to buy a redesigned American flag any time soon, Savannah.

GUTHRIE: Alright, Hallie, thank you. For more on that and the other big political headlines in Washington, let’s bring in Chuck Todd. Chuck, it’s good to see you. So how about it, with this movement toward statehood, does it have momentum? Where do you see it going from here?

CHUCK TODD: Look, it has momentum. Not this year, but I call it momentum this decade. And I do think the path to D.C. statehood actually goes through the Caribbean. It goes through Puerto Rico. And in fact, the movement for Puerto Rico’s statehood has been gaining momentum, and that actually has some Republican allies. So in what’s gonna happen here, and I’ve talked with actually the governor of Puerto Rico a couple months ago, in my podcast, about this, he wants to work with the District, if you will, the same people organizing. Because in many ways, there is more openness on the right, particularly with Florida’s Republican senators, for Puerto Rico’s statehood. So look, it ain’t gonna happen this year, but I think we’re gonna see a new flag, probably with two more stars on it, probably by the end of this decade. I do think the momentum is there. An all-Latino state, a majority Latino state in Puerto Rico, a majority African-American state in the District. I think it’s gonna happen.

GUTHRIE: We’ll check in with you next decade then, Chuck.

TODD: I appreciate that.

(…)



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