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Grotesque! PBS Reporter Defends Karlan’s Attack on Barron Trump; GOP Is ‘Seizing on’ It

During a break in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, PBS NewsHour correspondent, MSNBC political analyst, and upcoming 2020 Democratic presidential debate co-moderator Yamiche Alcindor bolstered her role a spin agent for the far-left when she explained away far-left Stanford University Professor Pamela Karlan’s supposed quip involving President Trump’s 13-year-old son Barron (which she apologized for a few hours later).

 

 

Alcindor’s analysis began with a variation of the word “seize” (click “expand”):

What we see now are Republicans seizing on a key moment. It’s when Pamela Harlan — she a professor who is testifying and democratic witness — she said that president trump could name his son Barron but could not make him a baron. She was referring to the fact she thinks President Trump at times can act like a king because he’s abusing power but she was also making a joke about the fact that the President’s 13 year old son is named baron and Barron, of course, is a noble title and she was basically making the case that he cannot be made into nobility and he won’t inherit essentially the presidency. 

Good to know that conservatives and Republicans are supposed to be “seizing” on this snide remark instead of “pouncing.” After all, both are universal buzzwords in a hypothetical drinking game of words liberals attribute to their adversaries and wiggle out of situations when they’re in the wrong.

Alcindor continued before tossing back to host Judy Woodruff (click “expand”);

Republicans are seizing on that and saying she was completely out of line. We saw Matt Gaetz, an ally of the president, essentially saying she was mean and this really hit her credibility and made her not as credible. We also saw the Trump campaign quickly come out with a statement and that statement said in part Hunter Biden vice president Joe Biden’s son is off limits but a 13 year old isn’t? They’re also now calling on Democrats to criticize this professor and say that what she was doing was wrong. There are also now asking for an apology. So what we’re seeing there is really fireworks from when it comes to the Republicans seizing on this witness and saying she’s out of bounds and that — and that Democrats are essentially showing no boundaries because they are still battling her at this point.

Sure, some have made the case that this was a play on words, but it nonetheless invoked a minor who has nothing to do with this impeachment charade.

Woodruff had her own thoughts, boasting that Gaetz “is known for being one of the more outspoken members of the Republican caucus in the House” and noted how he “went further” by exposing for the viewing audience her disdain for Republicans because, in her mind, they don’t like being around other people.

MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake brought up Karlan’s comments during the break to Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace, ruling that her line “threw the hearing off the rails here a little bit.”

Joining PBS in making Gaetz out to be the topic de jure, Haake added that this “was obviously something you saw Matt Gaetz seize on, come at her very hard for and then almost immediately send a fundraising email to point out that he was out defending President Trump and his family.”

“Republicans I think are going to try to make that a viral moment from this hearing to have something else to talk about coming out of this here,” he continued.

So again, no denunciation for this clear example of incivility. I guess the argument from the liberal media is that this is perfectly acceptable because Karlan isn’t the President or a Republican.

CBSN also covered Karlan’s ugly swipe. In contrast, however, the streaming channel merely reported it and didn’t express support or try to explain it away.

CBSN host Reena Ninan stated that it was an example of how the hearing was “very partisan” and reading a tweet from White Hose Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham reacting to Karlan. Panelist Michael Graham gave his take, defending the statements and fundraising e-mails:

So, I used to run Republican campaigns for a living and I would have absolutely sent out a message like that because that’s — it takes people’s eye off the evidence and off the question of legality and was it a favor? Was it a quid pro quo? And that’s where Trump supporters want this to be. They want it to be entirely in the venue of politics.

Later at the 5:54 p.m. Eastern mark, Karlan offered this half-hearted apology in her testimony: 

I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the President’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the President would apologize obviously for the things that he’s done that’s wrong. But I do regret having said that.

To see the relevant transcripts from December 4, click “expand.”

CBSN Impeachment Hearings
December 4, 2019
4:26 p.m. Eastern

REENA NINAN: And — and this has really obviously become very partisan. So much so, at one point, one of the professors — there was an exchange with Professor Karlan that drew a pretty stern reaction from the White House. It involved the President’s teenage son

CONGRESSWOMAN SHELIA JACKSON-LEE (D-TX): What comparisons can we make between kings that the framers were afraid of and the President’s conduct today? 

PAMELA KARLAN: So, kings could do no wrong because the kings word was law. In contrary to what president trump said, article two does not give him the power to do anything he wants. And I’ll give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is the constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So, while the President can name his son Barron, he can not make him a Barron. 

NINAN: And White House Press Secretary Grisham pretty quickly released a statement saying this was a “classless move by a Democratic ‘witness.’” She “uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.” Michael, I want you to sort of comment on this exchange and this sense of bipartisanship coming from both sides. 

MICHAEL GRAHAM: So, I used to run Republican campaigns for a living and I would have absolutely sent out a message like that because that’s — it takes people’s eye off the evidence and off the question of legality and was it a favor? Was it a quid pro quo? And that’s where Trump supporters want this to be. They want it to be entirely in the venue of politics.

MSNBC Impeachment Hearings
December 4, 2019
4:28 p.m. Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE: I mean, this does look like, as a former staffer, I am noticing some of the staff work that’s gone into the production. The audio/visual is all there. The testimony that underscores some of the arguments they’re making is there and — and to Jason’s point, the Republicans that are sort of landing some blows seem prepared with arguments that whether they are good or bad, have at least been thought through.

GARRETT HAAKE: Yeah. Look, I mean, I think from the moment we got past the opening statements and the several parliamentary efforts that Republicans made to slow down these proceedings, you saw that this is a choreographed production, the audio/visual elements, which, you know, to the embarrassment of a lot of people, didn’t work very well in the Intel committee hearings when the fact witnesses were here, were all smooth today going back to some of those more powerful moments with Bill Taylor’s testimony, the testimony of other witnesses. We were seen that all played out on video, the Democrats in particular have been quite coordinated in their line of questioning, as have Republicans, at least coming with their research, given the fact especially that these witnesses, the names were not known of these witnesses until shortly before the hearing. Everybody has done their homework here and I think it’s — you can give credit a little bit to both sides actually that this has been a much more professionally run endeavor from Doug Collins in the ranking members’s seat compared to Devin Nunes staying focused on the topic at hand here and going through these questions engaging with at least their one witness here. I think the one thing that threw the hearing off the rails here a little bit was the one professor’s joke about President Trump’s son was obviously something you saw Matt Gaetz seize on, come at her very hard for and then almost immediately send a fundraising email to point out that he was out defending President Trump and his family. Republicans I think are going to try to make that a viral moment from this hearing to have something else to talk about coming out of this here.  And, Nicole, I will tell you that while this is going on in the House side, there’s a lot of other impeachment related activity happening across campus here, both Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats had impeachment trial-themed lunches today. The Republicans had White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in the room for their lunch. Democrats got a briefing from Chuck Schumer and aides about how an impeachment trial would go. There’s only a handful of senators left on the Democratic side from the Clinton trial. So, while this hearing is happening, the wheels are turning all over this complex getting ready for the next phase of this thing. I think it’s very easy to see both from members that I have talked to on the GHouse side and these factors happening on the Senate side that this train is definitely moving, and I think moving again at a very quick pace. 

— 

PBS Impeachment Hearings
December 4, 2019
4:23 p.m. Eastern

JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, the President is out of the country but the people who work for the President, the people who are pursuing his campaign for re-election following it very closely. 

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: They’re following it very closely and responding in real time and what we see now are Republicans seizing on a key moment. It’s when Pamela Harlan — she a professor who is testifying and democratic witness — she said that president trump could name his son Barron but could not make him a baron. She was referring to the fact she thinks President Trump at times can act like a king because he’s abusing power but she was also making a joke about the fact that the President’s 13 year old son is named baron and Barron, of course, is a noble title and she was basically making the case that he cannot be made into nobility and he won’t inherit essentially the presidency. Republicans are seizing on that and saying she was completely out of line. We saw Matt Gaetz, an ally of the president, essentially saying she was mean and this really hit her credibility and made her not as credible. We also saw the Trump campaign quickly come out with a statement and that statement said in part Hunter Biden vice president Joe Biden’s son is off limits but a 13 year old isn’t? They’re also now calling on Democrats to criticize this professor and say that what she was doing was wrong. There are also now asking for an apology. So what we’re seeing there is really fireworks from when it comes to the Republicans seizing on this witness and saying she’s out of bounds and that — and that Democrats are essentially showing no boundaries because they are still battling her at this point. 

WOODRUFF: Yeah, Congressman — Congressman Gaetz who is known for being one of the more outspoken members of the Republican caucus in the House. Yamiche in fact he went further and looked into Pam Karlan’s statements I guess interviews earlier this year where at one point she talked about Democrats like to be with other people. Republicans prefer to be by themselves and he asked what she meant and she said geography and where Democrats and Republicans live, but you could see that may well become and is becoming a talking point for Republicans. Lisa DesJardins following the hearings at the capitol. Lisa, it’s been as we just described, Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat taking completely, virtually opposite takes of views of what’s going on as they — as they make their five minute statement and frankly don’t ask many questions. 

LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. There are some 20 members left to go in this hearing but I think as Yamiche talked about and you also, this took a very personal term — turn in this last bit. Both for some of the witnesses like Professor Karlan, also for the President with his son being invoked. You could sort of feel that tension in the room. It was more political. It was more steely. But I think, in the end, we haven’t seen the ball move. These are witnesses who continue to make the same arguments.

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