Nets Hype ‘Historic’ Hakeem Jeffries Elected House Democrat Leader

On Wednesday, House Democrats officially tapped New York Democrat Congressman Hakeem Jeffries to be the next Democrat minority leader when the party becomes the minority next year. Because Jeffries is African American, and no African American has ever served as minority leader in the House of Representatives, the networks were quick to point that fact out and tout him as “historic.” 

While all three networks gave brief reports, none of them bothered to mention Jeffries’ uncle  Leonard Jeffries who has a long and troubling past spewing anti-Semitic and racist comments about Jewish and white people. According to Fox News Digital, he blamed “Jewish people for the transatlantic slave trade.” and supported “black supremacist ideals, like the theory that higher melanin levels make black people inherently superior to white people.”

If Jeffries was a Republican, all three networks would have at least gotten in a brief mention of this or made a snide comment about it. 

During a back-and-forth with congressional correspondent Rachel Scott, ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir was quick to gush to Scott about the “history made today.” 

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Scott took over from there and breathlessly reported that “Congressman Jeffries now the first black lawmaker to lead a party of Congress,” she then added that “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially passing that torch. In a statement, she says this new generation of leaders reflects the diversity of our great nation.” 

Over on CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell stood in front of a screen that said “historic party leader” over a picture of a confident-looking Jeffries. During her brief report, O’Donnell gushed “House Democrats made history today as they voted in a new generation of leaders.”  “Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was elected minority leader, making him the first black American to lead a major political party in Congress,” she added proudly. 

Finally, on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt gave a pretty straightforward report on the election of Jeffries. 

“House Democrats electing a New York Congressman, Hakeem Jeffries, as their new leader replacing Nancy Pelosi who is stepping down from that role,” Holt announced. “Jeffries is the first African American to lead a political party in either the House or Senate. The change comes as Republicans take control of the House in January.” 

The networks gushing over Jeffries and ignoring his racist and anti-Semitic uncle was made possible by Prevagen on ABC, Nature’s Bounty on CBS, and Ensure on NBC. Their information is linked.

The transcript of each segment is below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
11/30/2022
6:38:50 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And Rachel, while we have you tonight, the other headline from the hill, history made today, we know Democrats electing their party’s leaders for the next Congress. Officially naming Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York to succeed Speaker Nancy Pelosi? 

RACHEL SCOTT: Yes, David. And Congressman Jeffries now the first black lawmaker to lead a party of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially passing that torch. In a statement, she says this new generation of leaders reflects the diversity of our great nation, David. 

MUIR: Rachel Scott live up on the hill tonight. Rachel, thank you. 

CBS Evening News
11/30/2022
6:50:12 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: House Democrats made history today as they voted in a new generation of leaders. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries was elected minority leader, making him the first black American to lead a major political party in Congress. The 52-year-old New Yorker will replace Nancy Pelosi who made history herself as the first and only woman to be elected Speaker of the House.

NBC Nightly News
11/30/2022
7:07:38 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Also in Congress today, House Democrats electing a New York Congressman, Hakeem Jeffries, as their new leader replacing Nancy Pelosi who is stepping down from that role. Jeffries is the first African American to lead a political party in either the House or Senate. The change comes as Republicans take control of the House in January. 

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