CNN, MSNBC Accuse GOP Of Helping China Discredit Democracy

Before Kevin McCarthy finally clinched the Speakership early Saturday morning, the Friday night coverage on MSNBC and CNN declared that the drama only helped the Chinese government in its quest to discredit democracy and advance dictatorship.

Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace went first. During an interview with Rep. Adam Schiff, she put the ball on the tee and asked, “What image of the country has been transmitted to sort of the streams of information and intelligence being gobbled up by our adversaries this week? What do they see as their ongoing vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our democracy?”

 Schiff began by declaring, “Well, Nicole, I can only imagine, because one of the outcomes of this lack of a speakership, lack of being sworn in is members can’t go get classified briefings on exactly that.”

Anybody with an internet connection can find out what China is saying about this, you don’t need a classified briefing for that and the fact that Chinese state media ran an op-ed that few people outside of China will read on the matter is not worth this hyperbolic segment.

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Still, Schiff found a way to tie the proceedings to the anniversary of January 6:

And, you know, it’s been moving for all of us to be at the Capitol today on the anniversary of January 6th. It has remind me of one of the very strong emotions that I had that day, which was in thinking about how the rest of the world was viewing America and our democracy and how much the very idea of our country was being lost and I felt that way again today and not just because it was the anniversary, but because of what I was witnessing on the house floor. 

A few hours later on CNN Tonight after the 14th ballot, former Obama advisor David Axelrod expressed his frustration with the process, “I just want to point out that this afternoon, Kevin McCarthy stood before the cameras and he said … we — I think what we’ve seen this week is the Republican caucus learned how to govern, learn how to govern…. And now we have this.”

That led former Trump advisor David Urban to offer up a rare bit of disappointing analysis, “You know the headline in China is today right now? Democracy, not so great. That’s what the headline around the globe is right now.”

As of the publishing of this article, the main headline in Chinese state media is about a meeting Xi Jinping had with the president of Turkmenistan. Their world section is led with a New Year’s-relate articles, the return of Benjamin Netanyahu, and Afghanistan. The Speaker battle is also relatively tame. In Taiwan, a democratic country China claims as its own, fighting is so common that the BBC once described it as “a way of life.”

Furthermore, who cares what China thinks? If MSNBC and CNN are so scared of what Communist Party officials think and say, that says more about them than it does any Republican dysfunction.

Deadline: White House was sponsored by Google. There were no commercials on CNN Tonight due to special coverage of the House of Representatives.

Here are transcripts for the January 6 shows:

MSNBC Deadline: White House

1/6/2023

5:06 PM ET

NICOLLE WALLACE: What image of the country has been transmitted to sort of the streams of information and intelligence being gobbled up by our adversaries this week? What do they see as their ongoing vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our democracy? 

ADAM SCHIFF: Well, Nicole, I can only imagine, because one of the outcomes of this lack of a speakership, lack of being sworn in is members can’t go get classified briefings on exactly that. 

But given what we’ve seen in the past, given what we know of how foreign powers exploited our tragedy of January 6th, how they pushed out those images, how they used it, how China, for example, used it to make the case that democracy doesn’t work, that it’s brittle, that it can’t adapt to the times, that the China model was somehow to be preferred. China model is dictatorship. It’s totalitarianism. That is not an alternative. 

But the more that our adversaries can showcase American governmental dysfunction, the harder it is for us to promote democracy abroad, when we are exhibiting such shortcomings at home. 

And, you know, it’s been moving for all of us to be at the Capitol today on the anniversary of January 6th. It has remind me of one of the very strong emotions that I had that day, which was in thinking about how the rest of the world was viewing America and our democracy and how much the very idea of our country was being lost and I felt that way again today and not just because it was the anniversary, but because of what I was witnessing on the house floor. 

***

CNN Tonight

1/6/2023

11:31 PM ET

DAVID AXELROD: This is why they wanted to adjourn. I just want to point out that this afternoon, Kevin McCarthy stood before the cameras and he said –

[crosstalk]

AXELROD: He said, we — I think what we’ve seen this week is the Republican caucus learned how to govern, learn how to govern.

DANA BASH: Right.

AXELROD: And now we have this.

DAVID URBAN: You know the headline in China is today right now? Democracy, not so great. That’s what the headline around the globe is right now.

BURNETT: Certainly, you know, all this — it’s sort of spinning, that they were saying, oh, this shows, Jake, how things — this isn’t bad, this isn’t chaos, this is democracy and action, this is good. Now, here we are. This is not good.

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