Nets Omit GOP/Dem Rebuke of D.C. Crime Bill, PBS Decries Congress

The liberal broadcast networks love to throw around the term “historic” to praise legislative actions by Democrats. But since Wednesday, the network turned a blind eye to Congressional Republicans and Democrats coming together for the first time in 30 years to slap down a local D.C. law that would go soft on crime by reducing sentences for some violent crimes, including ones for guns. But while the private broadcasters ignored it, PBS NewsHour lamented that Congress exercised its constitutional authority.

Instead of reporting on the historic exercise of congressional authority backed by President Biden Wednesday evening, CBS Evening News was busy with the latest drama from the British royal family, NBC Nightly News was looking for UFOs again, and ABC’s World News Tonight hyped the Oscars.

Over on PBS that evening, anchor Amna Nawaz led into the segment by bemoaning how “A U.S. Senate vote today means, for the first time in 30 years, Congress and the President will block a Washington D.C. local law, a bill that would overhaul the city’s criminal code.”

Correspondent Lisa Desjardins suggested it may have been improper or unjust for Congress to exercise its constitutional authority over the federal district. “The rare congressional block comes amid national headlines and political pressure over crime. But this issue affects only Washington D.C., and raises another justice issue, is it just that Congress overrule the city’s wishes?” she set the tone for viewers.

“Violent crime is down in the district compared to last year,” Desjardins argued, trying to defend D.C. But she had to admit that “homicides have spiked, prompting Mayor Muriel Bowser to veto the measure.”

Giving a rundown of the events leading up to the bipartisan rejection of D.C.’s soft-on-crime “overhaul,” Desjardins whined about how Republicans “pounced” and Biden put the nail in the coffin:

DESJARDINS: Congress got involved. The Constitution gives it direct power over D.C. laws, and the Republican-led House pounced.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): We see stories of carjackings every day and what did the DC council do? They passed a resolution to get rid of mandatory minimums on many violent crimes.

DESJARDINS: Last month, 31 House Democrats joined Republicans to override the D.C. crime bill, including Congresswoman Angie Craig who was attacked in her D.C. apartment building the morning of the vote.

After that, came the pivotal defeat.

PRESS SEC. KARINE JEAN PIERRE: The President does not support the D.C. council, the changes that they, that they put forward over the Mayor’s objections.

DESJARDINS: President Joe Biden announced he’d sign the congressional override. He said it was about keeping communities safe.

“That move blindsided many Democrats, including those on the D.C. city council,” Desjardins lamented.

Looking back at her retelling of events, Desjardins seemed shocked that “31 House Democrats joined Republicans to override the D.C. crime bill” including one who was a victim of D.C.’s out-of-control crime, “Congresswoman Angie Craig who was attacked in her D.C. apartment building the morning of the vote.”

This is what our tax dollars pay for? Defund PBS.

The broadcast networks’ disinterest in the slap down of a D.C.’s crime bill was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Vicks on ABC, Verizon on CBS, and Progressive on NBC. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

PBS News Hour
March 8, 2023
7:21:02 p.m. Eastern

AMNA NAWAZ: A U.S. Senate vote today means, for the first time in 30 years, Congress and the President will block a Washington D.C. local law, a bill that would overhaul the city’s criminal code.

Lisa Desjardins explains the policy and the politics at play.

[Cuts to video]

LISA DESJARDINS: The U.S. Senate, today legislating for a single city. But on a national issue. Senators from both parties were poised to reject Washington D.C.’s criminal code overhaul.

(…)

DESJARDINS: The rare congressional block comes amid national headlines and political pressure over crime. But this issue affects only Washington D.C., and raises another justice issue, is it just that Congress overrule the city’s wishes?

(…)

DESJARDINS: D.C. spent 16 years on a herculean rewrite of its outdated code that is over a century old. The resulting plan more clearly defines crimes, erases most mandatory minimum sentences, and lowers some maximum penalties in exchange for a tiered, more tailored system. City council passed it overwhelmingly.

Violent crime is down in the district compared to last year. But homicides have spiked, prompting Mayor Muriel bowser to veto the measure.

MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: Anytime there’s a policy that reduces penalties, I think it sends the wrong message.

DESJARDINS: City council doubled down, overriding her veto.

KENYAN MCDUFFIE (D.C. city councilman): So, all the fear-mongering is totally unnecessary, hyperbolic.

DESJARDINS: Then, D.C. hit a bigger hurdle.

REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): The D.C. Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 is irresponsible, it’s dangerous.

DESJARDINS: Congress got involved. The Constitution gives it direct power over D.C. laws, and the Republican-led House pounced.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): We see stories of carjackings every day and what did the DC council do? They passed a resolution to get rid of mandatory minimums on many violent crimes.

DESJARDINS: Last month, 31 House Democrats joined Republicans to override the D.C. crime bill, including Congresswoman Angie Craig who was attacked in her D.C. apartment building the morning of the vote.

After that, came the pivotal defeat.

PRESS SEC. KARINE JEAN PIERRE: The President does not support the D.C. council, the changes that they, that they put forward over the Mayor’s objections.

DESJARDINS: President Joe Biden announced he’d sign the congressional override. He said it was about keeping communities safe. That move blindsided many Democrats, including those on the D.C. city council.

(…)

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