The network evening newscasts’ coverage of the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was uniformly fretful, with ABC and CBS further distinguishing themselves using the impeachment as an opportunity to further shill for the dying White House-Senate border compromise.
ABC’s coverage of the impeachment proceedings was the most emblematic, as seen here during David Muir’s introduction to Rachel Scott’s reporting:
DAVID MUIR: Back here at home now, and to the crisis at the border. For months, Republicans have put pressure on President Biden to do something. And now, with Senate Republicans and Democrats close to the first potential bipartisan deal on immigration in years, tonight House Republicans say they’re not interested. Instead, moving forward in their effort to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
You have it all there. The bubbling contempt for Republicans, the promotion of the border deal, and the implied condemnation of the impeachment process. Correspondent Rachel Scott takes that baton and runs with it:
RACHEL SCOTT: For months, Republicans have been calling for a tough new immigration law. President Biden says he’s willing to compromise, and the Senate is closing in on a bipartisan deal. But tonight, House Republicans taking a very different approach. Not interested in the Senate’s solution, they’re moving instead to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border.
Scott doesn’t get into the specifics behind the impeachment, choosing instead to advocate both for Mayorkas and for the border deal. Scott closes her report by making sure viewers know who the bad guys are in this story:
SCOTT: Again, David, Donald Trump has been urging Republicans to reject any border deal. He wants to campaign on immigration in the general election. Tonight, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson rejecting any idea that he’s trying to kill this bill to help Trump’s campaign, calling it all absurd, David.
CBS, albeit with slightly more restraint, echoes these same themes, but is at least willing to get into the specifics of the articles of impeachment:
NIKOLE KILLION: The articles include willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law and breach of public trust. They alleged the secretary obstructed congressional oversight and failed to rein in record migrant crossings, which topped 10,000 per day last month.
CBS’s report closed by echoing Democrat condemnation of the impeachment:
KILLION: The White House is criticizing House Republicans for threatening to block a potential package, while at the same time calling for border fixes. Some Democrats call it hypocritical, since Mayorkas helped craft that deal and now appears on the verge potentially of impeachment in the House, Major.
NBC went a different route. Their very brief report had no soundbites, and did not shill for the border deal. Instead, correspondent Ryan Nobles delivered a tiny summary of the facts, along with a tiny summary of Democrat opposition to the impeachment.
RYAN NOBLES: Lester, right now a House committee is debating the merits of these articles of impeachment against Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It will likely become a vote for the entire House of Representatives. Republicans are accusing Mayorkas of willfully ignoring the law, and they say that President Biden’s border policies have led to a record 8.6 million migrant crossings since President Biden took office. Now, Mayorkas has said this is nothing more than a political stunt. He’s called the accusations against him “baseless”. He could be the first Cabinet secretary impeached in nearly 150 years. It is unlikely, though, that the Senate will convict him.
Compared to the other two, NBC’s report was almost…refreshing.
It is worth noting that while ABC echoed President Joe Biden’s claims of powerlessness to do anything about the border crisis via executive authority CBS, to their credit, included a rebuttal by Speaker Mike Johnson.
One common theme remained among the three networks, however. There is still no mention whatsoever of the border crisis legislation passed by the House, H.R. 2. Not mentioning H.R. 2 makes it easy to cast Speaker Mike Johnson as a do-nothing obstructionist, when in fact the House was the first to pass legislation addressing the border crisis. The ongoing suppression of H.R. 2 continues to be the most propagandistic aspect of the media’s coverage of the border crisis, which now includes the impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
For the full transcript of the ABC report, click HERE
For the full transcript of the CBS report, click HERE
For the full transcript of the NBC report, click HERE