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Blitzer Allows Pelosi to Skate in Latest Cable Interview Without Roadblocks

Following suit from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and unlike his CNN colleague Dana Bash from Tuesday, CNN’s Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer didn’t offer anything Wednesday in interviewing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that’ll end up in a career highlight reel showing journalistic prowess.

Instead, the 13-minute-plus interview was one softball after another, refusing to grill Pelosi on anything, or push back against Pelosi’s assertion that Senate Republicans don’t care about struggling Americans.

 

 

Blitzer even left the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing to interview Pelosi just as President Trump departed to give way to Vice President Pence and the universally loved Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Tony Fauci. So for a network that belly-aches about Trump as a lying, raging lunatic and that government scientists must be heard, CNN illustrated how they don’t mean what they say.

To show how little pushback or challenges Blitzer made to Pelosi, he only spoke for only one minute and 53 seconds while she took up 11 minutes and 11 seconds. Just think what the breakdown would be if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were Speaker.

His first question wasn’t really much of question so much as asking for a Democratic response to the briefing:

I don’t know if you had a chance to hear what the President said, but he was upbeat. He predicted that the — he and his — Steve Mnuchin predicted the Senate will pass this $2 trillion aid package tonight. It will go to the House. It will pass the House and he’ll immediately sign it into law. He praised you. He praised Chuck Schumer, of course Mitch McConnell, the Republican leadership. What do you think?

His second and third questions were short, as the second wondered if “can you pass [the stimulus] in the House” and then the third wondered in part: “[H]ow quickly will relief get to those who really need it right now?”

So again, nothing about the more radical aspects of what her caucus had proposed (including the Green New Deal) or whether she allowed herself to be controlled by The Squad. It must be nice to sit for interviews one doesn’t have to prepare for.

Next, Blitzer wondered if she “agree[d] with” Treasury Secretary Mnunchin about the timeline for Americans receiving checks and, in the following question:

He says it’s for three months and then they’ll have to reassess where to go next. Speaking of the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, he said earlier today that in terms of what New York state will be getting in this package, he says it’s “a drop in the bucket.” He says New York state needs a lot more. How do you respond to that?

Before his final question, Pelosi lashed out at Senate Republicans in rather ghoulish terms and, as expected, Blitzer never pushed back (click “expand”):

PELOSI: Right now, the rankle is that the Senate Republicans are saying they don’t want to give $600 to those in unemployment insurance over and above their unemployment insurance benefit. I think that that — that discussion is indicative of what the difference between the parties. When this bill was introduced by Senator McConnell, it was corporate down. Now it is worker up and that’s the difference between us, and why would the senators hold up this really important bill where the lives and livelihood of the American people because they resent people at the low end of the spectrum who have lost their jobs and getting $600.

BLITZER: Yeah, that’s three or four Republican senators are making that threat right now. I know you’ve got to run, but let me ask you a final question, Madam Speaker. What’s your message tonight to Americans who are so scared and concerned about what their future holds?

In thanking Pelosi for her time, Blitzer expressed hope that Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Republicans, and Trump could “get this done and let’s make sure it gets done very quickly because there are a lot of people who are in desperate need right now.”

So much for bold, fearless journalism in what CNN bills as a dangerous time to tell the truth and question elected officials.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room on March 25, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room
March 25, 2020
6:37 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Alright, I want everybody to stand by. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is joining us from Capitol Hill right now. Madam Speaker, thank you so much for joining us. I don’t know if you had a chance to hear what the President said, but he was upbeat. He predicted that the — he and his — Steve Mnuchin predicted the Senate will pass this $2 trillion aid package tonight. It will go to the House. It will pass the House and he’ll immediately sign it into law. He praised you. He praised Chuck Schumer, of course Mitch McConnell, the Republican leadership. What do you think?

(….)

6:39 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: How soon after the Senate passes it, and let’s assume it passes tonight, Madam Speaker, can you pass it in the House?

(….)

6:41 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: Assuming the House passes the legislation as written and passed by the Senate, how quick — and the President immediately signs it into law — how quickly will relief get to those who really need it right now in?

(….)

6:42 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: It sounds like you and the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are roughly on the same page. He says it’s going to be about three weeks before the checks start reaching folks out there. Three weeks is relatively quickly. He also says that the package is designed to help the American public for three months. Do you agree with him?

(….)

6:44 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: He says it’s for three months and then they’ll have to reassess where to go next. Speaking of the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, he said earlier today that in terms of what New York state will be getting in this package, he says it’s “a drop in the bucket.” He says New York state needs a lot more. How do you respond to that?

(….)

6:47 p.m. Eastern

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Right now, the rankle is that the Senate Republicans are saying they don’t want to give $600 to those in unemployment insurance over and above their unemployment insurance benefit. I think that that — that discussion is indicative of what the difference between the parties. When this bill was introduced by Senator McConnell, it was corporate down. Now it is worker up and that’s the difference between us, and why would the senators hold up this really important bill where the lives and livelihood of the American people because they resent people at the low end of the spectrum who have lost their jobs and getting $600.

BLITZER: Yeah, that’s three or four Republican senators are making that threat right now. I know you’ve got to run, but let me ask you a final question, Madam Speaker. What’s your message tonight to Americans who are so scared and concerned about what their future holds?

(….)

6:49 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: Well, that’s encouraging, Madam Speaker. You and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate work together with the Republicans and the President to get this done and let’s make sure it gets done very quickly because there are a lot of people who are in desperate need right now. Madam Speaker, thank you so much for joining us.

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