CNN’s Stelter Praises Pelosi For “Attention-Grabbing Tactics”

We recently discussed the highly inappropriate conduct of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in changing the traditional greeting of a president at the State of the Union, engaging in facial demonstrations of disapproval behind the President during the address, and ripping up the address in protest of the president from the Speaker’s chair. The outrageous conduct shattered decades of tradition of Speakers remaining neutral as representatives of the entire House, not just their own party. CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, however, sees no pressing issue of principle or propriety. The only most pressing question for Stelter was whether it worked and he praised Pelosi for stealing the media attention at any cost. He is not alone in the coverage. This purely consequentialist view of the issues is precisely why we are living through this age of rage. The measure of Pelosi’s shocking conduct is simply whether it worked to dominate the coverage.

The analysis on CNN quickly brushed over the fact that Pelosi’s conduct was rude and disrespectful. It did not matter whether it is appropriate for a speaker to adopt a purely partisan stance and abandon the tradition of neutrality. Instead, Stelter declared

“It was unprecedented behavior for a speaker, aggressively rude and unapologetically meant to rile up her base. It was divisive, but effective. It took the Democrats three years, but they may have finally figured out how to control a news cycle in the Trump era.”

In other words, Pelosi finally “figured out how to control a news cycle” by abandoning all sense of tradition and propriety as Speaker. What is interesting is the he, and others, are celebrating Pelosi acting like Trump while denouncing how Trump acts. He then simply brushed aside the correctness of the conduct:

“Ripping up a piece of paper is only a big story if members of the media decide to make it a big story, and if members of the public respond by reading and watching and reacting. Whether these attention-grabbing tactics are in the best interest of the country, well, that’s a debate that requires more than one TV segment worth of time. Producers would rather move on to the next controversy instead.”

Would this have been the take on the story if a Republican speaker had refused to appropriately greet President Barack Obama, made faces behind his back, and then ripped up his address at the end of the State of the Union with the President standing before her?

Various shoes on MSNBC and CNN instead seemed to share the thrill of Pelosi using her position to denigrate and disrespect the President. It is treated not as a matter of ethics but solely one of effectiveness.

45 thoughts on “CNN’s Stelter Praises Pelosi For “Attention-Grabbing Tactics””

  1. Sorry to give you the bad news, Mr. Turley, but TV news coverage stopped being about issues and started being about “the horse race” decades ago.

  2. Still waiting for Jonathan Turley to note that Donald Trump is known to rip up official documents in the Oval Office after he reads them, which means that his staff have to tape them back together in order to comply with recordkeeping rules.

  3. You know it’s political Machiavellian tactics when a pundit praises behavior they would find abhorrent if the other side did it.

  4. I see Hilary is hinting she might settle for VP. Who would trust this snake.

    1. Millions of Brainless Democrats.

      Tucker Carlson had a clip last nite of James Carville grousing about Bernie being a Communist and how bad that was. BUT, Carville said that he would support Bernie if he was the nominee. Go figure.

      That is the kind of mindlessness that pervades the Democratic Party.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. Squeeky:
        Carville is a schitck with a hick. He’s as cunning as they come and will give you that “poor dumb ol’ me” persona to disarm you. I wouldn’t trust him or his spouse RINO as far as I could tote ‘em through the Delta in a body bag on a hot day in the rainy season.

  5. I recall the reprehensible comment from the traitor trash from South Carolina to President Obama”You lie”

    1. Good for you. Pelosi’s reprehensible conduct, as well as that of her party in attendance, has undoubtedly triggered many people to conclude they are all traitor trash.

  6. “Would this have been the take on the story if a Republican speaker had refused to appropriately greet President Barack Obama, made faces behind his back, and then ripped up his address at the end of the State of the Union with the President standing before her?”

    Remember when a congressman shouted “you lie!” because he couldn’t hold his peace in the face of Barack Obama’s bold lies he told during his SOU? The congressman was relentlessly shamed by the media and summarily given his walking papers.

    Remember when a journalist commented on what Sasha and Malia were wearing (combat boots, etc) at an event in the Rose Garden with their father Barack Obama? This person was shamed by the media and then summarily fired. That’s right: fired.

    There would be no standards if not for the media double standards.

    Democrats can disgrace themselves, lie, cheat, steal, run sex trafficking rings, sell their public office, shamelessly, and get caught!!, cheat in the Iowa causcuses!…..and never ever pay the price be either resigning in disgrace or being publicly and relentlessly shamed by the media. Nope, that only happens to Republicans.

  7. Pelosi did not ‘act’ like a leader in control of her emotions. She looked like a woman throwing a hissy fit. NO ONE wants someone like that in charge of anything (ever have a boss like her? I have)…nor should that be the kind of person we put in charge of anything. And if Pelosi pre-planned that hissy-fit move, then we also need to question her judgment as well as her lack of emotional control. She’s not a leader. She’s a bully and a sore loser. She’s a woman throwing a hissy fit.

  8. Stabbing yourself in the throat is attention-grabbing too, but that doesn’t make it a smart tactic.

  9. Watching CNN is like going to the zoo and seeing a bunch of monkeys masturbating.

    Most people shake their heads and walk away – we don’t expect much from monkeys.

    But there is a kind of person who stays to watch – the Democrats.

    That tells us a lot about CNN viewers.

  10. Let’s see. The president who supposed to represent everyone, but clearly does not, refused her handshake, told many lies in his speech, gave the Medal of Freedom to a man who spews racist and misogynist rhetoric in front of a 100 year old Tuskegee airman. I think those sheets of paper where properly disposed.

    1. The Main Stream Media is nothing but the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

      If the popularity of the Democrat party is reflected in the popularity of their propaganda arm, then President Trump and the Republican party will enjoy landslide victories this November.

      In total viewers for 2019, CNN was down in 22nd place, averaging just 972,000 viewers per night — only a little better than half that of MSNBC and a third of Fox’s average viewership.

      According to Nielsen’s data, CNN is down 9 percent over the previous year. MSNBC also lost viewers, but at a much lower percentage, its total viewership dropping 3 percent over 2018. Fox News, on the other hand, increased its total viewers by 3 percent.

  11. This period of the last 3 months culminating in Nancy’s demonstration of lack of decorum decisively shows the need for term limits in Congress. As video evidence suggests the total flip flop of the rule of law from just 20 years ago from politicians still holding office is disgusting at best.

    1. Agreed, age restrictions and rotation-in-office at all levels.

      1. Bar judges, all elective offices serve four-year terms.

      2. No one holds a given elective office for more than 10 years in any bloc of 12 (or more than 14 in any bloc of 16, perhaps), judgeships excepted.

      3. Judicial positions open only to members of the bar are elected for whole-number multiples of 4 years (say 12 years) or subject to retention-in-office referenda for such terms. Positions open to laymen serve four year terms.

      4. As a rule, no one may be a candidate for an elective office if the election is to be held prior to their 39th birthday or after their 72d birthday.

      5. Exceptions to said rule would be seats on conciliar bodies in jurisdictions with fewer than 1,000,000 people,specialized executives in jurisdictions with fewer than 100,000 people, general executives in jurisdictions with fewer than 50,000 people. In these circumstances, the lower limit would be set at between 25 and 39 and the upper at between 72 and 86, with the broader permissions associated with smaller populations. Municipal court judges and justices of the peace would face an upper age limit of 72 for a candidacy and a lower limit defined in terms of age (for positions open to laymen) or years at the bar (for ordinary positions. Say, 32 years of age or 7 years at the bar.

      1. Now that is what I like to see in comments: discussion on process or rule making.

        I might add my suggestion that all elected offices be term limited to two per lifetime. On the federal level make representatives serve four years per term (to reduce the permanent election campaign mode). Nobody may reign for greater than 12 years in any legislative capacity, as this would prevent those from serving 8 years as a representative then jumping to the senate for 12 more years. There could be a way for representatives/senators to extend into the presidency, as experience does amount to something if they are capable.

        Judges: WA state now requires all judges and justices to be lawyers. (I don’t know if that means being a member of the state bar.) The legislature eliminated the “justice of the peace” designation around 1980 but grandfathered existing justices of the peace who were without law degrees. All judicial positions from District court judge to supreme court justice are elected, non-partisan positions.

        As for elected positions at the city council level I do not agree that local governments should be permitted for any city under 20,000 citizen residents, the county commission should govern. There is simply not generally enough voters from which to derive competence in government in towns of 500 people. Plus, efficiency issues come into play with a small town whereas deriving services from the county would receive economies of scale.

        I take much of my inspiration from notes from when WA organized into statehood and the discussion at the time seemed to indicate the “framers” did not want to see concentrations of power or professional politicians. They preferred the idea of the citizen legislator and it was reflected in not having permanently standing sessions and compensation that was only adequate and more of a reimbursement. We’ve gone away from that model unfortunately. Sadly the idea of adding term limits was not afoot back in the late 1880s. It certainly would have been better to add to the notion of preventing concentrations of power by limiting terms.

        As it stands now, especially on the federal level, entire generations of citizens are denied the ability to represent their fellow constituents because we have representatives who in some cases reign for decades. At least with the term limited presidency the longest one has to wait to try to attain office is slightly over eight years.

      2. don’t know what the answer is, there may not be an answer-society may be so corrupted that it’s useless to try to fix it at this point. It is sort of like that judge who could not define ‘pornography’ but could recognize it when he saw it. IOW, the corruption is all across the board.
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity.
        “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”. I thought that line was fairly appropriate. In short, politicians are the WORST.

    2. Term limits are inherent in periodic elections.

      America needs to strengthen and accelerate the impeachment process with respect to officials other than the President such as the judicial branch, with emphasis on Supreme Court Justices. The “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is only as effective as the judicial branch makes it and it is clear to all when “decisions” don’t comport with the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, precludes taxation for individual welfare or charity, aka redistribution of wealth. As but one example, Chief Justice Roberts blatantly, fraudulently and illicitly supported unconstitutional Obamacare and its unconstitutional “exchanges” and he should have been impeached, instead his egregious act was glossed over.

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

  12. Trump should tweet out a thank you note to Pelosi for giving his campaign what will be one of the most effective re-election commercials ever created.

  13. I don’t approve of the current political situation but let’s point to the origin of the uncouth “non traditional “ approach —our (ahem) President. Seems that more polite lower key approach strategies don’t work against the chaos President

    1. Rather, NO approach strategies work against the CHAMPION President. He owns the Dems.

    2. Donald Trump may not be the most “traditional” President, but despite the assaults on him by the left both before, during, and after his election, he has done more for this country that almost every president during my lifetime. Like many others who will once again vote for Trump, do I wish he were more “Presidential?” Of course. But, since actions speak louder than words, I applaud his actions, while not always his words.
      For anyone to give excuses for the behavior of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats during the SOTU speech is laughable. As if the Democrats have acted like gentlemen and ladies for too long, and now are going to get into the mud with Trump, is not only laughable, but a serious mistake on their part.

    3. How could the degredation of politics come down to Trump when the Democrats have been doing this for years? The assaults on Romney, Palin and Bush were dishonest and appalling. Finally someone is taking it back to them.

    4. Nancy’s display of anger may actually HAVE worked- just not in the way that you think. I think the GOP is going to play it over, and over, and over…it’s going to make a very good fundraising commercial. Just sayin.

  14. The Democrats media enablers are now reduced to an ends justify the means rationale for bad behavior. Appropriate really in that this is the distorted logic of the tyrants who brought us the genocide of the twentieth century.

  15. I will say that Nancy is getting shredded on YouTube across the world. I am currently listening to a British commentor rip her for her actions.

  16. This goes hand in hand with the fact that the Democratic party has left the heart of America behind and now works to satisfy fringe agenda of the radical left where nothing is considered strange or totally off on another tangent.

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