Media top headlines June 1
A new report on violence gripping Portland amid an anti-police push and more round out today’s top media headlines.
MSNBC received backlash on Tuesday for airing a chyron during “Andrea Mitchell Reports” which said “Texas Two Step” while showing a picture of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R., who is in a wheelchair, in a teaser for the upcoming segment Texas’ controversial new election bill.
“WHAT THE HELL is this MSNBC???” asked “Ruthless” podcast host Comfortably Smug on Twitter. “Making fun of @GregAbbott_TX because he can’t walk?”
“It’s okay because it’s a Republican,” suggested Twitter user Ryan Petty.
Some users accused the network of “ableism” and demanded that MSNBC issue an apology.
Others like Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey gave the network the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they didn’t realize how the chyron would translate, but, he added sarcastically, “dude.”
MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment.
Abbott was 26 years old and had recently graduated law school in 1984 when he was struck by a large oak tree during a jog that cracked and fell on his back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
“Through this experience, Governor Abbott learned that our lives aren’t defined by our challenges,” his office wrote of the governor’s accident. “Instead, we define our lives by how we respond to those challenges. His triumph over tragedy shows that Governor Greg Abbott doesn’t back down from challenges, but uses his lessons in perseverance to overcome them.”
Abbott has previously faced attacks from liberals for being in a wheelchair. During the 2014 gubernatorial race, his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis aired an ad that opened with an image of a wheelchair, and then criticized Abbott for allegedly not doing enough to help other victims, despite himself receiving a large monetary settlement after a falling branch paralyzed him.
Abbott has been a frequent target of the media during the pandemic. In March he was ripped by pundits, including MSNBC anchors, for completely reopening Texas and lifting its mask mandate.
MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle wondered on-air if states like Texas should “face consequences” for not following the CDC, asking, “Should they get access to, let’s say, emergency federal help if they end up with a spike in cases or hospitalizations down the road?”
But Abbott was happy to announce last month that Texas had reported zero COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began.
Abbott and Texas Republicans are currently catching additional criticism from the press for Senate Bill 7, a bill that proponents say would secure election integrity. Democrats have denounced as racist for restricting minority votes and staged a dramatic walkout of the Texas Capitol on Sunday in protest of the legislation.
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