Politics Traditional media yawns as Maxine Waters gets pass on inciteful rhetoric
Maxine Waters just made a volatile situation much, much worse
Minnesota -- and the rest of the country -- is on a knife's edge waiting for a verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. © CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images Rep. Maxine Waters speaks to the media during an ongoing protest at the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 17, 2021. It's a fraught moment -- coming after four years of a president who weaponized race (and racists) for his political benefit and the mounting evidence of how race unduly influences policing.
Imagine the following scenario: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) calls for Trump protesters to get "more confrontational" during public demonstrations. "We've got to stay in the streets, and we've got to demand justice," Jordan urges a crowd that had just been chanting: "No good cops in a racist system," "F*** your curfew" and "No justice, no peace!"
"We're looking for a guilty verdict" in the Derek Chauvin case, he also declares. "And if we don't, we cannot go away, we've got to get more confrontational."
If that isn't incitement, I'm not sure what would be.
But of course, Jim Jordan never said this. These are, instead, the words of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who has a history of this kind of dangerous rhetoric. In this instance, she was referring to the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the 2020 killing of George Floyd. Twitter and Facebook don't have any issue with Waters or the video showing her comments. Unlike what's happened tolately, she has not been banned or suspended for what could be interpreted as a call to violence against police officers.
Maxine Waters rips GOP criticism: 'I'm not going to be bullied'
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) ripped GOP lawmakers in a Monday interview, saying they were trying to "send a message" to white supremacists with their criticism of her. "I am nonviolent," Waters told the Grio on Monday after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused her of condoning political violence by stating supporters of racial justice and Black Lives Matter should be "more confrontational." "Republicans will jump on any"I am nonviolent," Waters told the Grio on Monday after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused her of condoning political violence by stating supporters of racial justice and Black Lives Matter should be "more confrontational.
A relatively recent example of Waters' dangerous rhetoric came in June 2018, when she told a crowd outside a federal building in Sawtelle, Calif., to "push back" on any Trump administration officials seen in public.
"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd," she instructed. "And you push back on them! And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere!"
Maxine Waters calls for attacks on Trump administration: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere."
Pelosi defends Rep. Maxine Waters over her ‘get more confrontational’ remark to protesters
The House speaker's defense comes amid GOP criticism of Waters, who they say incited violence with her comment.“No, absolutely not,” Pelosi said in response to a question about whether Waters (D-Calif.) incited violence with her comments. She added that there was no need for Waters to apologize.- Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra)
In that case, Waters was irate regarding then-President Trump's border policy and the state of unaccompanied migrant children on the border.
Fast forward to 2021, and the crisis at the border has become a full-blown catastrophe. A record 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children are in detention shelters (called "kids in cages" under the previous administration). Waters has yet to publicly criticize the Biden administration's handling of this growing humanitarian crisis, let alone tell people to publicly harass administration officials for allowing this to happen.
With a record 20,000 migrant children in U.S. shelters and detention facilities, many parents have waited weeks to learn what happened to their children after they crossed the border.- NYT National News (@NYTNational)
So how is Waters being covered by traditional media? Glad you asked.
'Confrontational': Maxine Waters undeterred by Marjorie Taylor Greene criticism of Chauvin trial remarks
Maxine Waters is facing criticism for telling Black Lives Matters protesters to get “confrontational," but she's been a lightning rod since Rodney King.The California Democratic congresswoman has long been a lightning rod and her comments over the weekend urging protesters in Minnesota to “get more confrontational” if former police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted in George Floyd’s killing has prompted calls for her removal from Congress.
"Waters calls for protesters to 'get more confrontational' if no guilty verdict is reached in Derek Chauvin trial", followed by the perfunctory "Republicans seized" in the story's opening salvo. "The comments by Waters, a California Democrat and icon among progressives, were immediately seized on by Republicans who claimed that Waters was inciting violence," one doozy of a sentence in the story reads. Yep, Republicans are to blame for pointing out that Waters' incitement may lead to more violence while putting law enforcement in harm's way.
Another CNN "analysis" also broached purported Republican hypocrisy in a get-a-chiropractor moment of whataboutism.
"Incendiary warnings by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters about the potential outcome of the trial of the ex-police officer charged with killing George Floyd could spike tensions, were legally unwise and raise questions of Democratic double standards,"before reverting to muscle memory in bringing the focus back to Donald Trump.
Mitch McConnell blasts Maxine Waters for 'inappropriate' conduct surrounding Chauvin trial
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined the company of Republican officials in criticizing Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for comments she made calling for people to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is not found guilty for the death of George Floyd last year. © Provided by Washington Examiner “Every single American deserves a fair trial. This is sacred,” McConnell said. “You do not balance the scales of justice by trying to tip them, and yet, this past weekend, one Democratic House member from California took it upon herself to visit the protesters in Minneapolis.
"But they also drew out the hypocrisy of pro-Donald Trump Republicans over incitement to violence and ought not to overshadow the profound issues of race and justice raised by a harrowing four weeks in court."
What exactly do Trump or his supporters have to do with Waters' comments?
How about CNN primetime? "Now, look at me, everyone," CNN anchor Don Lemon. "Do you really think Maxine Waters is calling for violence? Maxine Waters is not calling for violence. Everyone knows that. She makes a lot of people uncomfortable, especially a lot of men, and quite frankly, especially a lot of white men, because she puts them in their place."
And then there was this question from PBS's White House correspondent on Wednesday:
"I wonder why the White House isn't also coming to the defense of Rep. Waters, given the fact that she's now facing an onslaught of attacks, especially by, I would say, Republicans," Yamiche Alcindor asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki in what apparently was meant to be an objective question. "I wonder why the White House isn't saying 'We back what she said about being confrontational?' She was obviously not threatening violence. There are civil rights leaders saying that's what civil rights is, to be confrontational, to be active."
Maxine Waters repudiates Chauvin trial judge who criticized her 'confrontational' protest comments
Rep. Maxine Waters dismissed the concerns raised by a judge who criticized her encouraging protesters to get "confrontational" if former police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted in the killing George Floyd. © Provided by Washington Examiner "The judge says my words don’t matter," the California Democrat repeatedly said, according to CNN's Manu Raju.When pressed on Judge Peter Cahill's observation that Waters's comments could be grounds for an appeal by the defense, Waters replied, "Oh no, no, they didn’t.
PBS' Yamiche Alcindor asks Psaki why "the White House isn't also coming to the defense of Rep. Waters given the fact that she is facing an onslaught of attacks... She was obviously not threatening violence."- Daily Caller (@DailyCaller)
Waters would further clarify her remarks, which included blaming Republicans for taking issue with her own words while going to the "Republicans seize" well.
"Republicans will jump on any word, any line, and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent," Waters said in an. "Any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats'] backs."
But one very key, respected person wasn't buying this, in the form of Judge Peter Cahill during closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on Monday.
"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that it is disrespectful to the rule of law and the judicial branch in our function,", no doubt referring to Waters. "I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful way and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect the co-equal branch of government."
"Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don't think it is prejudiced with additional material that would prejudice the jury. They have been told not to watch the news. I trust they are following those instructions."
Democratic leaders condemn 'phony' effort to censure Maxine Waters
House Democratic leaders defended embattled Rep. Maxine Waters for a second day following her command to protesters near Minneapolis to “get more confrontational” if ex-police officer Derek Chauvin is found not guilty in the death of George Floyd. © Provided by Washington Examiner House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House should reject a GOP move to censure Waters for her comments. “It’s a totally phony effort to distract from what the Republicans know has been the rhetoric of so many of their members, which has aided and abetted and condoned violent activity,” the Maryland Democrat said Tuesday.
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell proceeded to accuse Judge Cahill ofat a sitting U.S. congresswoman.
"Something extraordinary happened after the jury left to deliberate. The judge lashing out at a U.S. congresswoman. Even mentioning the possibility, a verdict could be overturned in the future," anchor O'Donnell said to correspondent Jamie Yuccas. "Wow, it was something."
"California Democrat Maxine Waters was with protesters in Brooklyn Center (Minn.) this weekend and she said, 'I hope we get a verdict that's guilty, guilty, guilty. If we don't, we have to get more confrontational,'" Yuccas replied before speculating whether Cahill had "openly told the defense the comments could open the door to an appeal if Derek Chauvin is convicted and then have the whole trial overturned."
In other words, Cahill is potentially the problem here, while any criticism of Waters wasn't broached.
Republicans introduced a resolution to have Waters censured in a symbolic move that party leaders knew had little chance of passing in the Democratically controlled Congress. On cue, it216-210 vote, handing the congresswoman an easy victory.
Maxine Waters apparently can get away with saying just about anything.
Traditional media, petrified of criticizing the Democratic Party out of fear of social media backlash, ensures she gets that free pass. Nice deal if you can get it.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.
Alan Dershowitz Says Maxine Waters Used KKK Tactics to 'Intimidate the Jury' in Chauvin Trial .
"It's borrowed precisely from the Ku Klux Klan of the 1930s and 1920s when the Klan would march outside of courthouses and threatened all kinds of reprisals if the jury ever dared convict a white person or acquit a black person," Dershowitz said."First of all, the judge should have granted the motion for a mistrial based on the efforts of Congresswoman Waters to influence the jury," Dershowitz said during an interview with Newsmax.