NBC’s Williams Prods Obama to Force Congress Into ‘Sudden Breakout of Sanity’

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who the week before last cited “the debt ceiling, which rational people agree needs to be raised,” on Monday evening again seemed to take a shot at Tea Party members of Congress as he urged President Barack Obama to fulfill a “leadership moment” in order “to force Congress into a sudden breakout of sanity.”

Williams inquired of CNBC’s David Faber:

I'm not a historian, but I think this is a leadership moment, potentially, for the President of the United States. He's getting pressure to force Congress into a sudden breakout of sanity. If that happens, how long until we could get our top credit rating back?

In a story on the Monday, August 8 NBC Nightly News, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo included this soundbite from Dan Arbess of Perella Weinberg Partners: “Some day we will thank S&P for the credit downgrade because it is a message to Washington that we must begin to address the long-term solvency of the United States of America.”

Picking up on that assertion, Williams then had this exchange:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Let’s go over to CNBC’s global headquarters. David Faber is there for us tonight. David, let’s pick up on the point that last gentleman made. I'm not a historian, but I think this is a leadership moment, potentially, for the President of the United States. He's getting pressure to force Congress into a sudden breakout of sanity. If that happens, how long until we could get our top credit rating back?

DAVID FABER, CNBC: It could still be some time until at least S&P comes back. These are long-term problems. They aren't solved overnight. Yet that certainly would be a positive. I think you saw the President today trying to engender confidence, Brian, in the press conference because confidence, it would seem over the last couple of weeks, has come in short supply given the debate over the debt ceiling, the downgrade by S&P and, of course, days like this when the market, all which of can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You simply don't want to do much in terms of making an investment if you're a consumer or a CEO.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center