Bozell Column: ABC Hates Budget 'Chain Saws'

When President Obama’s budget came out in February, with the greatest expansion of federal spending in American history, some sycophantic media outlets like The Washington Post ridiculously tried to sell the concept that Obama was pushing “deep cuts.” It was a publicity line that collapsed on itself within 24 hours.

The Democrats are doing nothing to rein in the spending that is leading America into bankruptcy. What the Republican leadership is proposing, with its minuscule cuts, is a small fraction of a huge deficit.

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is about the only one proposing significant cuts, and for that he will be massacred, if the media have their way. On the February 23 broadcast of ABC’s “Nightline,” they actually cartooned him as a crazed maniac with a chain saw. It was presented as “news,” but it had all the markings of a negative ad cooked up in the video lab at the DNC.

Over this over-the-top animation, ABC’s Bill Weir spun like a top: "So, while the President argues for a budget scalpel [Obama looking reasonable, holding a scalpel], Rand Paul would use a chainsaw, shutting down the Departments of Energy and Education. He would kill the Consumer Product Safety Commission, shrink the Pentagon, and cut off all foreign aid."'

When Obama’s budget arrived, ABC’s own reporter Jake Tapper calmly noted the Obama budget blueprint proposed adding a whopping $7 trillion to the national debt over ten years. But his colleague Bill Weir apparently missed that company memo. He still thinks adding $7 trillion to the debt constitutes a “cut.”

Sen. Paul has proposed $500 billion in cuts. That is less than a third of the projected deficit. To the leftist media, this constitutes taking out a chain saw. To the objective observer, it constitutes a start.

Maybe ABC just likes hyperbole. So, when Obama went on a massive “stimulus”-enhanced spending spree, did ABC offer us cartoon graphics of a crazed Obama maniacally burning down a bonfire of tax dollars?

ABC is trashing Sen. Paul for addressing what anyone who’s looked at a national debt graph can see: you can’t put a dent in the deficit with microscopic cuts like $61 billion in a $3.7 trillion budget. We’re staring at a projected <ital>$1.65 trillion<ital> deficit this year, the largest dollar number in American history. Why isn’t that number taken seriously by our alleged government watchdogs in the press?

Whether one likes Paul’s list of cuts or not, the fact remains that we are still left with a wholly irresponsible $1 trillion deficit. The current House Republican proposal to spend $61 billion less in non-security spending than Fiscal Year 2010 is still a spending level many billions of dollars higher than Fiscal Year 2008 -- when conservatives were beyond dismayed at Bush-era overspending.

What the media wants is a massive budget battle not between the Republicans and the Democrats, but between the GOP and the media themselves. For them, it’s 1995 again, with another opportunity to derail the conservative agenda with a scorched-earth attack, allowing the Obama agenda to prevail.

And truth doesn’t matter.

Pompous network stars, who can find a “victim” for any potential spending cut liberals oppose, will make any insufficient budget-cut proposals sound extreme. “Nightline” host Terry Moran gave us a taste of that with his introduction of Rand Paul: “Up next: Even the most conservative Republicans balk at his proposals for slashing government. We sit down with the newly minted Senator, Rand Paul.”

But "even the most conservative Republicans" know that $61 billion in budget cuts is a mere first-quarter play in opposing the Obama spending juggernaut. Moran also demonized Paul with this promo: “Senator No Surrender. He's the most controversial newcomer to Capitol Hill with a radical pedigree. But can Rand Paul's high ideals survive the Senate? We've got the ‘Nightline’ interview.”

Did Terry Moran ever present Barack Obama as a “controversial newcomer” with a “radical pedigree,” given he had the most left-wing voting record in the Senate? No. Instead, Moran fawned over Obama repeatedly on the campaign trail about how he was an “American political phenomenon.”.

Speaking of a “radical pedigree,” within weeks of Obama’s election, Moran was demanding the president impose extreme measures for the financial crisis – but in the opposite direction. This “reporter” openly advocated socialism: “Why not just nationalize the banks?”

Welcome to Washington, Rand Paul. You’ll only know you’re doing the right thing when ABC, CBS, and NBC come running at you with cameras...and straitjackets.

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center