MSNBC Raises Fears of Looming Govt. Shutdown, Blames Conservatives for 'Hostage-taking'

A new poll is out showing a majority of Americans blame Barack Obama for the poor state of the U.S. economy.

It's no surprise, then, that MSNBC is hard at work trying to turn the public's fire on GOP-run House.


"We want to start off with the latest hostage-taking on the Hill and the fears of another government shutdown as a critical funding bill suffers a surprising defeat," MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts alerted viewers of his 11 a.m. hour of "MSNBC Live" coverage, just after he briefly noted a new Gallup poll finds 53 percent of voters blame Obama a "great deal" for the poor state of the U.S. economy.

Roberts, of course, painted conservative GOP members as the hostage-takers even as he noted that most Democrats refused to vote on the funding measure because "it didn't offer enough disaster relief."

The MSNBC anchor quickly turned to liberal Washington Post writer Ezra Klein who groused that Speaker John Boehner has never had "control" over the conservatives in the House Republican Conference.

The following hour, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin continued to gin up fears of a pending government shutdown, opening his hour of coverage with a top-of-the-hour teaser that twice featured liberal Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin:

CRAIG MELVIN, anchor: Our top story: Another funding failure. Lawmakers have until next Friday now to pass a bill to keep the government running. Last night they voted no and stopped a stop-gap spending bill.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN presiding over the House: The yeas are 195. The nays are 230. The motion is not adopted.

MELVIN: Here we go again. Last night the House rejected a continuing resolution that would have funded the government through November 18th, making a government shutdown a possibility again.

Sen. DICK DURBIN (D-Ill.): We're now watching the Tea Party shutdown movie for the third time this year.

MELVIN: In case you missed the first two times.

KELLY O'DONNELL voiceover from Feb. 20, 2011: Some Democrats are predicting a government shutdown when current funding runs out March 4th.

MELVIN: There was the time in February.

DURBIN from February 2011: That is the worst outcome. If we end up shutting down the government.

MELVIN: That rolled into March.

NORAH O'DONNELL voiceover from March 2011: A stalemate could lead to a shutdown if government funding isn't approved past March 4th.

MELVIN: And then into April.

MIKE VIQUEIRA voiceover from April 2011: The choice facing leaders this week, fund the government by Friday night or see part of it shut down.

MELVIN: Back then Republicans targeted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: We're asking Sen. Reid one thing: Pass the bill. Be a leader.

MELVIN: It's deja vu all over again.

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Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters