NBC Hosts Fret Over Children and Seniors Being 'Silent Victims' of Sequester

As news of a deal in Congress to end FAA furloughs of air traffic controllers broke Friday morning, a panel of NBC hosts on Today immediately fretted over other government programs affected by the sequester, with Willie Geist touting Obama administration fearmongering: "...some of the other things that are hurt by the sequester, namely Head Start, preschool for low-income families....By the White House's account, 70,000 preschoolers will not have Head Start because of what's happening due to sequestration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Geist worried about the "imbalance" of the congressional deal only benefitting airline passengers. Fill-in co-host Tamron Hall agreed: "Now we're seeing this piecemeal, where, like you said, the air travelers, many of them business folks, are able to complain....Squeaky wheel gets the most attention and gets results. And do we really want our country to run that way? It's crazy....And there's the silent victims."

News reader Natalie Morales pleaded: "Well, I think it goes without saying, too, I mean so many are hurting from the sequestration. I mean a lot of people are losing hours, losing, you know, their jobs in the process as well. So, you know, there has to be some sort of resolution fairly quickly."

Wrapping up the discussion, Hall complained about the media coverage: "But the Head Start mom, you know, I saw one story on a Head Start mom, I think, in Ohio who is like, 'I don't know where – what to do.' You know? It's crazy." Geist added: "Not to mention seniors who need Meals on Wheels."


Here is a full transcript of the April 26 segment:

9:00AM ET

WILLIE GEIST: Let's get to our Take Three. Take One is a story we've been talking about all week, it's these furloughs because of the sequester that have led to delays and cancellations of flights at airports, leaving a lot of people frustrated.

AL ROKER: Yes.

GEIST: Well, last night, the United States Senate took action to end this. It will get a vote in the House, probably go through, that to get – basically move some money around inside the FAA to get these people back in the control towers and alleviate some of the problems.

I think we all agree that's good news, get commerce back, get people moving through the airports. But a lot of people are pointing out this morning that it came about because of the outcry of people who use planes and left alone some of the other things that are hurt by the sequester, namely Head Start, preschool for low-income families.

TAMRON HALL: Meals on Wheels.

GEIST: Meal on Wheels. Those cuts remain in place. By the White House's account, 70,000 preschoolers will not have Head Start because of what's happening due to sequestration. So a little imbalance.

HALL: Yeah. Well, the whole point of the sequester was that these cuts would be so traumatic for both parties, for the Republicans and the Democrats, that they would get together and come up with a deal. But now we're seeing this piecemeal, where, like you said, the air travelers, many of them business folks, are able to complain-

ROKER: Squeaky wheel getting the grease.

HALL: Squeaky wheel gets the most attention and gets results. And do we really want our country to run that way? It's crazy.

MORALES: Well, I think it goes without saying, too, I mean so many are hurting from the sequestration. I mean a lot of people are losing hours, losing, you know, their jobs in the process as well. So, you know, there has to be some sort of resolution fairly quickly.

HALL: And there's the silent victims. Because again, we're hearing about the air travelers because you've got pilots getting on the planes saying, "That one-hour delay, blame the U.S. Government."

MORALES: Right, I heard that this week.

HALL: But the Head Start mom, you know, I saw one story on a Head Start mom, I think, in Ohio who is like, "I don't know where – what to do." You know? It's crazy.

GEIST: Not to mention seniors who need Meals on Wheels.

HALL: Yup, yup.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC