It only took three days, but someone at CBS News finally realized that at least one House Democrat on Thursday vulgarly referred to the President of the United States.
Unlike most of his colleagues in the media, Bob Schieffer was so disturbed by this revelation that he asked two different Democrat guests about it on the most recent installment of "Face the Nation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: So why is the left side of your party, why are the Liberal Democrats so against this? And I mean, they’re not just against it. They’re mad about it. They’re in a rage.
DAVID AXELROD, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: Yeah, well--
BOB SCHIEFFER: I mean, somebody in the House using the f-word to describe the President.
DAVID AXELROD: There-- there are people on both sides of the aisle, Bob, who have been unhappy because the nature of compromise is that you have to accept some things that you don’t like in order to get the things that you do.
A few moments later, Schieffer brought this matter up again:
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you are not going to denigrate them but they don’t seem too embarrassed to denigrate the President. I mean, some of this language that they’re using to describe the President, telling him basically to shove it.
Schieffer then brought this up in a later segment with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.):
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, Congressman Nadler, let me go back to your objections. It seems to be like it’s going to be a difficult thing for the President to bring some of your colleagues around because in that Democratic caucus, I mean people heard through the doors some of the shouts I asked Mister Axelrod how did the President feel about some Democrats actually using the “f” word to describe him? It seems like this is a really wide divide we’ve got here between a Democratic President and his Democratic House members.
In the course of roughly fifteen minutes, Schieffer addressed this issue more than the combined coverage of all of America's news outlets through Friday evening if you exclude Fox News and MSNBC.
Unfortunately, much as CNN did Friday in its lone report on this subject, he didn't accurately convey exactly how the f-word was used against the President.
Although Schieffer didn't address Vice President Dick Cheney's vulgar exchange with Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) in June 2004, the CBS "Evening News" was quite specific about what was said:
BOB ORR: As a measure of just how partisan the Capitol has become, the vulgar exchange occurred on the Senate floor as senators were making small talk after posing for a "class picture," like this one. Sources say Vice President Dick Cheney and Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy began trading barbs, with Cheney blasting Leahy's criticism of alleged war profiteering by Halliburton, a company once headed by the vice president. Leahy, a Catholic, fired back at Republicans for labeling Democrats anti-Catholic for opposing one of the president's judicial nominees. To that, sources say, Cheney responded with an expletive: "F yourself." Leahy confirmed the confrontation, saying of Cheney, "I think he was just having a bad day."
As such, CBS was far more specific about what Cheney said six and a half years ago than Schieffer was concerning what happened in the House Thursday.
Readers are reminded that according to the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman:
There was, there was sotto voce apparently, you know, not too loud, an "F the President.” There was a, there was a “No f-ing way.” There was a “He F-ed it up.” You know, we had a fairly liberal use of the F-word inside those closed doors, and there was a lot of anger.
Why Schieffer was more ginger with his description of the event is anyone's guess.
Still, it was nice to see someone in the mainstream media thought this incident was newsworthy.