"One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that's the case."
So marvelously stated Brit Hume on Fox News's Special Report Monday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
BRIT HUME: One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that's the case. CNN says that House Bill, for example, to keep the government open while delaying ObamaCare was quote “a move that makes a shutdown more likely.” Later CNN described the bill simply as a quote "proposal to derail ObamaCare."
Politico speaks of House Republicans as deciding whether to quote "careen into a government shutdown." Ever heard of Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina? Why, according to CNN, he is quote "the man behind the government shutdown." He is, of course, a Republican.
Even as balanced a paper as the Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the quote “simplest path to avoiding a shutdown would be for the House to immediately pass the Senate funding bill.” Well, it would be just as simple for the Senate to pass the House bill and send it to the president for him to sign. But such scenarios do not occur to most journalists because they consider it unrealistic to expect the president and his party to compromise and equally unrealistic for the Republicans not to.
This sort of bias is regrettable to say the least, but it is a fact of life. Some Republican hardliners might need to recognize that when they charge up a hill, they will be taking fire not just from Democrats, but from most of the media as well. Bret?
BRET BAIER, HOST: So do you think that the administration thinks, that the president thinks that he's bullet proof in this scenario right now?
HUME: You mean that if there's a shutdown he wins, and if there's not a shutdown because the House and the Republicans cave, he wins? I think that's what he thinks. And there's some history to support that proposition.
However, it is at least possible, though it would be unprecedented, for people, if it happens, to look at what's gone on to say, “Gee, the president wouldn't even talk to these guys. He never made a counter-proposal. The Senate rejected everything the House sent them. We don't particularly like ObamaCare. Why not, you know, delay it or ameliorate it in some way? It was a reasonable proposal.” And they might not blame the Republicans. I wouldn't bet on it, but it is possible that the Democrats have overplayed their hand. Possible.