ABC Emphasizes 'Broken Down' GOP Congress; Ignores Obama's Inability to Get a Debt Deal Done

Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday chided a "broken down" Congress unable to get a debt ceiling deal done. Karl ignored Barack Obama's role in failing to secure legislation that would end the impasse.

Instead, he complained, "The whole place seems to have broken down. Republicans can't even convince some of their own members to vote for the Republican plan."

Karl made this point more than once, highlighting, "Republicans delayed a vote on their bill in the House because they don't even have enough Republican votes to pass their own bill."

The journalist did allow that Democrats don't have the votes to pass their bill, but skipped what part the President should have in all of this. Instead, he interviewed members of Congress and pushed Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh, "But, Walsh says when it comes to taxes, he just won't budge."

Talking to the politician, he insisted, "You won't compromise?...A little bit on that at all? Nothing?"

Yet, when he talked to liberal Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (currently being investigated by the Ethics Committee), he simply wondered if constituents were "upset" with her about the debt ceiling, but asked nothing specific about spending cuts.  

A new study by the Media Research Center found that 66 percent of network stories blamed Republicans for the impasse over the debt ceiling.

A transcript of the July 27 story, which aired at 7:01am EDT, follows:


7am tease

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And this morning, collision course. The U.S. careens towards the financial brink after a key vote on Capitol Hill is postponed. Is our economy still a good bet or will America's credit really run out?

7:01

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's go to Capitol Hill right now where members of Congress are starting to hear from all of you after those dueling speeches from President Obama and the House speaker on Monday night, the switchboards on Capitol Hill were besieged, overwhelmed yesterday. Thousands of phone calls and E-mails coming in. Almost all of them saying, Robin, just get this done.

ROBIN ROBERTS: So only five days left on the clock, George as you know, that important vote delayed by the House Speaker as we get closer to potential financial chaos. ABC's Jonathan Karl is on Capitol Hill where he has been tracking all the latest for us overnight. Good morning, Jon.

JON KARL: Good morning, Robin. We are reaching crisis time here on Capitol Hill. The Republicans delayed a vote on their bill in the House because they don't even have enough Republican votes to pass their own bill. Democrats don't have the votes to pass their bill either. The only thing certain up here right now is that everything is in doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED STAFFER #1 : We appreciate you calling.

KARL: The calls are pouring in.

UNIDENTIFIED STAFFER #2: I'll certainly pass that along.

KARL: Plenty of outrage but like congress itself, the callers seem hopelessly divided.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I would really like for him to hold the line against any deal in Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER #2: I am calling to ask that you cooperate with the President's efforts.


KARL: The whole place seems to have broken down. Republicans can't even convince some of their own members to vote for the Republican plan. In a closed door meeting, Republican leader Eric Cantor told fellow conservatives to, quote, "stop whining" and support the bill, acknowledging, quote, "the debt limit vote sucks. " Across the country, that's the view of Washington itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I'm pissed off.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No one, certainly, is listening to the people.

KARL: We brought some of that outrage directly to members of Congress.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): My constituents are upset with everybody.

KARL: They're upset- Even you?

WATERS: Yeah. They want me to make the president do what he should be doing.

KARL: A constituent of Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh says the two sides should just compromise.

ROBERT KAY (Illinois resident): I just wish we could go back to the old days where the Congress people went out and had a few drinks and talked and compromised.

KARL: But, Walsh says when it comes to taxes, he just won't budge. You won't compromise.
               
JOE WALSH (R-ILL): No.

KARL: A little bit on that at all? Nothing?

WALSH: It will kill an economy already teetering. That's the last thing we need.

KARL: Nothing less than the full faith and credit of the U.S. government is at stake in this debate and this debt mess may have reached the point that even once they get to a deal, and assuming they can pass it, may lose it, George, the U.S. may lose its AAA credit rating anyway.
 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org