PBS's Gwen Ifill Suggests With Straight Face That Obama Might Steal 'Deficit Slasher' Mantle from Paul Ryan

PBS fans love how the show Washington Week is such a peaceful regurgitation of the conventional liberal media wisdom. But there are times in the calm that you wonder what world these liberals are living in. For example, the show's host, Gwen Ifill, seems to think it's plausible that President Obama -- the man who's made trillion-dollar-plus deficits a routine -- could take the "deficit slasher" label away from a conservative. New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny suggested that seniors might be willing to consider seriously Medicare reforms if they'll help lower the debt.

Ifill replied: "Is that why when we see the president come out this week and make speeches like this, it seems like he was snatching the mantle of deficit slasher from Paul Ryan's hands and saying 'No, no, no -- me'?"

This was too much even for Zeleny, the Channeler of Enchantment: "Um, he was doing that on one hand, but we'll see how much he does and go[es] through with it." Translation: Obama's budget game in no way reflects a "deficit slasher" mentality.  

The other strange moment in the journalistic chatter was Ifill asserting that Obama hasn't talked about the poor for two years. They discussed his big speech at George Washington University:

ZELENY: He completely brought any skeptical Democrats around to his side when he mentioned Medicare. He said he was going to protect it. He mentioned things we haven't really heard him talk about that much since perhaps 2008.

IFILL: Like the poor.

ZELENY: Like the poor.

Wasn't the entire Obamacare debate about how Republicans didn't want the poor to have health insurance? Do these people watch television before they go on television?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis