Liberal Media Disdain House Repeal Vote: Undignified, 'Fact-Free' and Condescending

The liberal media aren’t hiding their contempt for the House holding another ObamaCare repeal vote. Thursday’s Washington Post published an article headlined: “A House they looked down on: In the visitors’ gallery, health-law repeal vote didn’t look so dignified.”

On Wednesday night’s All Things Considered, congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook dismissed the entire debate as "largely fact free, with both sides exercising more condescension and moral outrage than anything else.” That’s right, NPR is describing someone else as condescending:

ANDREA SEABROOK: The day the Supreme Court upheld the law that is the single biggest achievement of President Obama and congressional Democrats, House Republican leaders announced they would try to repeal it -- again. In fact, today was the 31st time they have attempted to block all or parts of the law. Or as Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro put it...

ROSA DeLAURO: Welcome to Groundhog Day in the House of Representatives.

ANDREA SEABROOK: But House Speaker John Boehner argued there's a reason Republicans keep bringing it up.

JOHN BOEHNER: No, I think this is an opportunity to save our economy.

SEABROOK: He and his colleagues make a link between the continuing slow growth in the economy and the Affordable Care Act.

JOHN BOEHNER: This bill is making our economy worse, driving up the cost of health care and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers.

ANDREA SEABROOK: Republicans offer only anecdotes to support these assertions. In fact, today's debate on the House floor was largely fact free, with both sides exercising more condescension and moral outrage than anything else. Republican freshmen seem the most zealous about repealing the Affordable Care Act, perhaps because most campaigned against it in 2010 and have been fighting it for, literally, their entire congressional careers.

Welcome to NPR, which is so far above Congress in civil discourse that it can dismiss entire debates as pointless Groundhog Day exercises. This was in the same newscast as NPR gauzily reporting once again on the expressive legacy of the far-left folk music of Woody Guthrie – talk about your Groundhog Days.

(It's also a little ridiculous to hear Seabrook charge that "Republicans offer only anecdotes" to oppose ObamaCare, since anyone who follows the Groundhog Day biases of liberal broadcast news outlets knows that anecdotes of apparently victimized uninsured people are the primary sales tool to promote socialized-medicine schemes.)

The Washington Post article – a Style section piece by Ann Gerhart – featured visitors in the House Gallery that seemed upset that the members of Congress were jabbering away like a country club as votes were cast. The Post proved it was a liberal paper by featuring “Morning Joe” Republicans who want compromise and Democrats who think another repeal vote is insanity. The Bakers of Pawley Island, South Carolina were the Republicans:

Their daughter Joanna, a second-grade teacher on Long Island, was fixated on how unruly the scene was.

“It was this party atmosphere,” she said, “and all I could think was, ‘these people have been here too long.’ We were watching them in the natural habitat. It’s like the zoo.

“But there’s a lot riding on their decisions for us little Americans.”

The Bakers are Republicans. They don’t like the health-care law. They support their party. But they also support term limits — and they count themselves among the nearly 80 percent of Americans who disapprove of the job that Congress is doing.

“I am frustrated by both sides,” George Baker said. “They don’t compromise. I wish they were more responsive to the requests of the people they represent.”

Which was a sentiment that another gentleman from South Carolina had expressed far less diplomatically earlier Wednesday afternoon.

“The American people want us to stop jerking them around,” said Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, during a debate before the vote.

It doesn’t seem like that is going to happen anytime soon, said Steve Webb, visiting from Lakeland, Fla., with his two children, given that the vote was the 33rd time the Republicans have voted to repeal all or part of the act. Five Democrats joined them Wednesday. The votes are heavy on symbolism and light on effectiveness. Democrats control the Senate and have no intention of matching the House action, and the White House has promised a veto just in case such an action reaches the president’s desk.

“I haven’t heard anything today that I haven’t heard for the last year on C-Span,” Webb said. “I guess it’s fine for them to say, ‘Yeah, we really really mean it now, after the Supreme Court upheld the law.’ But as a partisan Democrat, well, it’s kind of insane.”

Clearly, the Post is reflecting great sympathy for the partisan Democrat view of sanity. They followed up Webb with a Michigan professor trashing Republicans for their "exaggerations and lies."

The headline as they story continued on Page C-8 was "Decorum? Only for House guests." As if reporters on Capitol Hill are models of decorum as they pursue stories?

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