AP Is Horrified at Obama-Hating Utah: 'Unyielding GOP Politicians Doing What Voters Ask'

Via the Sweetness & Light blog, there’s this hilarious AP headline: “Unyielding GOP politicians doing what voters ask.”

AP wants them to ignore the voters? You almost have to applaud AP for noticing that the conservative “obstructionists” in the House were indeed elected to uphold conservative principles. Something tells me AP didn’t do a horrified story from San Francisco or Beverly Hills in 2005 that “unyielding liberal Democrats” were actually going to listen to their constituents and oppose President Bush. But reporter Nicholas Riccardi reported from northern Utah:

To understand why the nation may remain politically gridlocked for the next two years, talk to people in a place like Heber City, a conservative farming and ranching hub nestled beneath the imposing peaks of the Wasatch mountains. Many voters here, and in conservative communities across the country, still want to do whatever it takes to stop Obama, despite his solid re-election in November, and the politicians they elect are listening.

Riccardi presents Rep. Jason Chaffetz, whose constituents have the gall to urge him to repeal Obamacare. That’s why AP picked Heber City, where Chaffetz knocked off a more establishment Republican in 2008, representing the "problem" of uncompromising Republicans. 

The AP man wrote Obama announced an “ambitious agenda” in his State of the Union – and somehow more tax hikes, raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and gun control aren’t described as a “liberal agenda.” Then he quoted Obama insisting Republicans aren’t really a majority:

"The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they're really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies," Obama said in an interview with The New Republic magazine last month.

Would Obama insist the Congressional Black Caucus should be poised to compromise with the Tea Party, since they’re NOT in “sharply gerrymandered districts”? How does this apply to Utah? Riccardi simply moves along to noting that somehow the Republicans never budge, as if the liberal Democrats are constantly offering to move to the right in pliant compromise:

One thing is clear: Compromise is a dirty word for many of the Republicans remaining in the House. 

Only 36 percent of GOP voters would look favorably on a politician who compromises, in contrast to 59 percent of Democratic ones and 53 percent of independent ones, according to a Pew poll last month.

Virtually all House Republicans come from districts that voted against Obama in November. And in many states, primary voters have punished Republicans they see as too eager to cut deals with Democrats.

You have to love how AP's Riccardi -- a former L.A. Times reporter and "expat New Yorker," according to his Twitter page -- sees this stretch of Utah as slightly crazy:

Here's how things look from Heber City: Obama hiked taxes while pushing through his health care reform. Then he got another round during the fiscal cliff negotiations. Now he's making a third attempt during the latest debt ceiling standoff. Meanwhile, the federal budget has been trimmed, but only slightly. The debt is still huge. Republicans are folding at every turn.

Oops, AP messed up. Let’s bet clear-eyed Heber City doesn’t think “the federal budget has been trimmed, but only slightly.”

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