Media Protection Racket Alert: Politico's Byers Defends Reid 'Cancer' Comment, Attacks Drudge

Politico's Dylan Byers is determined to tell us that we didn't see and hear what we really saw and heard, and that Matt Drudge is a filthy liar (Update, 8:20 a.m., Oct. 3: as well as Real Clear Politics —"Reid To CNN's Dana Bash: 'Why Would We Want To' Help One Kid With Cancer?") for relaying what CNN's Dana Bash saw and heard — and reported.

Today, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid whined about House Republicans “obsessed with this Obamacare thing” and asserted that "they have no right to pick and choose” which programs to fund and not fund (actually, the Constitution gives them that right, Harry), card-carrying liberal Bash asked him: “But if you could help one child with cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” Instead of turning the tables and saying, “I’ll be glad to do that when I get a clean bill,” he appeared to be on the verge of going into expletive mode, but then answered with a question of his own which should haunt him from here to eternity:


That’s a f–, w-w-w-why would we want to do that?

Bylan Byers didn't note how angry Reid was, and pretended that an interjected remark by New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer meant something, when it didn't (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Much ado about NIH

DylanByersPoliticoOnMedia

Leading Drudge Report this afternoon is a headline insinuating that Sen. Harry Reid doesn't want to help kids with cancer, which is a misrepresentation resulting from the willful cherry-picking of the Senator's remarks.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, CNN's Dana Bash asked Sen. Reid if the Senate would follow the House in voting to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the shutdown. Sen. Reid replied by saying House Speaker John Boehner should not be allowed "cherry-pick" which government insitutions shut down and which stay open.

Bash then asked Sen. Reid, "But if you can help one child with cancer, why wouldn't you do it?"

At that point, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who was standing next to Sen. Reid, said to Bash, "Why pit one against the other?" After which, Sen. Reid said, "Why would we want to do that?"

The headline that made Drudge, below two photographs of Sen. Reid: "'WHY WOULD WE WANT TO' HELP ONE KID WITH CANCER?"

I can't imagine the intellectual leaps and bounds you'd have to go through to arrive at the conclusion that Sen. Reid doesn't care about cancer patients. Even if you got rid of Sen. Schumer's remark, you'd still run into a little thing called "context."

Nice try, Dylan. No sale. You don't need to engage in "intellectual leaps and bounds." All you have to do is watch the video. Reid was answering Bash's question. "That" in the her question is "help(ing) one child with cancer." Harry Reid's "answer" was to ask Bash: "Why would we want to to that (help one child with cancer)?" QED.

Oh, and you "forgot" to mention Reid's near lapse into profanity before he responded ("That’s a f–"), as well as how he lashed out at Bash immediately after his answer because she had the nerve to ask a legitimate question ("to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless").

And you're the one screaming about "context" and "cherry-picking." What a load of rubbish.

So, once again with feeling — here's the video, followed by a full transcript containing full utterances at the critical juncture:

DANA BASH: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you’ve said, will you at least pass that? And if not, aren’t you playing the same political games that Republicans are?

HARRY REID: Listen, Sen. Durbin explained that very well, and he did it here, did it on the floor earlier, as did Sen. Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. I don’t know what other word I can use. They are obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it even more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

REID: That's a f--

CHARLES SCHUMER: Why pit one against the other?

REID: W-W-W-Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing –

BASH: I’m just asking a question —

REID: - maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.

So, Dylan, if you want to try to make a case that Reid lost control of his emotions when he said what he said and wouldn't have said it if he had stayed calm, go right ahead. Just don't insult our intelligence by claiming that Harry Reid didn't say what he said and that he didn't mean what he said when he said it.

It's obvious from the tape that Reid was not considering Schumer's interjection as he answered Bash's question.

The fact that he lashed out at Dana Bash as he did clearly shows that he recognized what he had just done. What he had just done was ask her, "Why would we want to to that (help one child with cancer)?"

But he didn't pull back, as a legitimately regretful person would have done; instead, he attacked his questioner. He probably thinks that's a wise tactic because he can count on media lapdogs like you to clean up his mess.

Not this time, pal.

Byers is also doing his level best to tell the big cahunas in the establishment press pecking order (e.g., the Associated Press, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Big Three networks) that they should ignore what Reid said.

There isn't a snowball's chance in Hades Dylan Byers would go to such lengths to defend a Republican or conservative making a similar remark — if it ever happened.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.