On three occasions between July 22 and July 26, 2011, CBS's Bob Schieffer carried water for President Obama when he echoed the Democrat's inaccurate claim about Social Security: "Millions of Americans...may not get their next [Social Security] check if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved." In reality, there is enough federal revenues and authorized expenditures to pay for the program [audio clips available here].
Schieffer gave a preview of the CBS Evening News nine minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of the July 22, 2011 Early Show with his dire warning about Social Security:
SCHIEFFER: Every month, millions of Americans depend on Social Security to support their families and make ends meet. But now, they may not get their next check, if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved.
The latest polls show the people are not happy with President Obama's handling of budget matters, but Republicans look even worse. And yet, while the GOP delivers one idea after another, Obama has offered nothing, instead just attacking, attacking, attacking, blaming everyone but himself in utter denial of the reality that no man on the face of this Earth is more responsible for our debt catastrophe than he.
Why then is the public blaming Republicans more? It is because of the ceaseless, shameless and oftentimes utterly dishonest attacks on them coming from Obama's media hit men. A day doesn't go by without a leftist "news" media outrage. They come in all shapes, too.
Shortly after noon today, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer followed her colleague Chuck Todd in using the anniversary of the 14th Amendment becoming law to cite the liberal fantasy of a clause in the amendment empowering President Obama to end-run Congress on raising the debt ceiling.
Like Todd she got her history and the text of the relevant clause wrong.
This occurred during a satellite interview with Rep. Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) on the debt ceiling debate (video follows page break; MP3 audio available here):
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared the delayed vote on House Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling plan "took precious little time," and touted how "Democrats filled the time with sharp words." A sound bite was featured from Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen: "I've had kidney stones that are easier to pass than this."
O'Donnell focused particularly on Democrats in Congress whining about a movie clip shown in a private House GOP meeting: "House Republicans fired up their members to stick together at a meeting last night. And even played a movie clip, a violent scene from the Ben Affleck film 'The Town.'" She added: "...that got bad reviews from Democrats today."
After only his third day on the job, Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry was accused by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney of intentionally "creating" a dispute to please his new employer.
"I know you're creating a thing here for Fox," charged Carney toward the end of a testy exchange with the former CNN correspondent during Wednesday's press briefing.
As members of the White House press corps giggled off camera, Henry retorted: "That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that."
In a critical "Keeping Them Honest" segment Wednesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper selectively reported findings from his network's own poll to bolster his argument that Republicans are out-of-touch with the wishes of the American people in the debt ceiling debate.
This came even after the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, supported by the president, produced a plan including no tax increases in an effort to garner Republican support. Yet Cooper still peddled a CNN poll showing public support for a plan including increased tax revenues, and framed Republicans as dishonest for claiming Americans want no more taxes.
Huffington Post Business Editor Peter Goodman wrote a provocative column today. It was no Esquire “Have More Satisfying Sex Than DSK”, but it did compare Republicans to terrorists.
“The same Republicans who have so eagerly prosecuted the war on terror, running up huge deficits in the process, are now behaving like the enemies on which they have squandered so much blood and treasure: They are acting like terrorists. Yes, terrorists.”
Update: According to the Library of Congress website, July 28, 1868 was the day when Secretary of State William Seward "issued a proclamation certifying without reservation that the Fourteenth Amendment was a part of the United States Constitution." Todd told his viewers that July 28, 1868 was the day the amendment "officially became part of the U.S. Constitution" although Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that amendments "shall be valid to all intents and purposes...when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths" of the states, which in the case of the Fourteenth Amendment would be July 9, 1868.
Wanted: Better fact checkers for MSNBC.
For today's "Flashback" feature on the "Daily Rundown," anchor Chuck Todd misinformed viewers by noting that on July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment went into effect.
Gosh, isn't it convenient that Associated Press reporter Jim Abrams, in a Wednesday evening dispatch ("Democrats say Obama should invoke 14th Amendment"), was able to find "some legal scholars" who believe that President Obama can invoke Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to ignore the nation's current debt ceiling and have the government go out and borrow more money, but "somehow" didn't name any? Not only that, he didn't even tell readers why 14th Amendment power creationists might be wrong, let alone find "some other" dissenting legal scholar to explain why. Instead, he instead went to White House spokesman Jay Carney, who only said that the president doesn't have such authority.
I suspect that Abrams' "oversight" occurred because the only "legal scholars" he could have cited would have been uncomfortable Democrats in Congress who don't want to be on record voting against any and every effort to control spending which might be attached to whatever bill or bills House Republicans might attempt to pass -- a matter of fierce internal GOP debate as of late Thursday evening.
How have we arrived at this place where the fate of our federal budget — our economy, indeed our capacity to have a functioning federal government — seems to depend on what two men (the speaker of the House and the president) may or may not be secretly talking about in an interior room in the White House?
Meanwhile, elected representatives and senators, kept ignorant of those life-and-death discussions, are forced to wait. When the two men are finished — doubtlessly mere hours before "the world will end" — our elected representatives and senators will be stampeded to vote yes for a deal about which no one knows the details. Cattle may need to be stampeded; elected representatives of the American people never should be so compelled.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir not-so-subtly suggested Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a "baby" who should "go the f*** to sleep" and let Democrats deal with the debt ceiling issue.
Anchoring the afternoon program that bears his name, Bashir excoriated Boehner's latest deficit-reduction proposal, which he dubbed a "ludicrous lullaby," blaming the Ohio Republican for "this ridiculously prolonged, tortuous, and confused attempt to raise the debt ceiling."
National Review's Jim Geraghty notes today that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer hasn't gotten the memo on the new tone in Washington. “I think we’re playing Russian roulette with the nation’s credit-worthiness, and unfortunately, all the chambers seem to be loaded on the House side. They want to shoot every bullet they have at the President” said Hoyer on Wednesday's "Morning Joe."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, as co-host Ann Curry declared that "Americans are just fed up with the stalemate" over the debt ceiling, fellow co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The latest setback came last night when House Speaker Boehner was told by the Congressional Budget Office that his proposal would cut spending far less than advertised."
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted: "Speaker Boehner's team is going back to work to find more cuts, just as the public is so increasingly frustrated." O'Donnell went on to reiterate "a big setback" for the plan as "The Congressional Budget Office did the math and found the Boehner plan came up short on spending cuts."
House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings.
If her gig at Time magazine doesn't work out, Jay Newton Small could always try working in Harry Reid's press shop.
She certainly knows how to butter up the Senate majority leader. Witness Newton Small's latest Swampland blog post at Time.com where she denounces House Republican debt ceiling plans as "histrionics" while forecasting a resolution to the debt ceiling deadlock that has Reid saving the day (emphasis mine):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews Tuesday exposed his own debt ceiling hypocrisy without realizing it.
As he absurdly asked his "Hardball" guests why America isn't having a "big debate" about what the federal government should pay for - like that's not what's happening at the moment! - he relayed how his parents balanced their household budget, but never once said anything about raising revenues. It was all about what they could afford (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During a roundtable discussion on the debt ceiling deadlock on his July 26 program, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, egged on by a former Durbin and Biden staffer-turned-lobbyist, argued that the bulk of the national debt was run up prior to the time President Barack Obama entered office, by Republicans:
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry touted President Obama trying to scare the American people into supporting his debt ceiling plan: "He called for public activism, so much so that we hear that Capitol Hill web sites were crashing last night because so many people were trying to e-mail their representatives. It looks like he spooked main street...will he also spook Wall Street?"
Curry directed that question to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, who promptly rejected such doom and gloom: "No, not at all. Frankly, Wall Street's very calm. The markets are looking pretty good today....No one's buying the panic, no one's buying the skyrocketing interest rates economic crisis scenario."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker portrayed President Obama as the great compromiser while reporting on his Monday night address on the debt ceiling: "...the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue....With time running out, the President called for compromise."
In contrast, Welker depicted House Speaker John Boehner as stubborn and unwilling to deal: "Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan....Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid....But Boehner said that's not the answer."
During an NBC News special report following President Obama's Monday night speech that blamed the GOP for the debt ceiling stalemate, Meet the Press host David Gregory argued the President was doing John Boehner a favor: "...this is a president trying to help the Speaker of the House make the case to freshman Republicans who won't give at all on the idea of tax increases."
Gregory declared that Obama was "trying to create more pressure on them [Republicans] among the public, who are fed up with this, to say we've got to find some way to compromise here....he's actually trying to create some political room for his adversary in this fight."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that as a result of how the debt ceiling negotiations are going, the Tea Party freshmen in Congress "may just have proved to be the most cunning and rational of all players in Washington, D.C."
The host of "Morning Joe" told former Democrat Congressman Harold Ford this comes despite media depicting them as radical, reckless extremists (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Has Barack Obama lost New York Times columnist David Brooks?
In his piece Tuesday, the so-called conservative said the President last Friday "lectured the leaders of the House and Senate in the sort of patronizing tone that a junior high principal might use with immature delinquents...personalizing the issue like a spurned prom date":
The New York Times on Tuesday told its readers, "House Republicans have lost sight of the country's welfare."
In an editorial entitled "The Republican Wreckage," the Gray Lady disgracefully claimed, "They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America's economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation" dimming "the futures of millions of jobless Americans":
Acting as if he were trying out for a MSNBC gig, Piers Morgan used his half hour of CNN’s prime time, following President Barack Obama’s 9 PM EDT speech on the debt ceiling and House Speaker John Boehner’s response, to hit his guests from the left, presuming Obama holds the reasoned moral high ground while Boehner represents an obstinate and selfish position.
“A lot of people blame the financial crisis on Bush tax cuts and expensive wars,” Morgan told GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in repeating a liberal talking point, demanding: “Isn't it time you guys took one for the team, the team being America?”
MSNBC's Chris Matthews appears to have a serious case of Fox News envy.
In a special installment of "The Last Word" following Barack Obama's debt ceiling address to the nation Monday, the "Hardball" host said, "I thought the President used a couple of words we’re familiar with: 'Fair and balanced.' It was like a Fox commercial" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Quoting a British politician who claimed "right-wing nutters" pose the most serious threat to the international financial system, MSNBC's Martin Bashir asked his conservative guest on Monday: "He's right, isn't he?"
The MSNBC anchor posed this question at the end of a contentious interview with Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips, after asking Phillips four times whether he wanted the U.S. to default on its debts.