ABC reporter Jeff Zeleny on Tuesday afternoon excitedly told viewers that "cracks" are "emerging" in the Republican opposition to the government shutdown. His example of this? A GOP congressman already on record opposing a shutdown. Following live coverage of Barack Obama's speech, the journalist related, "But a couple cracks emerging, including a congressman from Virginia, a military district, Scott Rigell. He says, 'enough is enough. It's time to move on with this.'"
However, on the September 20 World News, Zeleny reported, "We caught up with Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia, the only Republican to go against his party." On that day, the reporter featured a clip of Rigell exclaiming, "And I've not heard from any members who thinks that shutting this government down is a good idea." [Video of both clips below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews dismissed Republican attempts to delay ObamaCare as a futile effort: "The President was elected – reelected again. He won this fight over health care....the President will not give up his baby, and I think they know that. That's why this is a scary fight. They've gone to ask Obama to give them something he can't give them, which is his health care bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews also ranted about Republican members of Congress having strong political support in their districts: "230 congressional districts are Republican. They voted against this President, they voted for a Republican congressmen. Those congress people, men and women, can't be defeated on this issue. They know they can fight to the death on this....[the President] can't stop those people because they're unbeatable in their districts."
Only at the very end of their article did Rogers and Miller mention that the Democratic National Committee is having a fundraising field day off the work stoppage. There was, however, no mention that the DNC desperately needs the cash because they're drowning in red ink. Reported Fortune magazine's Tory Newmyer yesterday morning:
This weekend’s editions of NBC’s Today show did their best to drive home the message that Republicans would be to blame for the government shutdown that went into effect last night. On Saturday’s Today, CNBC’s John Harwood showed up to analyze the situation. The chief Washington correspondent did not mince words as he told anchor Erica Hill who would be responsible for the oncoming shutdown:
“There is no doubt that if we have a shutdown, Republicans are going to get blamed for it for the simple fact that the whole country will see that this is a shutdown brought on by the Republican Party. Democrats are not making any demands, Erica. The only people making demands here are Republicans.” So I guess requiring every American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine doesn’t count as a demand? [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network's senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown.
“In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as arsonists, anarchists, extortionists, blackmailers, hostage takers,” Acosta noted. Even Dan Pfeiffer, assistant to the president and senior advisor to the president for strategy and communications, “talked about bombs being strapped to chests.”
Michelle Cottle is no fan of Republicans and certainly not of Tea Party conservatives. But in a sign that some liberal journalists are worried that Democrats may overreach with their alarmist rhetoric, the Daily Beast staffer called on Democrats to cool it a bit with the hyper-partisan invective during the government shutdown. To Cottle, it's okay to call conservatives hijackers and terrorists and kamikaze pilots, so long as you keep the slurs "generic" and not, for example, compare Republicans to actual real-life villains like Bashar al-Assad and the Ayatollah.
All three networks on Tuesday morning hyped the partial government shutdown with reports from closed museums in Washington D.C. and live shots of the Statue of Liberty. The journalists of ABC's Good Morning America informed Americans that Republicans would probably "blink first" in the stand-off with the White House and congressional Democrats.
NBC's Peter Alexander checked in live from Washington, touting the "4200 workers at the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo." He narrated, "We're now here in front of the National Air and Space Museum. They tell me last week they had 88,000 visitors come here. Today it'll be zero, the door's are locked." Alexander added, "And there's a very simple message posted to that front door, it reads, 'We apologize for the inconvenience.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
White House press secretary Jay Carney appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday expressing the typical doom and gloom about what the government shutdown means to Americans and the economy.
After he was done, CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera told the MJ crew about how the markets were shrugging off the shutdown due to its likely limited impact on the economy and punctuated her thoughts by saying, “Jay Carney’s been fear mongering on your network” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews just can’t make up his mind about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
After telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew last week that the Texas Tea Partier is “a problem for our republic,” Matthews on Tuesday said, “I think Ted Cruz is brilliant. I think the President’s met his match in this guy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For weeks Americans have been told that if Congress and the White House didn't agree to a Continuing Resolution to fund the government when the new fiscal year started on October 1, an economic calamity would befall the nation.
Well, the government officially shut down at midnight Monday, and markets all around the world don't seem to care.
Seems the shutdown is already frazzling folks. Though some of it might have been for show, tempers seemed to truly flare on today's Morning Joe. An on-air spat broke out, with Joe Scarborough in one corner, and Mika Brzezinski and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson in the other.
Fed up with what he described as a "paid advertisement for Obamacare" by Brzezinski and Robinson, Scarborough insisted on giving his side of the story. He predicted that Obamacare will fail, as major employers opt to pay fines instead of providing health insurance to their employeees. That in turn will cause millions of people to be dumped into federal programs. The end result, said Scarborough, will be the disappearance of private health insurance within ten years and a complete government takeover of the program. View the video after the jump.
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged the liberal spin that congressional Republicans were punished electorally after the 1995 government shutdown was more a matter of faith than fact: "I mean, for 17 years it's been an article of faith that Republicans paid at the polls after the shutdown in the 90s. But these new House Republicans aren't so sure that's true." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was in response to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring: "...while there are that small band of loud conservatives who are wanting to, you know, not cave, not give in to anything, do whatever it takes to stop the health care law, there is a growing chorus of moderate Republicans who are telling Boehner, 'Don't do this. You remember how bad this was for the Republican Party 20 years ago. What are you doing? You're putting the majority at risk.'"
Bob Woodward broke free from the liberal media template on Monday morning, partially blaming President Obama for the current impasse over government funding and the debt ceiling. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the veteran journalist claimed that a potential economic collapse or downturn would fall on Obama’s head.
Former George W. Bush staffer Nicolle Wallace and Obama acolyte David Axelrod were locked in an extended argument about the president’s role in all of this when Woodward cut in with the perspective of a wise old Washington veteran: “[T]he president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the presidency of Barack Obama.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
As NewsBusters previously reported, Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) on Sunday's Meet the Press made a fool of MSNBC's Chris Matthews over his lack of knowledge regarding how many times the government shut down when his former boss Tip O'Neill was Speaker of the House.
As it turns out, the Washington Post also mocked Matthews for his ignorance last Thursday in a piece deliciously titled "Sorry, Chris Matthews: Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan Were Terrible at Averting Shutdowns."
Why do Dems need Debbie Wasserman-Schultz when they've got Andrea Mitchell? There was no mistaking Mitchell's anger on her MSNBC show today as she scolded Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz . "Get real," reprimanded Mitchell, twice telling Chaffetz the Republican bill delaying the implementation of ObamaCare was "dead on arrival."
For good measure, Mitchell put the onus on Republicans to cave in order to avoid "hurting people." View the video after the jump.
In its 40-year history, the liberal media never really cared for the Heritage Foundation. But now that the think tank has been more assertive in its engagement of Capitol Hill, the liberal media are rewriting history to depict the move as something that is threatening the organization's respectability inside the Beltway. In July, I noted the Wall Street Journal's stab at the concern-trolling about Heritage's diminishing gravitas. In January, my colleague Matthew Balan noted the Washington Post's bias about Heritage's lobbying arm, Heritage Action.
Today it's Time magazine's turn, as writer Zeke Miller looked at how "political action arm of the once-esteemed Heritage Foundation has perfected the art of disrupting DC, whatever the cost":
The list of things on which Barack Obama has been wrong goes on to the crack of doom. But there's one thing on which the President is surely right. In devising his strategy for dealing with the shutdown, the prez can count on the MSM to blame Republicans.
Mark Halperin bared the president's calculus on today's Morning Joe, saying the Obama admin has little incentive to negotiate because it believes a "sympathetic" press will blame Republicans like they did in the 1990s, accusing them of being "obstructionist." View the video after the jump.
Chris Matthews has a new book out about his former boss the late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
Despite this, the MSNBC host was made a fool of on Sunday's Meet the Press by Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) concerning how many times the government was shut down when O'Neill ruled the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's a classic example of the MSM's use of sympathetic individual anecdotes to manipulate public opinion in favor of more and bigger government. Today's Good Morning America segment on the looming government shutdown, narrated by former New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, offered the stories of just two people, both African-Americans, both of whom might be hurt by a government shutdown. And check out the screen graphic: not to dramatize things or nuthin', but ABC plaintively wonders how federal workers would "survive."
ABC could have balanced its report with stories of younger people who will see their health insurance premiums double or more if ObamaCare is implemented. But why would Good Morning America want to go there? View the video after the jump.
The Little Sisters of the Poor sued over ObamaCare's birth control mandate on Tuesday, claiming the law forces them to violate their consciences. However, CNN ignored these nuns after boosting the liberal "Nuns on the Bus" tour last year that slammed the Ryan budget.
"We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government's program to provide access to abortion inducing drugs," said Sister Loraine Marie, the superior of one of the congregation's provinces. The Becket Fund, which filed the lawsuit, said the congregation will not be exempt from the mandate and faces millions of dollars in fines.
Jay Leno took another comedic shot at the White House Thursday.
Early in his Tonight Show monologue on NBC, the host said, “President Obama now making his case for raising the debt limit. He said raising the debt limit does not increase debt – you know, like raising the speed limit does not increase speed” (video follows with commentary):
If you listen to the left, you're probably hearing about food stamp "cuts."
What you're probably not hearing is, as Ira Stoll reported in the New York Sun, that the Democrats wanted to increase food stamp spending by 65% over the next ten years but Republicans passed a bill to raise it by only 57%, so partisan spinners and liberals in the media are calling what the GOP passed "a cut."
PBS put its late-night leftism on display on Meet the Press when PBS host Tavis Smiley used his slot, on the Sunday morning NBC News show’s panel, to regret President Barack Obama’s supposed touting of “American Exceptionalism” and claim the presumed desire of conservatives in the House, to shut down the federal government, means “we are going to lose our democracy. It’s that serious.”
Smiley fretted that “the President recently, much to my chagrin, spoke of, advanced once again, this notion of American Exceptionalism, and clearly he isn’t the only one in town who likes to push that notion that we as Americans are exceptional.”
Throughout Friday morning's coverage of the House vote on the continuing resolution (CR), CNN repeatedly slapped Republicans for supposedly risking a government shutdown to defund Obamacare.
A CNN chyron even stated that they were voting on a "shutdown," though that is inaccurate since the bill voted on would still fund the government, just not Obamacare. Below is the worst of CNN's contempt for House Republicans who voted to defund Obamacare. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes repeatedly played up how an unidentified Republican in the U.S. Senate attacked a House proposal to de-fund ObamaCare as "suicide". Cordes underlined that "Speaker Boehner was forced into the risky strategy by his right flank", and wondered if the plan was "just a recipe for a government shutdown".
Norah O'Donnell picked up where the correspondent left off, asserting that "there feels like something new about this fight this time...and that is that the Senate Republicans are saying to their colleagues in the House, you've gone crazy on this." Charlie Rose quickly added that these anonymous GOP senators were "describing it as a dumb idea".
As usual, the AP and Kuhnhenn didn't look back at how U.S. Senator Barack Obama's debt-ceiling posture in 2006 sharply differed. Today, Mark Knoller at CBS New, after setting up Obama's plans for the day, which included speaking to Business Roundtable CEOs, did so in a series of tweets (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):