NBC Hounds Jarrett Over Lack of 'Actual Action' From Obama; CBS Goes Easier on the Adviser

NBC's Savannah Guthrie pressed White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on Tuesday's Today over President Obama's apparent inaction on many key issues. After reading an excerpt from the President's 2009 address to Congress, Guthrie wondered, "You know, Americans have heard these refrains over and over again. What can you guarantee to the American people that will turn these words into actual action?"

By contrast, on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose merely prompted Jarrett to provide the Obama administration's talking points on the upcoming State of the Union address:

Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Anchor; Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor; & Valerie Jarrett, Senior Obama Adviser; Screen Cap From 12 February 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgCHARLIE ROSE: Okay, let me turn to the State of the Union. You are, perhaps, other than the First Lady, the person closest to the President in the White House. And more and more people are saying what The New York Times said this morning: 'As the President prepared to outline his second-term agenda, it is clear from those personal accounts, as well as his public acts, like his bold inaugural address, that he has shown an assertiveness, self-possession, even cockiness that contrasts with the caution, compromise, and reserve that he showed for much of his first term.'

Guthrie followed up by hounding the President's senior adviser on the impending automatic spending cuts:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let me turn to a more immediate crisis. In a few weeks, these automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will go into effect. This is something that both sides have said will be massively destructive to our economy. My question to you is when is the last time the President sat down with congressional leaders to try to work out some kind of compromise to avoid this?

VALERIE JARRETT: Well, as you saw at the end of the last year, we made a great deal of progress. We were so close, Savannah. The President and Speaker Boehner were really just moments apart in reaching a deal. And unfortunately, the Republicans were unwilling to do the deal we proposed. The President proposed a balanced approach, one that includes both spending cuts as well as rate increases. And that that's – that's the way that we have to get ourself to a healthy budget. We can't cut our way out of this.

Savannah Guthrie, NBC News Anchor; & Valerie Jarrett, Obama Senior Adviser; Screen Cap From 12 February 2013 Edition of NBC's Today | NewsBusters.orgGUTHRIE: Have there been any recent – have there been any recent meetings along those lines?

JARRETT: Well, there haven't. We had the issue of the end of the last year, and over the last few weeks we've been preparing and gearing up. The President has made it clear numerous times that he welcomes the opportunity to sit down with the Republicans in Congress and work out a deal. He has presented a range of options for how we can get our fiscal house in order. He's looking for a big deal. But if we can't get a big deal, let's at least try to come to terms on a smaller deal that avoids the sequestration from kicking in.

The only tough question Rose asked Jarrett was when the CBS anchor targeted her from the left regarding Obama's second-term Cabinet appointments:


ROSE: We have seen resignations including, for example, the secretary of energy. The question still is, when will we see those major women appointed to top-level Cabinet positions, whether it's Justice or something else?

The CBS journalist has a record of going softer on liberal guests than conservative one. On January 17, 2013, Rose and co-anchor Norah O'Donnell set up New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to promote his pro-gun control platform, just minutes after their contentious interview of NRA President David Keene.

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Valerie Jarett interview on Tuesday's CBS This Morning is available at MRC.org.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center