CBS: Those Meddling Conservatives Oppose 'Too-Good-to-Be-True' Deal

 

The journalists at the CBS Evening News on Wednesday portrayed the possible scuttling of a budget compromise as the fault of conservatives opposing a "too-good-to-be-true" deal. Over on NBC's Nightly News, the reporters derided the plan as not spending enough, worrying about extending unemployment benefits. ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday totally skipped the story.

Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened the show by lamenting, "It sounded almost too good to be true when we told you last night that Democrats and Republicans agreed on a federal budget without driving the nation to edge of fiscal disaster." Reporter Nancy Cordes alerted, "Scott, what made Republican leaders so angry was the fact that these powerful outside groups were once again urging Republicans to vote against a fragile compromise that had been worked out by a party standard bearer," referring to Paul Ryan. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Pelley added, "Well, today some conservative groups came out against that deal, but that drew a rare public rebuke from the Republican leadership." Cordes featured John Boehner speaking out against conservative groups like Heritage Action:

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: They're-- they're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement.

Over on NBC's Nightly News, fill-in anchor Ann Curry ignored the implications of more spending and hit the deal from the left. She warned, "While the agreement avoids another government shutdown next month, it also sidestepped dealing with the crisis facing 1.3 million Americans who've been out of work for a long time."

Curry added, "And that means their unemployment benefits will stop at the end of the month unless Congress take action."

The host and journalist Joe Fryer didn't feature anyone worried about spending, instead they only allowed clips of those who could lose unemployment.

A transcript of the December 11 CBS Evening News segment is below:


6:36

SCOTT PELLEY: It sounded almost too good to be true when we told you last night that Democrats and Republicans agreed on a federal budget without driving the nation to edge of fiscal disaster. Well, today some conservative groups came out against that deal, but that drew a rare public rebuke from the Republican leadership. Nancy Cordes asked the key question today and she's on Capitol Hill tonight.

NANCY CORDES: Scott, what made Republican leaders so angry was the fact that these powerful outside groups were once again urging Republicans to vote against a fragile compromise that had been worked out by a party standard bearer who, in this case, just happens to be a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN: We feel very good at where we are with our members.

CORDES: Budget Chair Paul Ryan met behind closed doors today with his fellow House Republicans, working to sell them on a two-year spending deal that cuts the deficit by far less than they'd like--just twenty-three billion dollars over ten years. But after a bruising government shutdown fight two months ago, many conservatives said they are ready to compromise.

MAN #1: It's a small step in the right direction.

MAN #2: I think it's a positive step forward.

MAN #3: And I think it's something that we should support.

CORDES: That puts them at odds with groups that raise millions of dollars for conservative candidates. The Club for Growth said the plan was made up of "budgetary smoke and mirrors." Heritage Action called the deal "a step backwards." And both vowed to hold Republicans accountable for their votes. That touched a nerve with House Speaker John Boehner.

Mister Speaker, most major conservative groups have put out statements blasting this deal. Are you worried that they are--

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?

NANCY CORDES: Yes, those groups. Are you worried that their opposition--

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: They're-- they're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement.

NANCY CORDES: That frustration you heard has been building for a while among Republican leaders who feel that these influential groups have been pushing conservatives to sink deal after deal. It doesn't look like that's going to happen when this comes to a vote tomorrow, Scott. And many Senate Democrats say they will back the plan, too.

SCOTT PELLEY: You sure know how to get a rise out of the speaker. Nancy, thank you very much.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org