On Friday’s Last Word on MSNBC, as host Lawrence O’Donnell brought up his belief - explored more thoroughly earlier in the show - that President Obama had succeeded in a strategy to appear to be the "reasonable man willing to make compromises" without actually having to make those concessions, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe at first seemed to buy into O’Donnell’s "cynical" theory of Obama’s true intentions, but the MSNBC analyst also suggested that Obama was indeed being "reasonable" and "the grownup in the room." He went on to suggest that Republicans were not being "responisible’ or a "serious party about deficits," and that they were behaving as "irresponsible children."
On Friday’s Last Word, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell advanced his belief that President Obama never had any desire for Republicans to accept the plan that he himself proposed because his strategy was to "manipulate" the process and appear willing to compromise, while at the same time insisting on tax increases to ensure that Republicans would never agree to his offer. O’Donnell further theorized that, because Republicans were about to agree to a tax increase similar to Obama’s proposal, the President changed his demands to deliberately derail negotiations.
During a segment with NBC correspondent Kristen Welker, O’Donnell observed:
Fareed Zakaria on Sunday blamed the Tea Party for the "extraordinary polarization in Washington today."
"It's ideologically extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving," Zakaria told viewers of the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
One more data point demonstrating the leftward tilt of the purportedly non-partisan Politico:
In his Playbook of today, Politico's chief White House correspondent Mike Allen depicts a "grand bargain" on the credit ceiling, which inevitably would include huge tax increases, as an "historic achievement" for which President Obama and House speaker John Boehner would "rightly get credit."
In contrast, Allen suggests that Republican leaders Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy are refusing a grand bargain out of petty political ambition.
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday accused Tea Party members of being out of touch with reality due to their support for the Republican "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill as well as a balanced budget amendment.
This lead Charles Krauthammer to respond, "I like the way you pose an objective question implying the insanity of a Republican proposal which passed the House...You manage to introduce a hell of a lot of bias" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Fareed Zakaria Thursday called the debt ceiling battle a "sideshow" caused by the Tea Party.
Appearing on "In the Arena" as a supposed "astute observer of the economy," Zakaria proceeded to bungle economic and historic facts like a high school dropout (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, Chris Matthews on Wednesday lied about Ronald Reagan's position on taxes in a "Hardball" segment insinuating the late President would oppose the current Republican stance on the debt ceiling.
When Salon editor Joan Walsh said Obama "is actually the Reagan figure here," former RNC chairman Michael Steele bust out laughing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, Chris Matthews had quite a heated debate with Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Tuesday's "Hardball."
Amidst a series of ridiculous questions asked of the Congressman, possibly the most absurd was, "If we have a crisis in August [as a result of not raising the debt ceiling], will you resign?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan got into quite a heated debate on Monday's "Hardball."
At issue was the battle of the debt ceiling with Matthews calling Tea Partiers opposed to raising it "crazy protesters" and telling his guest, "You want to join" them (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, a balanced budget amendment is sounding pretty good to an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Apparently CBS's Bob Schieffer isn't amongst them, as he actually asked Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday's "Face the Nation," "Why are you wasting time debating that?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Gloria Borger said this weekend the Tea Party has "hijacked" the GOP and in so doing prevented Barack Obama from becoming a "transformational president."
In her view espoused on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," without the Tea Party, "The John Boehners of the world [would have] cut a deal with the President of the United States" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time magazine's Joe Klein said this weekend that President Obama "is winning" the debt ceiling debate.
Klein told his fellow panelists on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," "He is coming across as the most reasonable guy in a crazy city...When he says things like 'Eat your peas,' that's language Americans can understand" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Cokie Roberts got quite a lesson Sunday on why compromise can be a dirty word in politics.
When she asked Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) why compromise isn't a "message that you hear," the Tea Partier responded, "Why is it that compromise always means increasing taxes today and doing cuts in ten years from now?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl took a moment to go beyond the budget debate between House Republicans and President Obama with the GOP unwilling to support a tax increase, and noted that House Democrats have also been just as resistant to voting for cutting the growth of Medicare spending. But the same night's CBS Evening News focused on Republican reluctance to support some of the budget proposals and even gave the impression at one point that congressional Democrats were willing to curtail Medicare growth.
On ABC, after recounting some of the Republicans who have resisted voting for budget plans that have been brought up, Karl continued:
Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously demonstrated just how in the pockets of Barack Obama America's news media are.
After claiming on PBS's "Inside Washington" that we now have a "completely compliant, pliant, supine press accepting every leak out of the White House," he silenced the entire panel by asking them to name one specific cut to entitlements the President has proposed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a report on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a "lightning rod" for sharp criticism from Democrats because of his role in budget negotiations with President Obama. After beginning the report with a clip of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer asserting that Cantor "has yet to make a constructive contribution," and after recounting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had called the Republican leader "childish," Cordes seemed to legitimize the insults as she asserted that Cantor had provided "plenty of ammunition":
America's only admittedly socialist member of Congress said Wednesday that he disagreed with President Obama's comments concerning Social Security checks possibly not going out on August 3rd if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he felt checks to seniors and disabled vets would be issued no matter what, the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" responded, "So you would take issue with the President on that statement, that he may have been fear-mongering in essence?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews on Wednesday gave a lesson on utterly shameless fear-mongering.
In the final segment of MSNBC's "Hardball," the host said, "Failure to act on the debt ceiling will create a horror for our country, a horror we’ve never seen before" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes’s latest front-page story on the budget battle displayed typical Times’s labeling bias, with “angry conservatives” but no liberals. Calmes also paid the Republican leadership a backhanded compliment for trying to stop their conservative base from provoking a financial crisis.
On Tuesday, Calmes claimed on the front page that Obama was “repositioning” himself as a centrist (after years of the Times insisting he already was one).
Wannabe liberal reporters in J-school could use Alex Altman's July 11 Swampland blog post at Time.com as a template for biased coverage of the federal budget battle.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is a "hard-line" conservative aligned with House Republican freshmen "who would rather risk economic catastrophe than give ideological ground" by agreeing to tax increases, Altman informed readers yesterday.
Of course Altman worked hard to avoid the T-word, latching on to the euphemism "revenue increases" to refer to tax hikes and not once examined if there are hard-liners in the White House or on the Democratic side of the aisle when it comes to reaching a debt ceiling deal.
As much as liberal media members pushing for tax hikes don't understand the fiscal and economic reasons for not doing so, they've been deceitfully ignoring the political ramifications for Republicans caving on this issue.
On Monday's "Hardball," National Journal's Major Garrett explained to Chris Matthews that if the President didn't raise taxes high enough for his liking when the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress for two years, it's absurd to expect the GOP to do it for him now (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Six out of seven reporters, called on by Barack Obama at today's press conference, asked a question of the President that came from the left and/or blamed Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans for standing in the way of a deal on the debt ceiling.
Ben Feller of the AP, began the trend of questioning when he asked how Obama was going to deal with Republicans who were "adamantly" opposed to tax increases. CBS News' Chip Reid followed with "isn't the problem the people who aren't in the room, and in particular Republican presidential candidates and Republican Tea Partiers on the Hill?"
President Obama’s budget blueprint may have been unanimously rejected by Congress in late May, but suddenly the president is the courageous, ambitious one on budget talks after issuing new rhetoric indicating a willingness to make cuts in social programs like Medicare.
In his Sunday front-page story, “House Speaker Is Pulling Back On Deficit Deal – $4 Trillion Plan Stalls Over Tax Increase,” congressional reporter Carl Hulse (pictured) continued to shade his own word choices in a pro-Democratic direction. Though the headline accurately stated that the stumbling block in negotiations are Democratic calls for a “tax increase,” Hulse reliably avoided the unpopular phrase in his report. The text box also underlined the idea of Obama the risk-taker: “An attempt at something big that some Republicans found too big.”
Given the opportunity to directly relay the two sentences of House Speaker John Boehner's statement on the status of debt-ceiling and budget negotiations tonight, the Associated Press's Andrew Taylor and Jim Kuhnhenn, in their 9:29 p.m. report (saved here at my web host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) disgracefully cut the Speaker's statement off after its first sentence and inserted seven paragraphs designed to minimize its full impact, leaving readers unaware of Boehner's full statement with the impression that its second sentence was uttered sometime and somewhere else.