[Updated with video.] Where in the world was Kent Conrad? The Senate Budget Committee Chairman was supposed to appear on Thursday's Morning Joe program to dispute the idea that the Democrats are being irresponsible for not passing a budget in over 1000 days. Senator Conrad left viewers without a defensible argument, because he never showed up for the interview. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski seemed clueless as nobody was on camera when they shot over to Capitol Hill for the interview. The irony of the Senator not showing up for an interview to defend the do nothing Senate from being labeled as irresponsible was so clear that the liberal cable network MSNBC couldn’t help itself. Even the left-leaning Brzezinski joked, “Maybe he’s looking for the budget.”
The Washington Examiner reports that it's been 768 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a budget. What's the big deal? It's not like the nation is facing financial difficulties or anything.
I realize it's convenient for President Obama to pretend he's a bystander on fiscal matters when it suits him and to pass the buck that never stops with him back to Congress, but how about a little leadership on the issue for a change?
Kicking off the panel discussion segment of last night's "Special Report," Fox News anchor Bret Baier aired a clip of Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.) warning about the need to reform entitlement spending in order to preserve America's long-term financial solvency.
Baier then contrasted the frankness of the admission from the "two moderate Democrats" with the scary campaign rhetoric weeks earlier from liberal Democrats about Republicans and their ideas -- real or imagined -- to rein in entitlement spending.
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report recounting mortgage company Countrywide Financial’s history of offering special deals on loans to government officials – including figures with connections to President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama. But, while the two most prominent figures currently still in government who are implicated in the scandal are Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Kent Conrad, neither Senator was identified by Attkisson as a Democrat. Even while soundbites of the two Senators were shown, there was not even an on-screen label showing the party of either Senator. Until the end of the story, the only clue viewers had as to either Senator’s party was when Attkisson identified Dodd as being the "head" of a Senate committee.
But later, the CBS correspondent did more directly link one other figure to Republican members of Congress as she read documentation citing Countrywide’s interest in a former House committee counsel, Clinton Jones. Quoting an "internal Countrywide email," Attkisson described him as "‘an advisor to ranking Republican members of Congress responsible for legislation of interest [to Countrywide].’"
It was not until the end of the report, after a soundbite of Republican Congressman Darrell Issa – whose party was labeled on screen – complaining about Countrywide’s actions, that Attkisson finally hinted that Democrats may have more to fear from the scandal as she relayed that "Democrats are blocking a Republican effort to subpoena Countrywide documents."
As we've noted at NewsBusters, there's been scant coverage of a new scandal involving Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.). Both senators chair committees with oversight of the financial industry and Dodd is behind a bailout package for mortgage lender Countrywide. Both senators got "VIP" treatment from Countrywide Financial for refinancing agreements on their respective mortgages.
So today I thought I'd check our internal records at the MRC and the transcripts at Nexis to see what sort of coverage the three broadcast networks have devoted to this story.
What I found was a big fat zero.
Countrywide did, however, pop up three times on NBC newscasts between the beginning of June and today. All three stories were about celebrity Ed McMahon's foreclosure woes.
Townhall.com's Amanda Carpenter rips into the Washington Post today over its editorial about Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and their cozy arrangement for mortgage refinances with Countrywide.
ABC's Marcus Baram is reporting that Democratic Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.) "had their home loans handled by [Countrywide Financial's] VIP desk, where a team of loan officers would work out favorable terms in conjunction with [CEO Angelo] Mozilo, according to two former Countrywide executives."
In the February 4 USA Today, Richard Wolf treated news of Bush's last budget proposal by alternating between liberal Democrats attacking the president and Wolf's own stark language in characterizing the spending blueprint. What's more, Wolf cited two Democrats attacking the spending plan, compared to one Republican depending reductions in spending in the final Bush budget.