It wasn't enough for "Meet the Press" host David Gregory to nicely set up Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to blame Standard and Poor's downgrade of America's credit rating on the Tea Party Sunday.
The producers actually felt Kerry's "Tea Party Downgrade" comment was important enough to replay again at the end of the show (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Senator, as you know, this is part of a debate about America's influence in the rest of the world. And our economy and this debt fight has raised similar questions. And now the other big news that markets are going to be reacting to tomorrow and that is the downgrade of America's credit rating. Standard & Poor's issued a release on Friday, and this was part of its justification: "The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, less predictable than we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge." ...
Is this a wakeup call to Washington?
SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D-MASSACHUSETTS): Well, it's a partial wakeup call. I believe this is, without question, the "tea party downgrade." This is the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and, and reforms in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue. I think this is one of the most telling, important moments in our country's history right now.
Notice how Gregory nicely set his liberal guest up to attack his foes without actually asking him fiscal specifics about S&Ps statement?
As NewsBusters reported moments ago, although S&P did discuss Washington politics in its explanation of why it cut America's credit rating, the bulk of its eight page analysis dealt with our spiraling debt and unrestrained spending.
I guess Gregory didn't feel such inconvenient truths were important to address with the Senator.
Making matters worse, it appears Gregory and his producers got what they wanted from Kerry, for in the final "Trends and Takeaways" segment of the program, with less than a minute left, they aired his remarks again:
GREGORY: We talked a lot about the credit rating downgrade. Senator John Kerry on the program, at the beginning of the program, reacted to it this way.
KERRY: This is the tea party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal, to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, have a mix of reductions and, and reforms in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue.
GREGORY: Alan Greenspan, about 15 seconds...
Could they have been any more obvious without banging each and every viewer over the head with a crowbar?
By playing this again, the good folks at the supposedly impartial NBC News were making it crystal clear they agreed with Kerry.
This means more and more the differences between MSNBC and NBC News are becoming less and less apparent.
Makes you wonder how Comcast and General Electric feel about that.