David Shuster Copies Daily Kos Post to Bash GOP Senator

April 2nd, 2009 11:07 AM

MSNBC's David Shuster appears to now sadly be taking tips from colleague Keith Olbermann, for on Wednesday the "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" host did a segment bashing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) the text of which appears to be taken directly from a Daily Kos posting.

Even more absurd, both Shuster and the DKer conveniently cherry picked a statement made by McConnell back in 2006 that when put in the context of what was occurring on Capitol Hill at the time makes those pointing fingers look tremendously foolish.

Isn't it marvelous the far left have their own television network to funnel misinformation through?

But don't take my word for it. Let's first look at the video and transcript:

DAVID SHUSTER, HOST: Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell the Republican Senate Minority Leader is accusing President Obama of being too partisan. And that takes us to tonight's "Hypocrisy Watch." First the background. On Sunday, during an interview on CNN, McConnell sharply criticized President Obama's policies. That's fine. But McConnell went further and complained that President Obama has not been inclusive enough.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-Ky): Well we've had plenty of conversations, but I must say I'm disappointed after two months the president has not governed in the middle as I hoped he would. But it's not too late. He's only been in office a couple months. Still, before him are the opportunities to deal with us on a truly bipartisan basis.

SHUSTER: McConnell wants President Obama to deal with Republicans in a truly bipartisan basis. Well, that's interesting because remember when President George W. Bush was in office and Republicans led by Mitch McConnell controlled the Senate? When Democrats asked for less partisanship and more cooperation, Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of being obstructionists. He said, quote, "How can we have bipartisanship in the Congress if Democrats will not take yes for an answer?"

This past weekend McConnell also complained about Democrats possibly using a procedure that would only require 51 votes to get the President's agenda passed instead of 60.

MCCONNELL: A way to jam the minority in the Senate is also something they're seriously contemplating.

SHUSTER: That's right. McConnell criticized Democrats for possibly jamming the minority. McConnell knows all about that approach because Republicans used it when they were in the majority. Senator McConnell, we appreciate it's tough being in the minority in the U.S. Senate. However, when you criticize the majority's tactics, that you as Majority Leader embraced, that's hypocrisy and it's wrong.

First of all, Mr. Shuster, McConnell was NEVER Majority Leader. The last time the Republicans held the Senate, their leader was Bill Frist. It would be nice for you to get your facts straight when lambasting someone.

But that's just the beginning, for let's now take a gander at that Daily Kos post from Monday that looks eerily similar to Shuster's report Wednesday:

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was on CNN's State of the Nation, whining that:

I must say I'm disappointed. After two months, the president has not governed in the middle as I had hoped he would. But it's not too late. He's only been in office a couple of months. Still before him are the opportunities to deal with us on a truly bipartisan basis.

And back when Republicans controlled the White House, Senate and the House?

How can we have bipartisanship in the Congress if Democrats won't take 'yes' for an answer?


Isn't that marvelous? Now MSNBC has at least two hosts willing to take marching orders directly from one of the most liberal websites on the planet.

Parents NBC and GE must be so proud.

Of course, there's another reason why Shuster just blindly taking information from Daily Kos is foolish: the diarist and he took McConnell's 2006 quote out of context and were therefore the ones guilty of hypocrisy.

Let's look at that 2006 statement by McConnell, shall we? As the Washington Post reported on August 4, 2006:

Senate Democrats blocked a Republican bid to combine a tax cut for the wealthy with a wage increase for the working poor last night, adding a volatile economic issue to this fall's congressional campaigns. 

The story is about the "trifecta bill" that Republicans tried to pass before the August 2006  recess. At the time, one of the biggest Democrat issues was that there had been no increase in the minimum wage for ten years. They had been calling for a vote on such for quite some time.

Republicans -- in an act of REAL bipartisanship!!! -- thought that by giving into one of the Democrats' top priorities they could get through one of the GOP's in exchange: estate tax relief.

But there's more, for both Parties were interested in the extension of popular business tax provisions. So, all three were included in a bill that would have let the Democrats go home in August getting one of their hot-button issues passed while only having to yield on one GOP demand.

Isn't that bipartisanship? As the Post reported:

Republican leaders in Congress have long wanted to eliminate or slash the taxes levied on estates left by wealthy people, but the Senate has repeatedly refused. Hoping to attract enough Democratic support, House leaders last week added a sweetener: the first increase in the federal minimum wage in nine years, plus an extension of several popular tax breaks for businesses. 

Sound at all familiar to the way Shuster OR the Daily Kos poster set up McConnell's quote? Let's look at how the Post saw it at the time:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said all three elements of the bill could have survived simple-majority votes had they been allowed, and he accused the Democrats of being obstructionists. "How can we have bipartisanship in the Congress if Democrats won't take 'yes' for an answer?" he asked.

As such, Shuster also misrepresented the simple-majority issue, for in this case such was being requested by the GOP due to the bipartisan nature of the bill. Therefore, this wasn't an instance of "jamming the minority" for both sides were being appeased in the pending legislation.

Add it all up, and Republicans gave Democrats the opportunity to vote on a minimum wage increase with the trifecta bill in a truly bipartisan manner. Yet, as the Washington Post story noted, Reid led Democrats in filibustering the bill because they didn't like the estate tax relief.

As McConnell claimed, Democrats wouldn't take "Yes" for an answer.

Makes a lot more sense with context, doesn't it? Maybe someone over at MSNBC should tell Shuster what context means, and that he shouldn't just copy what's written at Daily Kos without doing some homework and fact-checking.

After all, given his shoddy journalistic effort on this occasion, the only hypocrisy on display Wednesday was Shuster's.