ABC and NBC Showcase Weiner's Anti-GOP Scream-Fest Expressing 'the Nation's Frustration'

Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner's theatrical temper tantrum rant on the House floor Thursday night, against supposed Republican obstructionism, animated cable news on Friday and Friday night ABC and NBC elevated it to legitimate news as they imputed great meaning to it as genuine frustration with congressional gridlock. ABC anchor Diane Sawyer announced:

Every now and then, someone seems to express the nation's frustration with the endless wrangling and delay in Congress. And we thought you might like to hear New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. He wanted a vote last night on a $7.4 billion bill, aid for the sick police and firemen who raced to ground zero to rescue people.

Viewers were then treated to more than a minute of Weiner screaming "the gentleman will observe regular order!" and "the gentleman is wrong! The gentleman is providing cover for his colleagues, rather than doing the right thing. It's Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes! It is a shame! A shame!"

Afterward, Sawyer saw "one Congressman who seems to have had enough," only then noting "Republican members accused Weiner of political theater" - political theater which ABC decided to exploit.

Over on the NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Ann Curry set up a story on how "the U.S. House of Representatives erupted in a display of anger and passion that we often don't see."

Unlike ABC, however, Kelly O'Donnell, who said Weiner "came unhinged," pointed out "the real fight was over Democrats using their power to deny Republicans a chance to offer amendments," citing how Republican Congressman Peter King "is all for helping first responders, but he and his fellow Republicans wanted to throw in a ban on health care for illegal immigrants. Democrats blocked that."

O'Donnell concluded by explaining why the majority vote in favor left the bill un-passed: "If you're wondering why Democrats couldn't get this through with a simple majority, they have so many more members. Well, under the rules, because Democrats chose to block the other side from making any amendments they had to get more votes - two-thirds of the House - and Democrats fell short."

From March: "NBC's Williams Showcases 'Gripping' Kennedy Screaming Against Media from the Left"

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.