CBS Goes to Statue of Liberty to Hype Shutdown's 'Ripple Effect'

On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen used the Statue of Liberty as a live backdrop to play up how "visitors would miss out on the Smithsonian and its 19 museums...even the National Zoo" if the federal budget impasse leads to a government shutdown. Nguyen also highlighted that the "Cherry Blossom Festival...[is] set to wrap up this weekend, but the parade may not march on if the government shuts down."

Fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 10 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, by outlining that the cost of a shutdown might be $8 billion a week "because there are so many government employees who won't be working, agencies that will shut down, and there are costs to restarting them, including our country's national parks, which is where we find...Betty Nguyen at Liberty State Park, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, with more on the expected impact at those locations."

Nguyen began with the shutdown's possible effect on the visitors to the monument in New York Harbor and expanded out to what might be the negative effects at all of the national parks, along with the government-funded sights in Washington, DC:

NGUYEN: The Statue of Liberty is just one national monument that would close if the government does shut down. Now, let me put this in perspective for you: 10,000 people visit her every single day- that is 5 million people each year- and she is just one of many of the different national parks in the system. There are 394 national parks across the country. In April, some 800,000 visitors will spend $32 million a day at these parks. Now, that's money that would be lost from local economies across the country. Even more bad news: nearly 20,000 park employees would be sent home.

Now, out west, one major attraction that would be affected is Yellowstone National Park. It's a popular destination for campers who might have to pitch their tents elsewhere, if the government shuts down. Another big attraction: Washington, DC- visitors would miss out on the Smithsonian and its 19 museums, galleries, even the National Zoo. Also in DC, the Cherry Blossom Festival- that's set to wrap up this weekend, but the parade may not march on if the government shuts down. Now, along with government employees that would be furloughed, some 15,000 people, who work around these national monuments and parks- in the hotels, the restaurants, the gift shops- they would be deeply affected if the government does shut down.

After the end of the report, Jarvis added, "There's a ripple effect on all of these things." Anchor Chris Wragge replied, "Yeah, without a doubt, and we wait and see what happens."

Nguyen's report lines up nicely with the mainstream media's playbook from the 1995 shutdown. The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens noted on Thursday that this kind of coverage is a rerun of the cliches that the liberal media ran 15 years ago.

- Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.