Media Savage GOP Budget Cuts: "Throwing Granny In the Snow," "Screwing Younger People"

Vol. 24, No. 9

So This Time It's Not Reckless Left-Wing Hype?


"After many years where Democrats kind of cried wolf about Republicans wanting to throw granny into the snow, this time that's what they have just voted to do."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter during the 6pm ET hour of MSNBC Live, April 15. [Audio/video (0:10): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Spending Hundreds of Billions = "Screwing" Younger People


Host Chris Matthews: "Now the big dodge the Republicans have is, 'Yeah, I voted for it, but it affects people 55, 54 and younger,' and that woman, apparently, in that same exchange, turned around and said, 'Yeah' - when he tried to defend himself - said, 'Yeah, but I care about my nieces and nephews. I don't want them screwed out of Medicare.'..."
Huffington Post's Howard Fineman: "By trying to exempt the younger people also, it doesn't necessarily help the Republicans make their case, because what they're saying to the younger voters is, 'We're going to screw you. We're going to screw you.'"
- Exchange on Hardball, April 25. Under the proposed House Republican budget, annual Medicare spending would increase from $563 billion to $953 billion per year over the next 10 years. [Audio/video (0:21): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Tea Party Just Wants to Hurt Poor and Minorities


"Thirty percent of general Tea Partiers want to cut Medicare. But you look at these numbers on the other side, 69 percent of Tea Partiers against these cuts in Medicare. ...The only cuts that they seem to want are the cuts for the poor people. And you have a modest majority, 52- [Jonathan Alter laughs.] You're laughing because you know how right-wingers think. They don't mind cutting the poor people who get Medicaid."
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 20.

"People love Medicare. And the only one the Tea Party people want to cut is Medicaid because it's for poor people and minorities. That's how they see it at least."
- Matthews on Hardball the next night.

To PBS Host, Both Obama & GOP Victimizing the Poor


"Budgets are moral documents. You can say what you say, but you are what you are. And when you put your budget on the table, that's when we learn who you really are. And I'm not so sure that this is not anything more than an immoral document where the poor are concerned....We avoided a shutdown of government, but we effectively locked out the American people, namely, the poor. And I don't understand why it is in this town that every debate about money always begins and ends with how we can further reward the rich and more punish the poor."
- PBS's Tavis Smiley talking about the budget deal that prevented a government shutdown, NBC's Meet the Press, April 17.

"I think he's given too much time, too much attention to the rich and the lucky, not enough attention to the poor. Not enough focus on jobs. Again, there's a lot on his plate and I'm empathetic toward that. But ultimately are you gonna side with the weak or are you gonna side with the strong?"
- Smiley talking about President Obama on NBC's Today, April 25.

Most Liberal President In History = "Moderate Republican"

"President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he's facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him."
- Washington Post business columnist Ezra Klein in an April 25 blog posting.

If a Republican President Had Said This....


Clip of President Obama's budget speech: "I don't think there's anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill....That's not a vision of the America I know...."
Time's Mark Halperin: "If a Republican President called the Democratic proposals on something like this un-American, I think the press would be up in arms."
Host Joe Scarborough: "They would savage him."
Halperin: "They would be up in arms. I think that kind of rhetoric: for the President to say that what Paul Ryan is doing is not consistent with his vision of America, I think that's rhetoric that only added insult, injury to the insult of inviting him to sit in the front row."
- From MSNBC's Morning Joe, April 14. [Audio/video (0:44): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Obama's "Shared Sacrifice" vs. GOP "Hitting the Most Vulnerable"


"When I hear the current discussion about cutting spending, I'm reminded of what Margaret Thatcher did in Britain during the 1980s, when she dismissed the idea of a civic society and she said that all she wanted to do was focus on individuals. Isn't that what we now have, a president who wants shared sacrifices, an opposition that's solely focused on cuts that would appear to hit the most vulnerable without any consideration for raising taxes?"
- Anchor Martin Bashir on his 3pm ET Martin Bashir following President Obama's budget speech, April 13.

Slamming GOP's "Big Tax Cut for the Wealthy"


"Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they're already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?...If the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would seem to me that's where you get revenue."
- Bob Schieffer to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on CBS's Face the Nation, April 17. [Audio/video (0:44): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"He [Rep. Paul Ryan] is trying to make an even harder sell: That in an era of growing income disparity, taxes for corporations and wealthy Americans should be lowered. [to Ryan] Do you think that you would be getting more support out there if you didn't include this big tax cut for the wealthy?"
- Correspondent Nancy Cordes on the CBS Evening News, April 26. Ryan's proposal is to couple lower tax rates with an end to many deductions, with no net reduction in tax receipts from current levels.

Media Race to Aid Campaign for Higher Taxes


"First up: Why is taxing the rich so hard? Americans know we're going to all end up feeling the cuts in what our government can do no matter what plan finally gets signed. So why is ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy a stumbling block?...Why is it so hard for the Congress, when they get together, to actually raise the top rates back up a bit for the rich?"
- Host Chris Matthews on The Chris Matthews Show, April 17.

Leo Hindery, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength: "Every time I get a tax cut, I get richer. I don't put money back into the economy. I just get richer."
Correspondent Seth Doane: "Leo Hindery, Morris Pearl, and Dennis Mehiel don't agree that raising taxes on the rich will hurt the economy or the rich. And they should know. They're all multi-millionaires....[to Mehiel] Why, in your view, is paying taxes patriotic?"
Dennis Mehiel, Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength: "There are things that we want to do as a society. They're not free."
- CBS's Sunday Morning, April 17. Mehiel ran as a Democrat for Congress in 1994 and lieutenant governor of New York in 2002, while Hindery was one of the original financial backers for the left-wing group Media Matters in 2004.

Let's Blame Republicans for Obama's Low Poll Numbers


"In an odd way, the fact the Republicans and Congress are so poorly regarded, that the whole system is so poorly regarded, drags everybody down, including the President."
- Former Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman on MSNBC's The Last Word, April 22.

Tornado Outbreak: "Is This Something We Have Done?"


"Let's be candid here. When you and I go home, you see friends and family, you get e-mail from people you know. People ask the same question: What's going on here? Is this something we have done, what has happened to the climate, because it seems so much of what we cover is relentless weather-related tragedy?"
- NBC's Brian Williams to meteorologist Greg Forbes, April 28 Nightly News.

"Everybody is asking if climate change played a role here....The thing is, there's no coordinated effort to study what that looks like on climate change compared to severe weather, so we don't know the answer to that."
- Weather editor Sam Champion on ABC's World News, April 28.

Penitent CNN Anchor Confesses "Eco-Sin" of Driving SUV


"Well, in today's 'XYZ,' I'd like confess my sins: I drive a Chevy Tahoe. It gets 15 miles to the gallon in the city....I buy 24 packs of bottled water at a time. Then I throw those bottles away without recycling. In the winter I crank the heat up to 75 or 76. All the light bulbs in my house are still the old school, less efficient incandescent bulbs. Those are my eco-sins. I'm confessing them to you because tomorrow is Earth Day."
- Anchor T. J. Holmes on CNN Newsroom, April 21. [Audio/video (0:53): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Britain's "Wonderful" Socialist Health System


"I think what you're seeing now as well is that unemployment, and Katty [Kay of the BBC] was referring to this, is going to increase now, because the state sector is going to start laying off people....Remember, this country employs over 40 percent of its workforce in the public sector....How many people do you think are employed by the National Health Service, which is a wonderful idea? Over a million people."
- MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Morning Joe in London, April 27.

Likening America's Prison System to Soviet-Era Gulags?


"I would like, maybe in conclusion, to connect this to one of your favorite obsessions, Dylan, which is the budget debate. And what I thought of when we got this data dump, when we're talking about the budget, which is surely an issue, why aren't we talking about American prisons, and the whole, you know, American 'gulag archipelago,' which is hugely expensive? Surely this is a moment for right and left to come together and say: we're spending so much money on jails. We're clearly not getting it right."
- Reuters global editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland on MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show, April 25. The phrase "gulag archipelago" refers to the brutal Soviet prison system which claimed millions of lives during the communist era. [Audio/video (0:37): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Tea Party = Fact-Free "Idiots" in a "Tin Foil Helmet"


Host David Letterman: "What about your Tea Party pals, what do you hear there?"
HBO's Bill Maher: "Well, the Tea Party, you know, they are sad, unfortunate people because - well, they are, because they are, you know, corporate America's useful idiots. (Applause) They are. They - I would have more respect for them if they knew a thing, if any fact could get in that tin foil helmet. If they would get out of their chat rooms and have their house tested for lead for just a minute....I don't have any respect for the tea-(baggers) [word silenced] and I do call them the tea-(baggers) [word silenced again] - even though they hate it. I will stop calling them tea-(baggers) [word silenced for a third time] when they stop calling it 'Obamacare,' that's my deal."
- CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, April 25. [Audio/video (2:04): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matt Hadro
INTERN: Alex Fitzsimmons