On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, a report on the Republican 2012 budget proposal included a sound bite from Democratic Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who decried the plan and ranted: "Medicare would become little more than a discount card. This plan would literally be a death trap for some seniors."
Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell setup the outrageous quote by simply noting: "Democrats call the Republican plan too severe, saying it would hurt the most vulnerable." After the clip of Schultz, O'Donnell went on to conclude her report without offering any rebuttal to the claim.
Following O'Donnell's report, Williams did a news brief on Schultz being named the new head of the Democratic National Committee: "One more note on politics. Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who we saw right toward the end of Kelly's reporting there, was named the new head of the Democratic National Committee today. And she will keep her day job in Congress at the same time." Again, no reaction to Schultz's extreme rhetoric over the GOP budget plan.
In contrast, on the September 9, 2009 Nightly News, Williams could barely conceal his outrage at conservative claims that ObamaCare would include government death panels: "[President Obama] has seen his message hijacked as town meetings have exploded with wild and false rumors of death panels deciding when a human life should end....no one believed we would be here at this point tonight, that they would get rolled over an issue – a false issue like death panels, that the resistance would be this high."
Back on January 12, appearing on the CBS Evening News, Schultz called for more civility in the wake of the Tucson shooting, while denouncing "violent" rhetoric: "Let's remember that Gabby herself talked about, just a few weeks ago, the fact that individuals who shall remain nameless, used violent images and words in her campaign and she talked about how important it was that we dial it back....we all agree that the language and the tone and the tenor of our debate has gotten too intense and that we need to lead by example." How quickly she forgot.
— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.