On Sunday's Reliable Sources, guest David Zurawik mocked "out of town reporters" who met with the White House about sequestration and simply repeated the administration's talking points back to their local channels, "like an Obama commercial."
However, CNN displayed that same uncritical journalism over and over on the sequester. Obama administration officials freaked out about looming budget cuts to their respective agencies and CNN simply relayed the hype to its viewers, comparing the cuts to the asteroid and calling them a "man-made disaster." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Zurawik's criticism of one Baltimore reporter was that, "It was like a campaign commercial, I swear. The reporter did no context, no background, just took the White House line and fed it to Baltimore viewers." Well last Wednesday's The Situation Room was a prime example of that.
"President Obama is warning of dire consequences for all of us if lawmakers don't act quickly," host Wolf Blitzer opened the newscast repeating the President's message. "The President clearly wants all of us to be very, very worried about the budget axe that's about to fall," he began the third hour of the show.
Correspondent Erin McPike relayed White House numbers on health service cuts:
"Just this morning the President said, quote, hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. And the White House also estimates that cuts to mental health funding will leave 373,000 Americans left untreated."
Reporters channeled the frenzy of administration officials. Correspondent Joe Johns, for instance, reported that according to Obama, cuts to the justice system were "an issue of national security." McPike said that "the Agriculture Department also thinks our food supply might be at risk."
Last Tuesday, CNN's Carol Costello and Christine Romans hammered the "draconian" sequester cuts. Costello even compared them to the asteroid that recently came close to Earth.