Networks Give Lefties Cover, Refuse to Assign Blame for Stimulus Bill’s Failure

Listen to the Article!

It’s as if the left knew what they were doing Sunday and Monday -- switching tunes to now opposing the Senate’s massive, $2 trillion stimulus package to help American workers and the economy. Why? Because as Monday’s broadcast network newscasts showed, the liberal media will provide any and all cover, refusing to assign blame to liberals and progressives pulling the carpet out at the last minute.

ABC, CBS, and NBC framed the stimulus package’s failure as merely a “bitter fight” and “political battle” having caused “angry debate” and “frustration.” At times, some of their rhetoric suggested that one side was to blame, but none took the explicit plunge.

 

 

And, naturally, there was not a peep from anchors or reporters about the new wish list (released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), such as demands for the airlines on emissions, “diversity” in corporate boards, newspaper subsidies, and same-day voter registration. The only nod was to airline emissions in a soundbite from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used on NBC Nightly News.

ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir teased the story with only liberal talking points:

The urgent negotiations on the Hill tonight to get help to American families in desperate need as unemployment claims soar. The race to get checks out to American families. But is there accountability in the bill for big corporations -- what they do with the money? [sic]

Later, he chalked up the gridlock to a “political battle” in which “American families…want to know when we are going to help,” but said they would’t find an answer because of “angry debate on the Senate floor” and “frustration after several votes fail.”

Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce followed:

BRUCE: Tonight on Capitol Hill, frantic negotiations over the nearly $2 trillion bill to rescue the American economy.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We’re very close to reaching a deal. Very close. And our goal is to reach a deal today.

BRUCE: But they're not there yet. Twice in 24 hours, Democrats have blocked the Republican bill, insisting it puts big businesses ahead of American workers and doesn't do enough to help families, health care workers, and hospitals, but Republicans say Democrats are playing politics….The bill would give millions of Americans a $1,200 check and $500 per child. But the biggest sticking point? A $500 billion relief fund for corporations. Democrats say it's a slush fund to dole out money with few strings attached. On the Senate floor today, anger and frustration.

In contrast, the CBS Evening News went furthest in assigning blame. Anchor Norah O’Donnell noted in a tease that “the Wall Street meltdown continue[d]” seeing as how there was “no relief in sight with Congress unable to agree on a stimulus package.”

O’Donnell reiterated before bringing in congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes that “[t]he gridlock led to a sell-off on Wall Street” and wondered whether “Congress understand[s] the urgency.”

Cordes replied that “[t]hey do, Norah, and senators had been hoping to vote today, but now the time line is slipping because Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is still locked in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Republicans argued it is taking too long and that the markets and workers need certainty now.”

“Emotions ran high today as Senators tried to seal a $2 trillion deal,” she added.

At the end of the segment, Cordes conceded that a vote wouldn’t happen until late Tuesday at the earliest, which led O’Donnell to deliver this jab: “Which is raising questions about what's going to happen with the markets tomorrow.”

Shifting finally to NBC, anchor Lester Holt described the impasse as “the Senate fight[ing] over that nearly $2 trillion rescue package” and a “bitter fight on Capitol” as the Senate remained “deadlocked.”

Three days after this now-infamous back-and-forth with the President, here’s how correspondent Peter Alexander framed the scene:

ALEXANDER: Tonight, Senators still clashing over that massive relief package designed to rescue the paralyzed economy, including sending checks to millions of Americans. Senate Democrats again today blocking the nearly $2 trillion emergency bill. Republicans accusing them of trying to squeeze in items that are unrelated to the crisis.

MCCONNELL: They're filibustering hospital funding and more masks because they want to argue with the airlines over their carbon footprint?

SENATOR JOHN THUNE (R-SD); The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games.

ALEXANDER: Democrats complaining the bill does too little for workers and too much for corporations, including a $425 billion Treasury Department fund, they say, without enough oversight.

SCHUMER: The bill still includes something that most Americans don't want to see. Large corporate bailouts with almost no strings attached.

To see the relevant transcripts from March 23, click “expand.”

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
March 23, 2020
9:31 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: The Battle on the Hill]

DAVID MUIR: The urgent negotiations on the Hill tonight to get help to American families in desperate need as unemployment claims soar. The race to get checks out to American families. But is there accountability in the bill for big corporations -- what they do with the money? [sic] And news on the first U.S. Senator to test positive. And what senator Amy Klobuchar has revealed about her husband.

(….)

9:42 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Economic Emergency

MUIR: In the meantime, we’re going to turn next to the Hill tonight, the political battle and American families who want to know, when are we going to get help? Including those $1,200 checks for individuals who make $75,000 or less, and a check for less for people who make up to $99,000. Angry debate on the Senate floor, frustration after several votes fail. So what’s going on? Here's Mary Bruce on the hill tonight.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Economic Emergency; Political Deadlock Over Huge Coronavirus Relief Bill]

MARY BRUCE: Tonight on Capitol Hill, frantic negotiations over the nearly $2 trillion bill to rescue the American economy.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We’re very close to reaching a deal. Very close. And our goal is to reach a deal today.

BRUCE: But they're not there yet. Twice in 24 hours, Democrats have blocked the Republican bill, insisting it puts big businesses ahead of American workers and doesn't do enough to help families, health care workers, and hospitals, but Republicans say Democrats are playing politics.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This is not a juicy political opportunity, this is a national emergency.

BRUCE: The bill would give millions of Americans a $1,200 check and $500 per child. But the biggest sticking point? A $500 billion relief fund for corporations. Democrats say it's a slush fund to dole out money with few strings attached. On the Senate floor today, anger and frustration.

SENATOR BEN SASSE (R-NE): Is there objection?

SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): Thank you, Mr. President.

SCHUMER: I object.

MCCONNELL: Oh, come on.

SCHUMER: I object.

SASSE: The Democratic leader objection is heard.

COLLINS: This is unbelievable.

[SCREEN WIPE]

SENATOR JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): You know what Americans are thinking right now, Mr. President? They're thinking that this country was founded by geniuses, but is being run by a bunch of idiots.

BRUCE: Congress tonight is racing the clock and the virus itself. Rand Paul now the first senator, and third member of Congress, to test positive. More than a dozen lawmakers in quarantine. Amy Klobuchar's husband has tested positive and is in the hospital. The senator tweeting, “I love him and not being able to be by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease.” The White House, acutely aware of the staggering economic impact of social distancing.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our country wasn't built to be shut down. This is not a country that was build for this.

BRUCE: The President tweeting in all caps, "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF." Trump's closest ally on the Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham, is strongly pushing back, tweeting, "When it comes to how to fight coronavirus, I'm making my decisions based on health care professionals….not political punditry." Now, the Treasury Secretary has been shuttling back and forth between Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer's office all day long, trying to work this out. They're optimistic, but there is still no deal. They're hoping the checks will go out to Americans early next month. But bottom line, we simply don't know exactly when that’s going to happen. David?

MUIR: Alright, Mary Bruce tonight. Mary, thank you.

---

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell
March 23, 2020
6:30 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Blame Game]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Also breaking, no financial relief in sight with Congress unable to agree on a stimulus package, the Wall Street meltdown continues. When will a bailout come for millions of American workers and their families?

(….)

6:36 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Stimulus Standoff]

O’DONNELL: Tonight, Congress still hasn’t agreed on a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package. Another vote failed today in the Senate. The gridlock led to a sell-off on Wall Street. The Dow was down almost 600 points, while the S&P has fallen 30 percent in the last 22 trading days. This is the fastest drop of that size in history. We'll turn now to Nancy Cordes. She is on Capitol Hill tonight. Does Congress understand the urgency here?

NANCY CORDES: They do, Norah, and senators had been hoping to vote today, but now the time line is slipping because Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is still locked in negotiations with treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Republicans argued it is taking too long and that the markets and workers need certainty now.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Senate Fails to Pass Stimulus Bill as Tensions Rise]

SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We don't have time for this.

CORDES: Emotions ran high today ---

SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (D-ME): This is disgraceful.

CORDES: --- as Senators tried to seal a $2 trillion deal.

SENATOR CHRIS MUPRHY (D-CT): We don't think this bill will work.

CORDES: With immediate cash payments for American workers, billions in grants to small businesses, and a surge in unemployment insurance, up to four months worth at full salary, even for freelance or seasonal workers like Detroit's Christina Hayes, who got laid off by delta last week.

CHRISTINA HAYES: We'll have to map out how one bill is paid or if one bill’s going to have to be late. I'm going to have to make it truly work with what they give.

CORDES: Senators know that time is of the essence. Just today, Boeing announced it is temporarily closing some factories, impacting 70,000 workers. G.E. is slashing 10 percent of its workforce, but Democrats are pushing for more restrictions on the bill's $500 billion fund for big industry.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The bill still includes something that most Americans don’t want to see, large corporate bailouts with almost no strings attached.

CORDES: As the virus spreads, the strain on the Senate is starting to show.

SENATOR JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): This bill does not create a slush fund.

CORDES: Kentucky Republican Rand Paul tested positive yesterday. He and four colleagues are self-quarantined. The husband of Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar is hospitalized and on oxygen. Today, President Trump suggested that cutting off commerce to slow the spread could be worse than the virus itself. Vice President Pence has said some critical workers who have been exposed might stay on the job if they wear masks, a notion Governor Cuomo is exploring, as well.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You can't top the economy forever, so we have to start the think about, does everyone stay out of work?

CORDES: Tonight, Democratic senators are telling us they are making progress in these closed-door talks, but they think it might not be until tomorrow night, Norah, that this bill is ready for a vote.

O’DONNELL: Which is raising questions about what's going to happen with the markets tomorrow. Nancy, thank you.

---

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
March 23, 2020
7:01 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: $2 Trillion Showdown]

LESTER HOLT: And a late word tonight from President Trump as the Senate fights over that nearly $2 trillion rescue package that would send checks to Americans.

(….)

7:10 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Emergency Funding Fight]

HOLT: And this of course is why people are turning to their leaders, turning to Washington. So we want to go and look at that bitter fight on Capitol Hill. The senate still deadlocked tonight as Americans and American businesses wait desperately for emergency funding. Peter Alexander now with the latest.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Senate Standoff Over Nearly $2 Trillion Rescue Plan]

PETER ALEXANDER: Tonight, Senators still clashing over that massive relief package designed to rescue the paralyzed economy, including sending checks to millions of Americans. Senate Democrats again today blocking the nearly $2 trillion emergency bill. Republicans accusing them of trying to squeeze in items that are unrelated to the crisis.

SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): They're filibustering hospital funding and more masks because they want to argue with the airlines over their carbon footprint?

SENATOR JOHN THUNE (R-SD); The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games.

ALEXANDER: Democrats complaining the bill does too little for workers and too much for corporations, including a $425 billion Treasury Department fund, they say, without enough oversight.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The bill still includes something that most Americans don't want to see. Large corporate bailouts with almost no strings attached.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Senator Rand Paul Under Fire After Testing Positive]

ALEXANDER: Also tonight, questions about how one senator has responded to the virus. Rand Paul, a physician, after testing positive, now under fire for meeting with Senate colleagues and using the Senate gym while awaiting his test results. Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema blasting it is “irresponsible.” Paul, who says he's shown “no symptoms,” insisting he went beyond current guidelines, saying “it was my extra precaution that led me to get tested.” And tonight, the President is hinting he might scale back those tight restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the virus after the CDC's 15-day guidelines expire.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Trump: ‘We Cannot Let the Cure Be Worse Than the Problem’]

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: America will begin and soon be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months. [SCREEN WIPE] We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

ALEXANDER: While health officials warn it will take longer than 15 days to have an impact, administration officials tell us the President and his advisers are anxious to restart parts of the economy. Lester?

HOLT: Alright. Peter Alexander, thank you.

NB Daily Congress Stimulus Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce Lester Holt David Muir Norah O'Donnell Nancy Cordes Peter Alexander Mitch McConnell Chuck Schumer
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links