Networks Ignore Harry Reid's Refusal to Call Vote on Tax Cut Extension; NBC's Viquiera Raised Question in WH Briefing

July 12th, 2012 12:40 PM

As I noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to call a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, even though President Barack Obama days earlier urged passage of such tax cuts as soon as possible. Predictably, however, the July 11 editions of the network evening newscasts  -- ABC's World News, the CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News -- all ignored the development. Ditto with the network morning shows today.

Each evening newscast did, however, note the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the first such vote after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax.

"For the 33rd time," an exasperated Diane Sawyer noted, "the House of Representatives voted to repeal the president's health care law. It was mainly on partisan lines," the ABC anchor sniffed, adding that, "As ever, the vote now goes to the Senate, where it will almost certainly, once again, be voted down, if it's even voted on at all."

Curiously absent, of course, was any mention that Reid is now not only blocking Republican measures but also ones favored by a Democratic president.

"With so much urgent business before the House, why spend so much time voting to repeal the law over and over again?" CBS anchor Scott Pelley complained on the July 11 Evening News. Hmm, urgent business like passing an extension of the Bush middle class tax cuts?

To his credit, NBC News White House correspondent Mike Viquiera noted Reid's refusal to call a vote in a question posed to White House press secretary Jay Carney in the July 11 briefing (emphasis mine):

Both sides continue to talk past each other. The House vote today that you've already decried; Senator Reid blocked bringing up the President's tax cut proposal in the Senate -- you can call it gamesmanship, political posturing, whatever -- both sides talking past each other, but the President is speaking only to Democrats today. Why not get Republicans up here and get the ball rolling on this?

In other words, it's one thing to slam Republicans alone for gridlock, but Democrats, including President Obama share the blame. Viquiera, however, was not featured on the July 11 Nightly News.

Two stories were filed on Nightly News last night from Washington, by Andrea Mitchell and Kelly O'Donnell regarding Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D-Ill.) strange medically-related absence from Congress and the ObamaCare repeal vote respectively.

Neither Mitchell nor O'Donnell noted Reid's refusal to "get the ball rolling" on a tax cut extension debate.