MELTDOWN: Nets Freak Out Over Proposed Funding Cuts to the Special Olympics

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos went before Congress recently to defend the administration’s proposed almost $18 million cut to the Special Olympics, a private organization. Despite the fact that federal funding only made up a fraction of the Special Olympics’ budget, the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) had total meltdowns during their evening programs.

ABC senior national correspondent Terry Moran had arguably the most visceral reaction, during World News Tonight. “For more than 50 years, the Special Olympics have been part of a revolutionary movement, putting people with intellectual disabilities front and center, in a new light on the world stage. For decades, the government supported the games, but now the Trump administration wants to eliminate all federal funding,” he bitterly announced.

“The $17.6 million the games receive from the government is a tiny fraction of Trump's proposed $4.75 trillion budget proposal. But it represents a significant chunk of the Special Olympics’ annual revenue. And some charities did get federal support from this administration,” Moran suggested.

But Moran seemed to be intentionally misleading viewers. While he claimed the almost $18 million was a “significant chunk” of their budget, that was not true.

According to correspondent Chip Reid’s report on CBS Evening News, the Special Olympics had a budget of over $100 million. He also shared a graphic (pictured above) showing that the organization received roughly 90 percent of its budget from private contributions, with the rest coming from governmental sources.

 

 

The Jack Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami would get $20 million. Nicklaus is a golfing buddy of the President's,” Moran added to suggest shady dealing by President Trump. He also touted bipartisan support for the Special Olympics and suddenly cared about federal spending: “Partly because of that support, partly because cutting it won't make a dime's worth of difference in the $1.1 trillion deficit this administration has run up.”

Despite admitting that “most of the Special Olympics budget comes from private sources,” Reid was also frantically sounding the panic alarm with the hyperbolic grandstanding from Democrats. “I still can't understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget. You zero that out. It’s appalling,” California Rep. Barbara Lee decried in a soundbite.

Reid also cheered the administration’s previous failed attempts to remove the funding:

The Trump administration has already tried and failed twice to kill funding for Special Olympics. And today a key Republican says he has no intention in supporting any cuts, which means Special Olympics will probably win this race to the funding finish line once again.

As for NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson also relied heavily on those shrieking Democrats. “I have two nephews with autism. What is it that we have a problem with with children who are in special education? Why are we cutting all of these programs,” Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan demanded to know of DeVos.

There was no note from Jackson about how much money the Special Olympics had in their budget and no mention of how small of a portion the federal funding was.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
March 27, 2019
6:44:51 p.m. Eastern 

CECILIA VEGA: We're going to turn now to the growing outrage over the Trump administration's plan to slash government funding to the Special Olympics. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defending the move on Capitol Hill saying, the Special Olympics is not a federal program. But some members of Congress call the move appalling. Here's ABC’s senior national correspondent Terry Moran.

[Cuts to video]

TERRY MORAN: For more than 50 years, the Special Olympics have been part of a revolutionary movement, putting people with intellectual disabilities front and center, in a new light on the world stage. For decades, the government supported the games, but now the Trump administration wants to eliminate all federal funding.

(…)

MORAN: On Capitol Hill, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos under fire.

(…)

MORAN: The $17.6 million the games receive from the government is a tiny fraction of Trump's proposed $4.75 trillion budget proposal. But it represents a significant chunk of the Special Olympics’ annual revenue. And some charities did get federal support from this administration. The Jack Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami would get $20 million. Nicklaus is a golfing buddy of the President's.

[Cuts back to live]

VEGA: And Terry Moran joins us now from Washington. Terry, tonight, lawmakers from both parties are making it clear, the Special Olympics will not lose its federal funding?

MORAN: Absolutely, Cecilia. The Special Olympics enjoys broad bipartisan support. Leaders in both parties are saying this funding won't get eliminated. Partly because of that support, partly because cutting it won't make a dime's worth of difference in the $1.1 trillion deficit this administration has run up. Cecilia.

VEGA: Big number there. Okay, Terry, Thank you.

 

CBS Evening News
March 27, 2019
6:36:11 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: The Secretary of Educate was on capitol hill today defending her proposed budget cuts. That includes $18 million cut from Special Olympics. Betsy DeVos called it a, quote, "awesome organization" but said it doesn't need government funds. Here's Chip Reid.

[Cuts to video]

CHIP REID: For 50 years the Special Olympics has helped countless Americans with disabilities feel special.

DUSTIN PLUNKETT: Special Olympics means the world to me.

REID: Dustin Plunkett has played half a dozen different sports and says that's why the bullies now leave him alone.

PLUNKETT: Because it helped me find my voice and stand up for myself and put it into the voice. But I wish the people who bullied me could see me today.

REID: Most of the Special Olympics budget comes from private sources, but about $18 million a year comes from the federal government. In its new budget, the Trump administration proposes eliminating that funding. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

BETSY DEVOS: We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget.

REID: That left some Democrats fuming.

REP. BARBARA LEE (CA-D): I still can't understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget. You zero that out. It’s appalling.

REP. MARK POCAN (WI-D): Do know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut, madam secretary? [Crosstalk] It's 272,000 kids. I'll answer that for you. It's okay. No problem.

REID: DeVos responded today noting that “Special Olympics is able to raise more than $100 million every year. The federal government cannot fund every worthy program,” she said, “particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations.” The organization's chairman, Tim Shriver, says Special Olympics is so popular because it is not just about sports, it's about inclusion.

TIM SHIVER: People who don't have disabilities stepped onto a field to cheer for a child with Down Syndrome. She crossed the finish line. Her arms went up in the air, the whole world changed.

[Cuts back to live]

REID: The Trump administration has already tried and failed twice to kill funding for Special Olympics. And today a key Republican says he has no intention in supporting any cuts, which means Special Olympics will probably win this race to the funding finish line once again. Jeff?

GLOR: Chip Reid, thank you very much.

 

NBC Nightly News
March 27, 2019
7:13:51 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Meantime, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos under fire tonight for proposing deep budget cuts that could reshape the education system. The idea drawing the most outrage, cutting of funding for the Special Olympics. Our Hallie Jackson has more.

[Cuts to video]

HALLIE JACKSON: The Education Department on defense after this.

(…)

JACKSON: Secretary Betsy DeVos defending a proposal to cut funding for the Special Olympics.

REP. MARK POCAN (WI-D): I have two nephews with autism. What is it that we have a problem with with children who are in special education? Why are we cutting all of these programs?

BETSY DEVOS: We have continued to retain the funding levels for I.D.E.A. --

(…)

JACKSON: What message do you think it sends Secretary DeVos wants to cut your funding?

TIM SHRIVER: I think it sends a message to everybody that you always have to fight for what's good and it's never easy. And certainly, our athletes know that. They've had to fight for decades if not centuries to be seen, to be understood.

JACKSON: The lawmakers who ultimately decide on funding say these cuts won't happen. With DeVos today pointing to other ways the administration supports children with disabilities, explaining she's personally supported the Special Olympics, but “the federal government cannot fund every worthy program.” Hallie Jackson, NBC News, the White House.

NB Daily Economy Budget Bias by Omission Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Chip Reid Terry Moran Hallie Jackson Betsy DeVos Donald Trump

Sponsored Links