MRC’s Notable Quotables: Special Drowning in Debt Edition

This week’s Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly newsletter documenting the most outrageous quotes in the liberal media, showcases the media’s slanted coverage of the debt ceiling debate. Over the past two weeks, network reporters touted Barack Obama as “the debt slayer,” impugned the “cut, cap and balance” option as “just wasting time,” smeared Republicans as “hostage-takers” and said they were guilty of “terrorism,” and insisted that “meaningful reform” was impossible without hiking taxes.

At one point, the tax debate lurched to outright Marxism, with one “news” anchor wondering: “Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?”

Here are highlights from this week’s edition; full text and several videos are posted at

Obama’s Media Helpers: It’s Not a Deal Unless Taxes Go Up

“Where are the concessions that the Republicans are willing to make? I heard the President, just this week, saying yeah, he’d be willing to talk about means testing for people on Medicare. I don’t hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture....Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way?”
— Moderator Bob Schieffer to Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio on CBS’s Face the Nation, July 17.

“I think the Republicans look stupid and mean.... I’m sorry, this is stupid. This is a no-brainer in terms of a deal. This is a no brainer and they look mean and they look difficult and they’re going to lose this.”
— Co-host Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, July 12.

Why Do Rich Fat Cats Have Their Boot on Workers’ Throats?

“We haven’t had tax increases over the last ten years. We’ve had a recession, we’ve had two wars to fight. Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?”
— MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts during live coverage following President Obama’s July 15 press conference.

Decrying Republican “Hostage-Takers” — “It’s Terrorism”

Salon’s Joan Walsh: “These people, the Tea Partiers and their friends and their enablers and their corporate friends like Dick Armey, they have created this shrieking on the right....They’re paying the lowest taxes in 50 years — more than 50 years, more than my lifetime — and they are still complaining. And some of them aren’t complaining. There are some good business people who know this game of chicken, in particular, is deadly and it’s wrong and it’s hostage-taking. And you shouldn’t negotiate with hostage-takers.”
Host Chris Matthews: “I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree. It’s terrorism.”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, July 5.

Actually Balancing the Budget = “Just Wasting Time”

“Tea Party conservatives love this plan. The President has already said that he’s going to veto it. Do we really have time for a plan that is really just show, Kelly?”
— Co-host Ann Curry on NBC’s Today, July 19, talking about the Republican plan to “cut, cap and balance” the federal budget.

“No one believes that this has any chance of passing; therefore, this looks very political. Is that risky for the Republicans in terms of it looking like they’re just wasting time?”
— Co-host Amy Robach on the July 16 Today.

“Unreasonable” to Blame Obama’s Spending for Big Debt

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform: “Our friend, President Obama, has said he won’t try and solve the problem he created with his spending unless people give him more money.”
Host Ali Velshi: “Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. ‘He created with his spending?’ You didn’t just suggest that our budget problem is because of President Obama, did you, Grover?...Are we in this debt situation because of the Obama administration, Grover?”
Norquist: “Yes.”
Velshi: “Okay, we’re going to pass by that question, because that’s an unreasonable position.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Your Money, July 16.

Big Spending Obama Now “the Debt Slayer”

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson: “Politically, I think the White House believes this is a winner for them, to go for the big deal, to be seen going for the big deal and-”
Moderator David Gregory: “-the debt slayer. The President as debt slayer.”
Robinson: “Exactly.”
— NBC’s Meet the Press, July 10.

Reporters Beg Obama to Stick to His Liberal Guns

“You keep talking about balance, shared sacrifice, but in the $4 trillion deal that you’re talking about, roughly, it seems to be now at about four-to-one spending to taxes; we’re talking about $800 billion in taxes, roughly. That doesn’t seem very fair to some Democrats.”
USA Today White House correspondent Rich Wolf to President Obama at his July 11 press conference.

“And now with these budget cuts looming, you have minorities, the poor, the elderly, as well as people who are scared of losing jobs, fearful....”
— April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, later at the same press conference.

The “Ecstatic Human Achievement” That Is Barack Obama

“Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph....‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy....Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”
Esquire’s Stephen Marche in a column for the magazine’s August 2011 issue: “How Can We Not Love Obama? Because Like It or Not, He Is All of Us.”

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