It is rare that the network news media expose President Barack Obama’s hypocrisy on any point, which is why Mark Knoller’s CBS story on July 22 was so enlightening.
Covering Obama’s July 22 signing of a bill “restoring” jobless benefits to roughly 2.5 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks, Knoller wrote that Obama “changes tune on paying for unemployment benefits extension.”
Many in the news media lauded this “relief” bill and vilified conservatives trying to block its passage. The GOP filibuster was based on the idea that the $34 billion should be paid for, rather than added to the deficit. With a $3.8 trillion budget, they reasoned that something ought to be cut out to pay for the bill.
What CBS surprisingly reported is that in November 2009 Obama agreed with paying for an extension of jobless benefits.
“Now, it's important to note that the bill I signed will not add to our deficit. It is fully paid for, and so it is fiscally responsible,” Obama said on Nov. 6, 2009.
Knoller’s response: “So eight months ago, he said paying for the benefits was the right thing to do, but now he sees no need to do so.” The CBS reporter also mentioned that White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he would look into what Obama said last year and “get back to this reporter. He didn’t.”