ABC, CBS Provide Skeptical Looks at Obama's Plan to Spend More, Cut the Deficit; NBC Avoids
Published: 1/27/2011 12:15 PM ET
Of the three evening newscasts, only NBC's Chuck Todd on Wednesday offered no critical analysis of Barack Obama's call for both new spending and deficit reduction. ABC's Jake Tapper actually investigated the proposed plans and concluded, "...It almost looks like a wash between his new ideas for cutting and his new ideas for spending."
CBS's Chip Reid also highlighted Republican opposition and the fact that the deficit reduction plan doesn't include Medicare or Social Security. Yet, Todd, appearing on Nightly News, simply parroted, "The President was reinforcing a call he made last night for greater investment and innovation and infrastructure to keep America competitive."
He blandly asserted, "For the most part, Republican leaders had nice things to say about the president's State of the Union address, but skepticism remained over the debt and deficit." (The network correspondent also featured a quote from Senator Mitch McConnell calling the cuts "completely inadequate.")
World News' Tapper provided the most thorough deconstruction of the apparent contradiction between calling for deficit reductions and $1.1 trillion in new spending:
JAKE TAPPER: Roughly $60 billion dollars over ten years. Redoubling efforts to improve infrastructure, another $400 billion dollars. Giving 80 percent of Americans access to high speed rail, $100 billion dollars. Total new spending, $1.1 trillion dollars. So, it almost looks like wash between his new ideas for cutting and his new ideas for spending. Even some supporters in Wisconsin today seemed skeptical of this new approach.
Over on CBS' Evening News, Reid alerted, "Republicans condemned the President's so-called investments as nothing more than wasteful stimulus spending."
He also pointed out, "In fact, the President's freeze applies only to 12 percent of the budget, and leaves completely untouched the massive entitlement programs - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security- that threaten to drown the nation in debt."
None of the information presented by Tapper or Reid appeared in Todd's report.
A transcript of the World News segment, which aired at 6:30EST on January 26, follows: