NBC Touts Obama 'Sticking to His Guns' on Budget While His Minions Bash 'Irresponsible' GOP

In a dramatically one-sided report on Monday's NBC Today about the government shutdown, White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared: "President Obama is sticking to his guns, demanding Republicans end the shutdown by passing a so-called 'clean C.R.,' a budget extension without any changes to the President's health care law." [Listen to the audio]

After a brief soundbite of Speaker John Boehner explaining that such a bill could not pass the Republican-controlled House, Alexander offered more administration spin: "The White House is challenging Boehner to put that to a test. And a pro-Obama group is accusing the GOP of being irresponsible."

In an attempt to bolster those accusations, Alexander touted: "An NBC News count shows as many as 22 Republicans would likely vote with Democrats to reopen the government today, no strings attached. That's more than the 217 votes needed."

During the report, Alexander highlighted some of the negative effects of the ongoing shutdown: "Families like the McCurtains in Massachusetts are still being hurt by the shutdown. Their daughter, Abby, suffering from a rare disorder, can't participate in a new clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health."

What Alexander refused to tell viewers was that House Republicans on Wednesday – one day into the shutdown – passed legislation to fund the National Institutes of Health, among other government programs.

When asked if the Senate would pass the NIH funding, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded: "Why would we want to do that?" Alexander made no mention of that either.

On Thursday's Nightly News, correspondent Tom Costello did an entire story on NIH funding being cut off by the shutdown, but like Alexander, censored any mention of the GOP proposal or Reid's rejection of it.

On Monday, Co-host Savannah Guthrie introduced Alexander's report by amplifying fearmongering over the shutdown: "In Washington, the United States is edging closer to the possibility of the first ever default on the government's debt."

Moments later, Alexander piled on:

And now the clock is ticking toward another potentially disastrous deadline, October 17th, when the U.S. hits it's borrowing limit, the debt ceiling it's called, when the country runs out of money to pay it's bills....[Treasury] Secretary [Jack] Lew said that Congress is playing with fire....if Congress does nothing...we're going to be headed to the first default in this country's history.

In an interview with CNBC, the CEO of Moody's credit rating agency explained that "It is extremely unlikely" that U.S. would default on its debt, even if no debt ceiling agreement were to be reached by the October 17 deadline. Forbes offered a similar analysis.

Here is a full transcript of Alexander's October 7 report:

7:04AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And in Washington, the United States is edging closer to the possibility of the first ever default on the government's debt. Speaker John Boehner has ruled out a House vote on a bill to boost the borrowing authority unless there are concessions from President Obama. NBC's White House correspondent Peter Alexander's got the very latest. Peter, good morning to you.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: No Deal in D.C.; Some Workers Return as Obama Calls for New Vote]

PETER ALEXANDER: Savannah, good morning to you. We are now in week two of this government shutdown and there's no indication that it'll be resolved before that next significant deadline over the borrowing limit that is just ten days away. There are no meetings scheduled between the two sides, meaning Americans may be the ones forced to swallow a double dose of Washington dysfunction.

Back on the job, more than 300,000 civilian Defense Department employees returned to work today, recalled by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, including 3,000 at the Pearl Harbor shipyard in Hawaii.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII]: This is a huge relief for the federal workers.

ALEXANDER: But families like the McCurtains in Massachusetts are still being hurt by the shutdown. Their daughter, Abby, suffering from a rare disorder, can't participate in a new clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [FATHER, MCCURTAIN FAMILY]: We're angry. You know, angry for my daughter. How can – how can they not get along to make this work?

ALEXANDER: In Washington, President Obama is sticking to his guns, demanding Republicans end the shutdown by passing a so-called "clean C.R.," a budget extension without any changes to the President's health care law. But House Speaker John Boehner insists that wouldn't pass.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER [R-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE]: There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean C.R.

ALEXANDER: The White House is challenging Boehner to put that to a test. And a pro-Obama group is accusing the GOP of being irresponsible.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B [ORGANIZING FOR ACTION AD]: We're all losing out.

ALEXANDER: An NBC News count shows as many as 22 Republicans would likely vote with Democrats to reopen the government today, no strings attached. That's more than the 217 votes needed.

And now the clock is ticking toward another potentially disastrous deadline, October 17th, when the U.S. hits it's borrowing limit, the debt ceiling it's called, when the country runs out of money to pay it's bills. On Meet the Press, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew offered this warning.

JACK LEW [TREASURY SECRETARY]: If we cross the line, we're going to a place that we've never gone. It's very dangerous.

ALEXANDER: Secretary Lew said that Congress is playing with fire. Savannah, as you noted, if Congress does nothing, that we're going to be headed to the first default in this country's history. Both sides insist they don't want that to happen. Both sides say they're looking for a way out, but at this point, it's entirely unclear what that is.

GUTHRIE: Alright, another tough week in Washington, Peter, thank you so much.

— Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.