ABC Hypes Obama's Sequester Warnings, Spins Cuts as Sounding 'Like a Disaster Movie'
ABC on Sunday continued to hype Barack Obama's hyperbolic claims about sequester cuts. World News reporter David Kerley played a clip of the President and then insisted that the relatively small $85 billion in spending "sounds like a disaster movie."
Kerley warned, "Child care canceled for tens of thousands of kids. Long airport security lines. Flight delays with a shortage of controllers. And military cuts that will leave us 'second rate' according to the Defense Secretary."
Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie on Monday pointed out: "Widely quoted as $85 billion for spending in fiscal year 2013 (which ends on September 30), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) underscores that just $44 billion of spending reduction are slated for 2013, with the rest coming in later years." That amounts to $44 billion in a 2013 budget of $3.6 trillion. Kerley allowed two sentences acknowledging that the cuts "will be phased in over the next seven months."
He also pointed out no worker will be furloughed for at least a month.
However, Kerley added that the reduction in spending won't likely be avoided. The reporter mourned, "So managing and governing through crisis continues." A crisis?
On Friday, Jon Karl fretted over a "fiscal emergency" that could "cripple" much of America.
A transcript of the February 24 segment, which aired at 6:10pm EST, follows:
PAULA FARIS: And back in Washington, Congress returns to work tomorrow with a giant deadline ahead of them. On Friday, $85 billion in automatic across the board budget cuts kick in, unless they can agree on an alternative. So, what are the prospects with just five days ago? ABC's David Kerley reports from the White House.
DAVID KERLEY: For a change, bipartisan agreement in Washington tonight. But it's acknowledgment that those automatic cuts, which just about everyone hates, will probably start, Friday.
CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): Unless the Republicans are willing to compromise and do a balanced approach, I think it will kick in.
TOM COBURN (R-OK): It will kick in, but you're not going to see $85 billion all of a sudden shrink from the federal government.
KERLEY: If you listen to the President--
BARACK OBAMA: Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.
KERLEY: –It sounds like a disaster movie. Childcare canceled for tens of thousands of kids. Long airport security lines. Flight delays with a shortage of controllers. And military cuts that will leave us "second rate" according to the Defense Secretary. But those cuts, five to seven percent for most government departments, will be phased in over the next seven months. And no workers will stay home, furloughed, for at least a month. Still the cuts are across the board. And that worries supporters of the Defense Department.
JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): I can find lots of waste and mismanagement, but, by God, across the board cuts are the worst and most cowardly way to approach this situation.
KERLEY: The roadblock? No budget deal. The President wants more tax revenue. Republicans say no. They've already raised taxes on the rich.
KERLEY: Senate Democrats are promising to bring up a plan to avert the automatic cuts. But it's unlikely that could pass in the Republican House. So managing and governing through crisis continues, Paula?
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.