The Hill Is Not A Serious Source For Journalism

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 31, 2009

How could it miss the obvious retort to the latest batch of Democratic talking points?

Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday blamed Capitol Hill media for setting an August deadline for health reform and Republicans for blocking the bill’s progress.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Conference Secretary Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also acknowledged that critics will “pour it on” during the coming August recess and they plan to respond in kind.

Reid said reporters created a fictitious deadline of a successful vote by the August recess, and downplayed the fact that the chamber won’t meet that mark.

“That is a deadline that you created,” Reid told a group of about 75 reporters. “It’s not like we don’t have a product. Significant progress has been made … The mere fact that this wasn’t done by last Friday or by five o’clock doesn’t mean we’re not going to get a quality product.”

Truly absurd. The Obama Administration was the main proponent of an August deadline. It was the President who said repeatedly that one cannot get anything done in Washington without a deadline, and that as a consequence, he wanted Congress to pass a health care reform bill and put it on his desk by August. There is no way that anyone can claim with a straight face that this was a media-created deadline.

If Reid, Durbin, Schumer, and Murray genuinely believe that the press was behind the creation of the August deadline, then I shudder to think of how out of touch they may be on other matters as well. If, however, they thought they could just put one past the public, then it behooves the media to call them on their efforts to mislead.

Too bad the Hill failed to do that.

Previous post:

Next post: