On Tuesday's broadcast of NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams and reporter Peter Alexander took a look at Rep. Paul Ryan's first few days on the hustings as Mitt Romney's new VP pick. And what did they see? They saw instead was a "not so warm welcome to the Big Leagues" for Paul Ryan.
There have, thus far, been few, substantive complaints about Paul Ryan from the GOP rank and file, from conservative leaders or conservative commentators. Ryan premiered to solid positive poll ratings, the first major poll featuring the VP pick sees Ryan at 50% approval, a very solid debut rating, and a past poll even found that Ryan is doing well with seniors -- exactly the voters that Obama is trying to frighten to death with his obscene campaign rhetoric.
But praise and excitement for Ryan is not what NBC wants people to believe about the Paul Ryan pick. NBC wants people to fear Ryan, to feel he's "controversial," and unpopular.
Hence Williams and Alexander tag team the put down of Paul Ryan on the August 14 broadcast of NBC's Nightly News.
"Well, they're off," Brian Williams said as he introduced Peter Alexander's report. "And for the new man, Paul Ryan," Williams continued, "incoming fire on his own record and a not so warm welcome to the big leagues during his appearance today at the Iowa state fair."
So, instead of praise from Rush Limbaugh, Matt Kibbe the president of FreedomWorks, Fox commentator Charles Krauthammer, and many others from across the Republican side, Brian Williams focuses on two protestors that briefly harassed the VP candidate as he spoke at his first official solo campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair.
In his report, Alexander went on to highlight Obama's campaign appearance where he lied about Ryan in connection with the farm bill. Alexander's report carried video of Obama as he said, "So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. We've got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing."
Naturally Alexander allowed this lie to go by unaddressed. The truth is, the House passed that farm bill. It is the Senate that hasn't done so. Further, Paul Ryan voted for that bill.
So, not only did NBC claim that Ryan was not welcomed to the race -- in direct contravention to the near universal praise he's received from the center right and his voter base -- the network news team also allowed Obama to tell a lie without correction about Ryan's support of the farm bill.
As we can see, NBC may not have welcomed him, but most of those predisposed to vote for him sure did. Not that NBC would ever tell that story.
See Newsbusters for a transcript of the segment.