NPR's Imbalanced Report On Payroll Tax Cut

If one clicks in to listen to National Public Radio’s (NPR) 3 minute report on the recently passed payroll tax cut deal, NPR’s Tamara Keith first plays a clip of a kumbaya-singing Barack Obama calling for action on the payroll tax cut – despite ideology. Then, emphasis mine, Keith claims “a funny thing happened on the way to what was supposed to be a bitterly divided partisan slugfest.” Next comes Democrat Chuck Schumer glowingly praising it as a miracle, saying he hopes for a new spirit of cooperation going forward.

What Keith failed to report is that it was Democrat Tom Harkin who had been threatening a filibuster in this case, requiring a little last minute arm twisting from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to move forward. One would think that as she saw fit to bring up the notion of filibustering on her own, it would have been important enough, as well as balanced, to have included that detail in her report, instead of laying it all on partisanship, portraying the GOP as little more than an obstacle to progress in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) persuaded Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) not to filibuster the deal extending the payroll tax cut, but neither man will comment on their special arrangement.

Ahead of the vote, Harkin tore apart the payroll tax cut deal, warning of the “grave” consequences extending the tax break would have to Social Security and attacking President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for endorsing a deal that would gut a health program he championed. He called it “the devil’s deal.”

Then, after allowing the forever politicking Democrat Schumer to crow of his bright, newfound optimism, a less than inspiring, to the point of being cranky, Senator John McCain spoke for the GOP, who claimed “we’re dumb but not stupid” in pointing out the debacle around a previous effort in December that produced only a short-term arrangement.

Along with NPR’s Keith pointing out that it was a Democrat threatening a filibuster, making opposition non-partisan, the GOP should consider having someone with a keener sense of politics to speak for them, as opposed to McCain, who didn’t even vote for the arrangement after having complained about the lack of movement on the issue for some time.


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