National Public Radio has been cheerleading for President Barack Obama throughout the shutdown, and exulted in his political win the morning after Congress passed legislation to end the confrontation. But Morning Edition host Renee Montagne went even further in her celebration on Thursday, exonerating President Obama from any responsibility and welcoming Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) for a one-sided interview.
It was Congress, Montagne said, that had “kicked the can down the road”–not President Obama at all, who has proposed budget after budget of massive spending and deficits and demanded debt ceiling hikes; not President Obama, who demanded and received exactly what he wanted out of the deal Congress was forced to pass; not President Obama, who refused to negotiate and made the shutdown as painful as possible.
Montagne offered no resistance whatsoever to Rep. Israel’s claim that Democrats were willing to pass balanced budgets, or his condescension to Republicans, whom he hoped had learned their lesson. Notably, Israel did not mention the t-word–“taxes”–but Montagne did not ask about that. She asked whether he was willing to compromise on entitlements and merely accepted his vague assurances at face value.
In closing, Montagne prompted Israel to look ahead to the 2014 midterm elections, asking Israel–who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee–whether voters would remember the shutdown. What followed was a string of Democrat talking points, unquestioned. No Republican was presented to offer that party’s perspective on the budget negotiations or the 2014 race. Taxpayer-funded NPR at its finest.