Media watchdog Brent Bozell says the mainstream media's coverage of the government shutdown and budget impasse has been "amazingly dishonest."
"The national media is just an extension of the Obama administration," Bozell, president and founder of the Media Research Center, said Wednesday in an interview with Newsmax TV. "It would be laughable except it's so serious.
"They are mouthing the exact intentions of the Obama administration and the Democratic Senate. It's deplorable. If you look at the two weeks leading up to the shutdown, there were 21 network news stories blaming Republicans for it. How many network news stories blamed Democrats for it? Not one. How's that for balanced journalism?"
Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein recently criticized the media for covering the shutdown in what he described as a 50-50 manner, when the budget impasse should be blamed on the Republican Party.
"The truth is the polar opposite of what he said," Bozell told Newsmax. "Let's start with this: When you talk about how neither side is compromising, what no one in the media is reporting is that the Republican position, the opening position, was a compromise.
"By saying that they would fund everything in the government but not Obamacare, Republicans were agreeing to fund all manner of things they did not want to fund. So, it was a compromise to begin with. You will not find that reported anywhere," he said.
"The other thing you won't find reported anywhere, this talk about a clean CR, a clean debt ceiling arrangement," Bozell continued. "What is clean? Clean is funding everything Democrats want. So, clean is a dishonest word."
Bozell insisted that "the reality is" that the president won't compromise or negotiate, which is "exact same thing" that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said.
"What the media aren't reporting also is that every day Republicans are offering legislation, which if the Democrats were to pass, would ease this shutdown. The Democrats say no to every single piece except the first one, funding the military," he added.
Bozell said the nation has been treated to what he called "an amazingly dishonest series of reporting stories" so far on the shutdown.
"Where's the coverage? Where is the investigation of these outrageous decisions being made?" he continued.
"Who decided that World War II veterans couldn't go to the World War II memorial? Who decided that at Yellowstone they were basically going to kidnap elderly tourists and hold them at bay for two and a half hours? Who's making these decisions? There is no investigation going on."
Bozell said he believes Fox News has provided the most best coverage on the shutdown, calling it "evenhanded.
"The rest have all been lousy," he said.
The worst? "NBC," he said, noting that it did "three stories about children cancer victims not being treated at NIH because of this shutdown" and never told the American people that "the Republican Party has passed legislation to fund children's cancer wards at NIH, and it was the Democrats who said no to it."
Bozell also expressed support for effort to defund Obamacare, saying Republicans led by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were finally saying "no more being rolled on this."
"This Obamacare is an abomination," he said. "It is going to destroy the American economy. Everyone knows it doesn't work. The man who sponsored it in the Democratic Senate calls it a train wreck. The unions want out. Big businesses got an exemption. The Congress has gotten an exemption. Something's got to be done, and what they did was to light a prairie fire where the Republican base has said to the Republican leadership, 'Do something for once and all,' and so it's changed the dynamics.
Still, Bozell said, "It remains to be seen who's going to win." But he added that the tea party, no matter what the outcome, has made its point to Republican Party leaders.
"I can tell you, I've been all over the country and the tea party movement is alive," he said. "The tea party movement is conservatives around the country. The conservative base of the Republican Party is very much alive and what they're saying to the Republican Party is, 'It's time to make a stand on this.'"
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