Irritated Lawmakers Lash Out at Media

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 08:02 PM

By Greg Richter

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It could be the tension stirred by the standoff over the budget and debt ceiling, but whatever it is, lawmakers in Washington are starting to get testy with members of the media.

Conservative Republicans have long distrusted the mainstream media, and liberal Democrats aren't usually fond of Fox News. Normally, however, they keep their tempers in check.

Not so in the past few days, in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called CNN reporter Dana Bash "irresponsible and reckless"  and Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said Fox News' Sean Hannity's question was "total malarkey."

When Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., was told by CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday that President Barack Obama's refusal to negotiate on the budget or debt ceiling "was entirely predicable," he shot back.

Story continues below videos.







"So just because you say it's not negotiable, that becomes the fact?" Miller said. "You know, Jake, we negotiate all the time, and for you to perpetuate the rumor that it's not negotiable, you're buying into what the White House has been trying to say all along."

"Oh, I'm sorry," Tapper responded. "Did I miss some sort of wonderful negotiation that's gone on in the last week in which there's been some sort of achievement in defunding Obamacare?"

On Tuesday night, Himes, D-Conn., told Hannity that the conservative host was making up the notion that Congress has an exemption to Obamacare.

"Funny enough, you never raised hell about the employer contribution to members of Congress until the ACA came along," Himes said.

Hannity responded that Obama will negotiate with Iran and Russia, but not Republicans.

"That is total malarkey," Himes said.

Then there was Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., who took on CNBC's Andrea Mitchell  on Tuesday over the press not asking tough questions:

"The media won't even ask the question about why are you treating families different than big businesses," Duffy said. "You need Jon Stewart on Comedy Central to ask (Heath and Human Services) Secretary (Kathleen) Sebelius, 'Hey, why won't you treat these two equally?' and she can't answer it. I mean, that's how pathetic I think news reporting has become, when we won't ask tough questions to the administration."

Mitchell responded that the media have asked tough questions to both sides. "That's not fair."

"No one's asked that question but Jon Stewart," Duffy repeated. "I think the media should start doing its job."

"Thanks for your advice," Mitchell responded.

Rep. Jim Pascrell, D-N.J., also recently exchanged choice words with Hannity:



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