We hear America failing: David Gregory fails to perform!

MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2013

Rolls over and dies for Paul Ryan: Yesterday morning, David Gregory thoroughly failed to perform.

As he did, the latest completely ridiculous claim was broadcast to the nation.

The author of this ridiculous claim was Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican head of the House budget committee. Here’s how the nonsense went down:

Gregory played tape of Ryan saying the following: “According to the Tax Foundation, between 60 percent and 70 percent of Americans get more benefits from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. So we're getting toward a society where we have a net majority of takers versus makers.”

Gregory said that Ryan must be including programs like Medicare when he makes such a claim. He quoted Jonathan Chait, accusing Ryan of proposing “savage cuts to food stamps, children's health insurance, and other mitigations of suffering for the least fortunate.”

Ryan said that these claim are absurd—“straw men.”

Eventually, Gregory asked a thoroughlyly sensible question. When he did, he got an utterly ludicrous answer:
GREGORY: So which part of the safety net culture is sapping America's opportunity right now?

RYAN: So this is the point we keep making with benefits—take food stamps, for example. The benefits that [Obama] talks about, the changes we made, all we're saying is you have to actually be eligible for this program to receive this program. We need to target these things to the people who actually need them. And if our reforms on food stamps went through, they would have grown by 260 percent over the last decade instead of 270 percent. So when you call such reforms "savage," that, I think, does a disservice to the quality of debate we need to have.
Has anyone ever made a more ridiculous statement on TV? (We're not counting Pee Wee Herman.) According to Ryan, all the sound and fury in recent years has involved budget proposals so tiny as to be barely noticeable.

What kinds of adjustments to federal spending has Ryan proposed? According to Ryan, his famous proposals amount to this: Under one of his proposals, spending on food assistance (“food stamps”) would have risen by 260 percent, not by the 270 percent which obtained under Obama!

That tiny sliver of difference in spending represents the Ryan revolution! Under Obama, federal food assistance has exploded. Under Ryan, federal spending would have exploded, but by a tiny bit less.

Surely, no one has ever made a more ridiculous statement on American television. Below, you see Ryan’s full statement—and the reaction from Gregory:
RYAN: So this is the point we keep making with benefits—take food stamps, for example. The benefits that he talks about, the changes we made, all we're saying is you have to actually be eligible for this program to receive this program. We need to target these things to the people who actually need them. And if our reforms on food stamps went through, they would have grown by 260 percent over the last decade instead of 270 percent. So when you call such reforms "savage," that, I think, does a disservice to the quality of debate we need to have. And what we're trying to achieve here is a system where you have that safety net to help people who cannot help themselves, but you have an opportunity society, education reform, economic growth, so that people can get on their feet and make the most of their lives and reach their potential, and that is what we're worried about losing in this country.

GREGORY: One more on the budget, then I want to talk about a couple of other things. Do you feel like there's just a failure to get to know each other in Washington? To really understand each other? You haven't had much contact with the president over the last couple of years...
Ryan made the world’s most ridiculous statement. In response, Gregory asked a fatuous question about the need for Washington pols to socialize together more.

That wasn’t Gregory’s only failure to challenge strange statements by Ryan. But that particular statement was so absurd that it borders on bald-faced insanity.

How could anyone believe that Ryan’s proposals really amount to a marginal difference in runaway federal spending growth? Whatever you think of Ryan's proposals, his proposals have not looked like that!

You couldn’t make a more ridiculous statement. Gregory just let it pass.

Gregory gave Ryan a pass—and the career liberal world will give the same pass to Gregory. You won’t see him criticized tonight on liberal cable—and you wouldn’t have seen Bob Schieffer criticized had he accepted that same absurd statement from Ryan.

Our journalistic culture lies in ruins, and there you see one of the ways this has happened:

Multimillion-dollar journalists won’t challenge even the craziest statements. And when they compliantly fail to perform, their multimillion-dollar colleagues won’t say a word about that!

14 comments:

  1. It really was an entirely ludicrous interview, between two thoroughly ludicrous people. The highlight for me was when Ryan produced his Kindergarten chart about runaway spending, and Gregory, predictably, has absolutely nothing to say about it.

    It sounded quite a bit like a mutual agreement not to call each other on their b.s. 'I'll pretend to be a journalist, and you pretend to be a wonky politician. I won't call you out if you don't call me!'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I'll pretend to be a journalist"

      THIS!

      Delete
    2. "Two thoroughly ludicrous people". Beautiful!

      Delete
  2. Why would anyone expect anything more from David Gregory?
    He doesn't believe it's his job to point out bullshit.

    "I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you’re a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn’t do our job. I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role." David Gregory talking about the bang up job he did in the run-up to Iraq

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That lazy prick Gregory made his name harassing Scott McClelland and has contributed sweet fuck all since.

      Delete
  3. Gregory cornered Ryan into highlighting exactly what spending cuts he would propose right now. Ryan knows how unpopular his spending are and so he pointed out how little and un-savage his cuts are...

    I don't see how how Gregory forcing Ryan to "make ridiculous claims" is failing to perform. While you can say that Gregory let Ryan's claim pass, he did elicit the claim.

    And this was after Gregory pinned Ryan's sequestration flip/flop on him and challenged Ryan on whether the GOP would use a government shutdown to get spending cuts.

    You think Gregory should've stopped everything to let Ryan expound over his chart?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure I understand why Bob considers Ryan's food stamp comment to be "ridiculous." I think Bob's reason is that Ryan was misrepresenting the position he had previously taken -- that Ryan had proposed larger cuts in Food Stamps than he was now acknowledging. I wish Bob had cited Ryan's specific claims that were differnt from what Ryan now says.

    BTW Bob quotes Ryan as saying, "they would have grown by 260 percent over the last decade instead of 270 percent." I wonder whether "they" refers to the amount of benefits paid or the number of people enrolled in the program. It might be possible to save money by making the program less generous, while not changing the eligibility.

    ReplyDelete
  5. David in Cal,
    Did you read the question? It was "What part of the safety net culture is sapping America's opportunity right now?"

    Now do you realize why his statement is ridiculous, as an answer to that question?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly.

      It's not simply that Ryan mis-represents his own past proposals (though he does mis-represent them, of course) -- It's that his "example," by its own lights is PUNY!

      That tiny difference is the first thing that springs to mind when Ryan is asked what's hurting America?

      (The Howler slightly mis-speaks, BTW, by saying "That tiny sliver of difference in spending represents the Ryan revolution! Under Obama, federal food assistance has exploded. Under Ryan, federal spending would have exploded, but by a tiny bit less." The growth figures are over 10 years, only 4 of which were on Obama's watch. They were also the only four years to follow a huge financial debacle created under 8 years GOP helmsmanship.)

      Delete
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