September 30, 2009 / by emptywheel


George Steph Wrings His Hands

George Stephanopoulos, clutching his pearls, wants to know why it was necessary for Alan Grayson to call out Republicans on the floor of the House for their stubborn defense of the status quo failed health care in this country (note, in his post, Steph uses Eric Cantor’s YouTube of this speech, which ought to tell you on whose behalf he decided to cover this).

Why Is This Necessary?

Rep. Alan Grayson , D-Fla., says GOP plan is for people to "die quickly." House Republicans are demanding an apology. Don’t they deserve one? Watch here: UPDATE: At Noon today. Rep. Tom Price plans to introduce a new resolution admonishing…

I’m going to pretend Steph is asking sincerely why this is necessary. 

Exhibit One: What Steph had to say about Joe Wilson’s outburst.

If you needed any more evidence that passions run high on health care and America’s partisan divide cuts deep, it came tonight.  When was the last time you heard a member of Congress (Joe Wilson of S.C.) call the President a liar during a joint session address? (Rahm Emanuel has already approached the GOP Congressional leadership and demanded an apology. John McCain has said Wilson should apologize, too. And just moments ago, Wilson bowed to the inevitable and apologized). For that matter, when was the last time you heard a President use the word “lie” in a joint session address? 

No mention of the fact that Wilson was the one lying here. Instead, an excuse for Wilson because "passions run high." No mention of Wilson’s lie–or those of his Republican colleagues–the following day, either (though, once again, Steph highlights what Eric Cantor wants out there). No mention of Wilson’s lie in Steph’s discussion of Wilson’s opponent’s financial bonanza for his outburst either.

Exhibit Two: George Steph’s "outrage" in response to much more incendiary comments from Republicans–such as when Mike Huckabee said that Democrats would have forced Teddy Kennedy to "go home to take pain pills and die." 

Mike Huckabee tossed a hand grenade into the debate over who’s politicizing Ted Kennedy’s death Thursday morning when he told his radio audience that under Obamacare, Kennedy would be told to "go home to take pain pills and die."

Which Democrat will toss it back first?

Will any Republicans jump on it by challenging Huckabee head-on?

One thing’s for sure: by joining the debate in this time in this way, Huckabee is showing how determined he is not to be outmaneuvered by Sarah Palin in the early 2012 bidding for the GOP’s conservative base

How will Mitt Romney respond?

Hmmm. Sorry. That’s not outrage (though of course Steph did ask whether any Democrat would throw this "hand grenade" back at the Republicans, as much as inviting a response like Grayson’s). Nor is it journalism, which would have required calling Huck out for his lie.

How about this? Does this count as outrage against the signs, "Bury Obamacare with Kennedy"?


Um. Sorry. No outrage there, either. I’ll keep looking, don’t worry.

Exhibit Three: George Steph’s extensive reporting on the fact that Republicans have no health care reform plan–pointing out precisely the point that Congressman Grayson was making.

Let’s see. In the last month, George Stephanopoulos has treated two more inflammatory outbursts from Republicans as nothing more than "passions running high." He has not bothered to point out the untruth in those outbursts or other even more inflammatory comments from Republicans. He has repeatedly regurgitated whatever Eric Cantor sent his way.  

And he has never pointed out the critical point that Grayson is making: Republicans have no health care plan, and people will die as a result.

I don’t know Steph. Why do you think this is necessary?

Update: Show Grayson your appreciation for calling out Republican’s obstinate refusal to do anything to fix health care.

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