Any time you see an establishment press reporter fail to use quotation marks in characterizing something said by a subject of his or her report, be on the lookout for misdirection, misinterpretation, and downright distortion, especially if the person is a conservative or Republican. A story at Politico by Donovan Slack early this afternoon about the reactions of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to President Obama’s budget is a case in point. Slack pretended that Boehner said something he simply did not say.
Slack wrote: “House Speaker John Boehner hit President Obama’s budget for failing to cut enough spending while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as ‘just another left-wing wish list.’” Slack didn’t quote Boehner. Boehner didn’t come anywhere close to saying what Slack claims he said, as seen in the complete text of the Speaker’s statement (video is at the link) following the jump:
“House Republicans passed a balanced budget that will help foster a healthier economy and to help create jobs. Unfortunately, the president’s budget never comes to balance. Every family has to balance its budget, Washington should as well.
“The American people know you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have. The federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years. Now think about this, you can’t continue to go on like this. That’s why we came forward with a plan that will balance the budget over the next 10 years. We believe strongly that it is time for Washington to deal with its spending problem.
“And while the president has backtracked on some of his entitlement reforms that were in conversations that we had a year and a half ago, he does deserve some credit for some incremental entitlement reforms that he has outlined in his budget. But I would hope that he would not hold hostage these modest reforms for his demand for bigger tax hikes. Listen, why don’t we do what we can agree to do? Why don’t we find the common ground that we do have and move on that?
“The president got his tax hikes in January, we don’t need to be raising taxes on the American people. So I’m hopeful in the coming weeks we’ll have an opportunity, through the budget process, to come to some agreement.”
The word “cut” isn’t even in the statement. He said that “Washington (needs) to deal with its spending problem.” Why not quote what he said, Ms. Slack?
I’ll tell you why. If Slack quoted what Boehner actually said, it would be in direct conflict with what Obama has said, namely that “We don’t have a spending problem,” and former House Speaker and now House Minority Leader, who has said that “it is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem, we have a budget deficit problem.”
The American people agree with Boeher that Washington has a spending problem. Apparently Slack doesn’t want to report anything about Boehner with which the American people would agree, especially if that obviously true reality-based statement directly contradicts Obama’s and Pelosi’s unreality-based fantasies.
What other explanation is there, Ms. Slack?
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.