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Op-ed

The political media vs. public health

Democrats' extremism will cost lives and jobs; political journalists are their co-conspirators

Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sunday afternoon, and then again Monday, Senate Democrats blocked a procedural vote on the $1.8 trillion, bipartisan coronavirus emergency relief bill. The Democrats wanted more, but not more help for those impacted by COVID–19. They "didn't want this crisis to go to waste" without getting more goodies for all of their special interest groups.

The Democrats are blackmailing President Trump, forcing him to either give in to their demands or putting the health of many Americans in danger. Their political gamesmanship will delay federal assistance to laid-off families, children forced from their schools, businesses teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and the health care industry scrambling to keep up with the deadly virus. Senate Democrats walked away from a bipartisan bill they helped write at the last minute because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the partisan extremists she leads demanded wild, unrelated provisions be added to the legislation to appease liberal special interests.

This is not spin, or even "analysis." These are the indisputable facts of what just happened in Congress. It is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's unlike anything anyone has ever seen. A political party, in the middle of a national emergency, ignoring the immediate needs of dying patients, exhausted health care workers, and tens of millions of anxious families facing months of physical suffering and economic hardship so their party can score cheap political points. It's revolting.

And it's also 99% the media's fault.

Don't get me wrong: Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's cynicism is unconscionable. People are probably going to die because they care more about special interests and campaign politics than public health; they care more about defeating Donald Trump than defeating COVID-19. This November, their party should be taught a lesson they will never forget.

But understand, as despicable as the Democrats are acting, their behavior could only be sustained in the warped political environment created by our biased news media.

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy had pulled this stunt, they would be crucified in the press. News networks would break into regular coverage to burn them in effigy. Every Republican in the country would have a microphone shoved in their faces asking why they are trying to kill diabetic Mr. Smith or 80-year old Mrs. Jones, wheezing and gasping away at their local hospital. News anchors would report their callousness with manufactured rage, and McConnell and McCarthy would have only hours to choose between surrender or resignation.

How do we know? Because they had that option just last week! As Senate Republicans were trying to prioritize their ideas for an emergency spending bill to address the first stages of the crisis, Speaker Pelosi and her House Democrats just wrote and passed their own bill, without any Republican input.

McConnell's message to outraged Senate Republicans: "gag and vote for it anyway." He knew the media would have a field day against Republicans if they even asked to debate some amendments. Too much was at stake. The aid had to be approved. And, of course, he knew any attempt to delay or alter the package would send the press corps to DefCon 1.

Democrats, on the other hand, confidently expect the media to provide "nuance" and "context" when they play politics, even with people's lives. The Washington Post headline after the Democrats blocked the Senate bill: "Clash between GOP, Democrats over stimulus bill intensifies." And the sub-headline? "$1.8 trillion package falls far short of advancing in Senate."

No mention of the Democrats' filibuster or their abandonment of bipartisan legislation. No mention that the Democrats' last-minute demands — such as foisting new environmental regulations on airplane fuel — had nothing to do with the coronavirus.

This isn't a question of conservatives calling out the media's mistakes in hopes of "working the refs." No. The media pretend they are the refs, but they're really on the Left's team. The people are the refs, and the media's coverage is nothing but dishonest propaganda to manipulate the public on behalf of their teammates.

Congressional Democrats' partisanship and extremism this week is going to cost lives and jobs. And mainstream media political journalists are their co-conspirators. We hope the voters can see through their lies and deception.

One last thing…
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